Annual LGBTQ2S+ lecture

Inaugural lecture featuring Dr. George Chauncey

LGBTQ2S+ Learning and Sharing at UCalgary. You make it happen.

Lively and accessible academic perspectives are essential in helping us to understand how far our communities have come, and how far we still need to go. The annual LGBTQ2S+ Lecture continues to play this important role by welcoming internationally renowned LGBTQ2S+ scholars, artists and activists to our city.

About the series

In 2019 the Calgary Institute for the Humanities (CIH) held its inaugural LGBTQ2S+ lecture, with the ambitious goal of establishing an annual endowed lecture which will have an enduring impact on Calgary’s culture by bringing ground-breaking scholars into conversation with the broader community in Calgary during Calgary’s Pride Week.

The CIH’s new lecture series is part of a long tradition at the University of Calgary to support diversity and inclusion, particularly sexual minorities. As can be seen in Kevin Allen’s history of the LGBTQ community in Calgary, Our Past Matters, the University of Calgary has a proud history of hosting internationally prominent speakers on LGBTQ rights: in 1969, for example, there was a lecture in Mac Hall by Harold Call, the pioneering gay activist, publisher, and member of the Mattachine Society. This lecture was attended by plainclothes police officers from the vice squad, who were not there to promote to diversity and inclusion, but they left without incident after being recognized by the speaker. A couple of years later, the University of Calgary hosted a talk by Sir John Wolfenden. He had earlier led an inquiry into the decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain in the 1950s, which resulted in the Wolfenden Report, one of the most important documents in lesbian and gay rights. The CIH is hoping to build an endowment to support an annual visit by key figures in LGBTQ2S+ Studies

With the support of Dr Annette Timm, who as the editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality has helped us to connect with some of the most distinguished researchers in this field, our donors, community partners and UCalgary Alumni, the CIH is making a powerful demonstration of the University’s continuing commitment to diversity and is aiming to play an even more active role in promoting LGBTQ2S+ studies.

Annual CIH LGBTQ2S+ Lecture History

Aug. 23, 2019

George Chauncey presents "Rethinking the Closet: New York Gay Life Before Stonewall"

Sept. 3, 2020

Lilian Faderman presents "The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: A Brief History of Lesbian Feminism and What it Accomplished"

Aug. 26, 2021

Billy-Ray Belcourt, Shawnee Kish and Joshua Whitehead present "Indigenous Art and Activism: Three Voices"

Sept. 2, 2022

Jules Gill-Peterson presents "Trans Panic: A Global History"

Aug. 23, 2023

Amy Villarejo presents "Through the Multiverse: Queer Media Today"

Lectures in the news

In the News Annette Timm, History | CIH | The Gauntlet

The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation – An interview with Dr. Lillian Faderman

Trailblazing lesbian historian set to deliver annual LGBTQ2S+ Lecture via Zoom

Lillian Faderman will speak on The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation Sept. 3

Rethinking the Closet: Calgary Institute for the Humanities presents inaugural LGBTQ2S+ Lecture

George Chauncey, author of the groundbreaking study Gay New York, to speak at Central Library event Aug. 23

2021 Billy-Ray Belcourt, Shawnee Kish, & Joshua Whitehead, Indigenous Art and Activism, Three Voices

The Calgary Institute for the Humanities third annual LGBTQ2S+ Lecture on August 26, 2021, featured novelist Joshua Whitehead, poet Billy Ray Belcourt, and special musical guest Shawnee Kish. The evening featured readings by Whitehead and Belcourt, performances by Shawnee Kish, and a roundtable discussion about the intersections of art and activism for queer, trans and two-spirit indigenous artists.

2020 Lillian Faderman

Lillian Faderman poster

In 2020, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities presented Lillian Faderman in partnership with Ucalgary Alumni

Second annual lecture

The speaker for the second annual lecture was Dr. Lillian Faderman, the preeminent scholar of lesbian history and literature and an award-winning author of eleven books, including New York Times Notable Books of the Year Surpassing the Love of Men, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. Owing to COVID-19, we were forced to move the talk by Dr. Faderman online; however, in partnership with UCalgary Alumni, we were able to webcast her lecture, “The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: A Brief History of Lesbian Feminism and What it Accomplished”, and the ensuing Q&A session moderated by Dr. Timm to an audience across North America and beyond.

Watch Dr. Faderman's lecture on YouTube.

Watch an interview

An Interview with Dr. Lillian Faderman about the Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation

2019 George Chauncey

George Chauncey event poster

In 2019, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities presented George Chauncey in partnership with UCalgary Alumni

First annual lecture

Our inaugural lecture featured Dr. George Chauncey, an author and historian whose publications (notably Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 and Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality) have changed the way gay history was written, and who, by serving as an expert witness in more than thirty gay rights cases in the United States, including the landmark Supreme Court gay marriage case, has helped to change history. His lecture, entitled “Rethinking the Closet: New York Gay Life Before Stonewall” challenged the dominant narrative of the 1950s and 1960s as a time of intense repression for queer communities and was enjoyed by over 150 people in the lecture hall at the new Central Public Library in Calgary.

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Lecture theatre during inaugural LGBTQ2S+ lecture series

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