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Guest Lecture

“Writing Queer History: What We Can Learn from the Male Flight Attendant”
Dr. Phil Tiemeyer, Fulbright Fellow, University of Belgrade, Serbia

Date: Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Time: 13:30–15:00
Place: Åbo Akademi University, Axelia (Piispankatu 8), Lecture Hall Salin

The collective work of scholars of queer history in the United States tends to leave the impression that one's queer identity comes to fullest expression only in the demimonde of leisure--in the bars, the arts scene, book clubs, and friendship circles--that blossomed largely outside the gaze of the mainstream public. Such a focus helps to account for the impressive community-building that queer individuals have engaged in throughout the Cold War era, forging queer institutions which only over time became more visible in mainstream culture. But focusing on queer identity's ties to leisure also leaves a whole realm of investigation nearly untouched: What role did one's work play in allowing LGBTQ Americans to forge a queer identity and, ultimately, to fight in the public sphere for their civil rights? This talk argues that examining queer labor is indispensable to accounting for the vast strides made in LGBTQ civil rights in the past several decades. It particularly focuses on the contributions of male flight attendants--a group of largely queer workers whose roots in the workplace date from the 1920s--to the queer civil rights victories of the late 20th century.

Dr. Tiemeyer is Associate Professor of History at Kansas State University and is currently serving as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Belgrade in Serbia.  His first book, Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants, was awarded the 2015 John Boswell Prize from the AHA’s Committee on LGBT History.  He is currently researching a second book, Aerial Ambassadors: National Air Carriers and US Power in the Jet Age, examining the formation of national airlines in the developing world. His PhD is in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and he has twice served as a research fellow at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The event is free of charge and open to all. Students may collect lecture pass entries. Organized in collaboration with the Department of Gender Studies at Åbo Akademi University and sponsored by Fulbright Finland.

 

JMC Research Network Seminar

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2018
Time: 17:00–19:00
Place: UTU, Educarium, Room 441

This seminar will focus on methodological, theoretical, and ethical questions related to LGBTQ history, gender studies, and American studies. Dr. Phil Tiemeyer (please see above for bio) will open the discussion and share his research.

N.B.: Please RSVP to jmc[at]utu.fi by February 26.




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