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Lesbians’ and Queer Women’s Spatialities

Announcing My Book Contract with NYU Press for _A Queer New York_!

I am thrilled to announce that I have signed a contract with NYU Press for my in-progress book, A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers, 1983-2008. While a project of urban feminist historical geography, the book will be the first lesbian- and/or queer-specific history of New York City. I am 3/4 through writing the book and hope to have it on the shelves and online open access by the spring of 2019. Hurrah and gayme on!

I provide a brief excerpt from the introduction of book below.

Blue star tattoos. I saw them on the arms of lesbians and queers for as long as I could remember. They marked Brazilians at queer Kreuzberg, Berlin dance parties in 2010, trans Southerners on the Lower East Side, New York City gay bars in 2003, a bisexual woman from Seattle at my New England women’s college in 1998, and …

New Publication: Crossing Over into Territories of the Body (Area)

2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area. doi: 10.1111/area.12147. 2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City. Area. doi: 10.1111/area.12147.

I am pleased to report that my new article in Area, “Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer Bodies in New York City,” is available via preview! As I am unable to pay the $3k-$5k fee to make this article open access (per the Wiley-Blackwell requirement to do so), you can (legally) download a pre-print version of the article for free by clicking here are on the image to the left. Enjoy! The abstract is also below. Many thanks to Sara H. Smith and her student colleagues who brought to life the AAG 2012 sessions on bodies, borders, and territories together and this following special issue.

2015. Gieseking, J. Crossing Over into Territories of the Body: Urban Territories, Borders, and Lesbian-Queer …

Arriving in DC to Talk the Future of LGBT Monuments

LGBTQ Yarn Bomb in Soho. June 2014. CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2014LGBTQ Yarn Bomb in Soho. June 2014. CC BY-NC Jen Jack Gieseking 2014

I am one of the 18 LGBT Studies scholars invited by the Secretary of the Interior to come to DC this week and give recommendations for policies in selecting future US LGBT monuments. I am honored, thrilled, and inspired. I never would have imagined when I was coming out in the early 1990s that such monuments would ever exist, let alone I would be part of this conversation.

Representing the gender, racial, class, generational, age, and geographic diversity of our history is the top priority of those scholars who will be coming together tomorrow to discuss this work. As the geographer of the group, I will pay special attention to making sure we speak not only to the urban or the coasts but the rural, suburban, and other parts of our countries. We may not associate certain

New publication: Two Chapters in Queer Geographies: Beirut, Tijuana, Copenhagen

Queer Geographies: Beirut, Tijuana, Copenhagen, a collaborative work of artists, activists, and scholars, showcases the work of queer art installations in these three very different cities throughout the 2000s. The art and its very smart, beautiful catalog highlight the identical processes of neoliberal capitalism that touch each of these places and brings queer life into sync more and more from greater distances. Two chapters of mine appear as the bookends: the academic/personal introduction in “A Queer Geographer’s Life as an Introduction to Queer Theory, Space, and Time,” and the conclusion “What and Where Next? Some Thoughts on a Spatially Queered Recommended Reading List.” I remain delighted and grateful I was asked to reflect on this work and reflect on what queer theory, critical geographic theory, and work on the geographies of sexualities can bring to this radical, important, and exciting catalog. I am also thankful to the lead editor, …

Collecting Data, Que(e)rying the SpaceTime of the Lesbian Herstory Archives

On founding the Lesbian Herstory Archives:
Deb Edel: We began talking about how easily our history had gotten lost.
Joan Nestle: That we didn’t want our story told by quote “a patriarchal history keeper.”  I didn’t want our story told by those who told us we were freaks to begin with.
Deb: If we didn’t do it, nobody was gonna do it for us.
Joan: This wasn’t gonna be a one night stand.  This was gonna be a long-term relationship. We had a commitment to the archives that…it had to be a lifetime commitment… If an archives doesn’t outlast at least one generation it’s not an archives. … This was an archives who belonged to the people who lived its history. (Lesbian Herstory Archives 2009)

There is a need for lgbtq people to unearth and even create their own history, especially lesbians and queer women who face erasures of their …

Scaled Generationally: Lesbian-Queer Organizations, Power, & Time

This post is a continuation of a series of posts on my graphic analyses and data visualizations of lesbian-queer space and time with a focus on the 1983-2008 NYC-based organizational record collection from the Lesbian Herstory Archives that I am creating as part of my larger contemporary historical geography of lesbian-queer life in New York City.

In my previous post on the way scale operates with lesbian-queer organizations, I provided a summary glance into how those groups break down across scales spanning 1983 to 2008. Another earlier post on the trends in the numbers of when these groups founded shows a steady increase in these groups being founded through the early 1990s but then a decrease and pleateau. In a recent post, I explained how I carefully marked out these generational shifts, through both qualitative and quantitative analyses. As a result, even as I wrote a …

Opaque is Being Polite: On Algorithms, Violence, & Awesomeness in Data Visualization

Data visualizations are fantastic stuff. Social network analysis, graphic analysis, video, spatial analysis, images, and all other types of #dataviz increasingly capture the imagination and inspire as a way to represent the oft mentioned big data. The failure of many of these new software and analyses in the hand of new, excited scholars and hackers and other excitable folks means that their meaning is often…opaque. Oh, let’s be honest, opaque is being polite. I am sharing these thoughts because while many of you are concerned with the data in big data, I want to turn your attention to the algorithms within and how they mask meanings in many ways.

To catch you up, I’m working on a sizeable dataset about lesbians and queer women’s lives, spaces, and experiences. I’ve stuck to actual categorical variables or regular counts of trends and produced some pretty exciting graphs so far all the …

Scalar Implications of Lesbian-Queer Organizing

I was sitting in what was a back bedroom of a brownstone in Brooklyn in the winter of 2008-9 and I was cold. Archives are often cold. The bedroom-cum-archives had become a records room that now hosts 11 seven-foot high filing cabinets bulging with the organizational and biographical history of lesbians. Around me, scores of boxes towered over me and a bookcase stuffed with comments, mementos, and original Wonder Women comics (which I read often during lunch) sat to my left. I was at—what else but—a dining room table with my legs nestled between more boxes underneath and wearing a knitted cap when I noticed a very interesting pattern in the organizational records of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA) I was reviewing for my research. The pattern was about scale.

Not long ago scholars have argued that scale is socially produced (Smith 1992; Marston 2000). In other words, the …

Announcing the Our Queer Lives & Space (#OQLS) Project

Our Queer Lives and Spaces (#OQLS) Project is a living queer archive that affords lgbtqtstsi a space to map & share their stories in their own words and images. Read more about & join the project here: http://jgieseking.org/CLAGSqNY/oqls/.

oqls flyer2

For those arriving from Feministing and/or Salon, welcome! I encourage you to wander around the site. You might especially be interested in a Gender, Sexuality, and Space Bibliography I have building for some time. I am also the webcaptain for the Gender & Geography Bibliography, a project begun over twenty years ago and still growing. Lastly, do wander over to outhistory.org which hosts tons of exciting content, both new and archival, on lgbtq experiences over time and throughout the world.

Do check back! Over time I will create specific lists of readings for undergraduate students and teaching undergraduates, and graduate students and teaching graduate students, as well as readings by subjectivity and identity (lesbian, trans, etc.) and environment (rural, urban, suburban)

The Lesbian-Queer Space Mapping Project will relaunch next year.

Lesbians in Space feministing.com Interview with Maria Rodó-de-Zárate and Jen Gieseking, Full Transcripts

Below is the full interview between Gwendolyn Beetham with Maria Rodó-de-Zárate and Jen Gieseking for the blog feministing.com. You can read the feministing.com version here.

Chat History with
Created on 2012-07-31 14:14:25.

Gwendolyn Beetham: 13:19:28
Anyway, so, thank you both so much for your answers to the interview questions. I just read through them both a couple of times, and feel like they really speak to each other well. What did you think of seeing them together?

Jen Gieseking: 13:19:57
I really like them too. They really pair well. What did you think, Maria?

Maria Rodo de Zarate: 13:20:15
I also like them!

Jen Gieseking: 13:21:14
I think there is a lot of personal experience that fuels our work. …maybe one good conversation question is…: what we have learned from each other, either in these written statements or when we got to work together at CUNY?

Gwendolyn Beetham: 13:24:08
That …

Looking Back Queerly, 1997: “at the present time in New York, it is illegal to have a lesbian-only bar”

Food for thought before as plan your weekends.  It makes so much sense but is mindblowing all the same, especially since the reverse is true for gay and queer men who may wish to seek out their own spaces.

The city filed on the charge of sex discrimination, based on statutes passed in the 1960s and used successfully in the 1970s by heterosexual women seeking access to all-male clubs.  As a result, at the present time in New York, it is illegal to have a lesbian-only bar. (Wolfe 1997, 320)

 To my knowledge, the law has never been repealed in the City or State of New York.

CITED

Wolfe, M., 1997. Invisible Women in Invisible Places: The Production of Social Space in Lesbian Bars. In G. B. Ingram, A.-M. Bouthillette, & Y. Retter, eds. Queers in Space: Communities, Public Places, Sites of Resistance. Seattle, WA: Bay Press, pp. 301-324.

Welcome. My name is Jen Gieseking and I am a geographer and Ph.D. Candidate in environmental psychology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The primary purpose of this blog is to work through the question of and findings from my dissertation research project: to understand how lesbian/queer women’s everyday spaces and their associated economies in New York City have remained the same or changed over generations since 1983, and how they could do so while facing severe oppression. From a study performed in 1983, Manuel Castells (1985) argued that gay men in San Francisco developed a physical and social place/community by geographical gains intertwined with both unintentional and intentional cultural and economic shifts and decisions. The majority of research done on LGBTQ spaces since this period assumes geographical territorialization as a key tactic for gaining rights for LGBTQ people and a way of everyday queer life that …