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New York City

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: “Urban Margins on the Move” in Berlin Blätter

My short reflection piece, “Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood,” is now out in the Berlin Blätter with a focus on the shifting relationships between the center and margin, both material and metaphorical. I address this idea through the lens of LGBTQ neighborhoods, gentrification, and the work of feminist theorist bell hooks. The full text of the piece, as it is so short, is pasted below. Enjoy!

2015. Gieseking, J. Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood. Berliner Blätter – Ethnographische und ethnologische Beiträge, 68, 43-35.

Urban Margins on the Move: Rethinking LGBTQ Inclusion by Queering the Place of the Gayborhood

Jen Jack Gieseking

We could enter that world but we could not live there. We had always to return to the margin, to cross the tracks to shacks and abandoned

Visualizing ‘Queer Exchange’ Friendships

I am increasingly interested in the social networks of queers, broadly and self-defined. One of the largest queer groups on Facebook that I know of is the Facebook group Queer Exchange with 7,855 members as of December 1, 2013. Each node or dot represents a person and the lines or edges indicate the friendships between them. Rather than a top-down culture, Queer Exchange repeats the interwoven and overlapping descriptions of queer spaces and lives that have described lgbtq life across cities, states, and times. In other words, many cultures often demonstrate relationships and dynamics that show some dominant voices overtaking others, or friends being connected to only one other person so they wander on the periphery. Instead this graph shows an interwoven society.

If you click the here or on the graph below, you can interact with the social network analysis graph of Queer Exchange I created.

User friendships on the Facebook group Queer Exchange as of December 1, 2013.  The 7,855 group members indicates how connections between queers overlapping rather than built replicating top-down cultures of interchange and expression. Created by Jen Jack Gieseking CC BY-NC 2013Click on the…

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 …

“You do not have to be good”

Given the precarity of the job market, academic and otherwise, I find myself listening to friends and colleagues increasingly blaming themselves for the state of risk we experience daily. Their personal and seemingly individualized situations of disinvestment, agony, and loss are more common than most humans will let on. These experiences are actually shared psychological and economic angst which permeates through the global and the intimate equally. I increasingly read of the burdens of this risk, which is all at once so shiny and biting, especially in the US and most especially in the City of New York where the promises of meritocracy are the bedrock of our geographical and sociocultural imaginaries. On the need to break apart the equation of risk and meritocracy, I recommend the delicious Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries by Gina Neff from MIT Press in 2012.

Thankfully, it’s raining …

“Queer(ing) New York”: Education for Change, on May Day and Beyond

The CLAGS Seminar in the City that I am teaching, “Queer(ing) New York,” will begin this evening, May 1st. Since creating this course, a lot of activists have wondered why we would choose to begin on International Worker’s Day. I see May Day as not only the right to work but the right to learn and to know. Free, open, and accessible education–like Queer(ing) New York–must instead be made common and therefore part of our public commons.

Courses like this are the ways we can reimagine education, and also reimagine and enact equality. Lgbtq people live through and walk through absences everyday, ranging from issues of recognition to acceptance, from using bathrooms to using the subway, from the bar that used to be there but closed to the home that used to be there but doesn’t count you as family anymore. As a group that lives the marginalization …

Judith Butler & Omar Barghouti Speak Out about #BDS at Brooklyn College #CUNY (2/7/13)

I was not able to attend Judith Butler’s & Omar Barghouti’s talks last night at Brooklyn College, CUNY (2/7/13) on #BDS but jumped in and made a Storify when I couldn’t stop reading the tweets. Read the play-by-play here via Storify. Butler shared her remarks with The Nation if you prefer a more traditional read.

Either way, consider yourself educated and in the struggle once you read these notes. If you are around NYC in April, the Homonationalism and Pinkwashing Conference at the CUNY Graduate Center will be bringing together scholars and activists to share work on how we can end apartheid in Israel-Palestine.

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.