Guest post: Conference report by Amy K. Levin

Gluck’s dresses; the workhouse supplanted by the National Portrait Gallery; Matt Smith’s interventions in Leeds; categories that work for and against people who identify as LGBTQI; approaches to representing HIV; the marvelous work of large institutions such as the British Museum and the V&A; the heroism of those maintaining small projects like the one in Cork. These are just a few of the presentations that keep running through my mind. While I have many “take-aways” from individual presentations, from the conference as a whole, I gather optimism from the fact that so many talented people are moving the efforts forward. When I began work on my collection, Gender, Sexuality, and Museums, it was truly difficult to find relevant materials. Now I could fill several volumes.

I do know that behind the exuberance we showed together there are many histories of pain and exclusion, and that members of this group are charged with recording them and making them accessible. I am grateful to them, knowing how such accounts can create a sense of comfort and connection among our students.

Topics that kept cropping up:

  1. Categories and categorizing
  2. Everyday people and their history
  3. Uncovering lost stories
  4. Bodies, skin, medicalization of queerness
  5. Crossing borders

Amy K. Levin

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