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ConnexionsHistories of Race and Sex in North America$
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Jennifer Brier, Jim Downs, and Jennifer L. Morgan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040399

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040399.001.0001

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Historical Methods and Racial Identification in U.S. Lesbian and Gay History

Historical Methods and Racial Identification in U.S. Lesbian and Gay History

Chapter:
(p.38) Chapter 2 Historical Methods and Racial Identification in U.S. Lesbian and Gay History
Source:
Connexions
Author(s):

Julian B. Carter

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252040399.003.0002

This chapter interrogates how “whiteness” shaped the ways in which the early chroniclers of gay and lesbian history considered the relationship between race and sex. It looks at several core features of the U.S. gay and lesbian past as it was constructed in historical writing between 1976, when the first book in the field came out, and 1989, when the first anthology was released. These publications mark the period of the field's initial formation and thus frame inquiry into basic assumptions and strategies that shaped the field at that important moment. Here the chapter argues that many of these early historians examined the experiences of people of color but often failed to see how their “whiteness” shaped their investigation of the past.

Keywords:   lesbian history, gay history, whiteness, historical writing, people of color, queer historians

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