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About the Rainbow Heritage Network

In the last month while moving to Hartford and getting settled in my new office at Trinity, I am happy to share that I joined the founding Board of Directors of the Rainbow Heritage Network (RHN). RHN is a national organization for the recognition and preservation of LGBTQ+ sites, history, and heritage. While always one for conspiring with archivists, librarians, historians, and their various home turfs, my collaboration with preservationists and archaeologists is a new endeavor that emerged from my roll in the LGBTQ Monuments Advisory Council of Scholars of the US National Parks Service. I am particularly keen in observing and helping to support the truly wide-ranging and radical representations of LGBTQQTSTSIA life that exist within the US and in relation to the US. I am also devoted to working with the RHN to think about our preservation efforts play a roll in the gentrification and financialization of …

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 …

New Publication: “Useful In/Stability” in Radical History Review

I am delighted to announce the publication of “Useful Instability: the Queer Social and Spatial Production of the Lesbian Herstory Archives” in Radical History Review. The article is in the second of a two part special issue on “Queering Archives” titled “Queering Archives” Intimate Tracings,” both of which were edited by Daniel Marshall, Zeb Tortorici, and Kevin Murphy. The abstract and full citation are below, and a link to an open access version of this article is above. My thanks again to the Lesbian Herstory Archives for the work they do and place they keep that inspired this piece!

Queer theory’s embrace of instability paints stabilizing practices as normalizing and unjust. Rather than upholding a stance of opposition by championing instability alone, what can be gleaned for queer theory by examining the tension of the in/stability dialectic? This essay reflects on the author’s own embodied experience as researcher within …

Speaking about Trans* Issues in Fortune Magazine

I was recently interviewed by Fortune Magazine regarding trans* issues in the workplace. I had an incredible conversation with journalist Vivian Giang in the article: “Transgender is yesterday’s news: How companies are grappling with the ‘no gender’ society.” I am deeply honored to be able to talk about these issues publicly, but it’s more exciting to me to know that a major publication outfit is addressing gender fluidity in such a thoughtful, dynamic way. Here’s an excerpt from the end of the article:

With more young people refusing to be put in the binary-gendered box, more companies may follow suit, especially if they want to reach young consumers. The expanded ideas about gender identities are not a passing fad, says Jen Jack Gieseking, who identifies as transgender, lesbian, queer and goes by the pronoun “s/he.”

“The shifts we see happening around gender and gender identities are the opposite of

On Behalf of Queer Archives: Recounting the QIS Workshop a Year Later

In celebration of the year since the absolutely magical Queer Internet Studies (QIS) workshop, I went and realized that the final notes from our conversations never posted. Oy! I take solace in the fact these even exist and can still be shared. As described in this great final post from the QIS site by my colleague, friend, and QIS co-organizer partner in crime, Jessa Lingel, most of our panelists and presenters highlighted the digitization and import of queer archives, including the likes in New York City alone of the Downtown Collection at NYU, NY Public Library Gay and Lesbian & AIDS/HIV Archives, LGBT Community Center National History Archive, Lesbian Herstory Archives, and OutHistory.org.

When we broke into discussion groups at the end of the day, our conversations repeated five key topics.

  • The internet affords a space to convey the import of our queer history

Recounting #QueerData: Desire and Tension in the Production of Media Ecologies #AAG2015

To honor Jim Blaut's efforts, the award will recognize a scholar who, over the course of her/his life, has used a geographic and historical analysis of capitalism to explain current social injustices and inequalities, and promoted activism against oppressive power relations both within and outside the academy. Award winner Cindi Katz is Professor of Geography in Environmental Psychology & Women’s Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Full List of Readings for CLAGS Queer(ing) New York Course

In the spring of 2013, I taught Queer(ing) New York as a Seminar in the City course with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The focus of the course was as follows: While lgbtq studies has begun to extend itself to look at rural and other non-urban environments, much of the urban still remains to be accounted for, particularly difference within the city. To truly account for our difference, we must queer the city in the way it normalizes groups and spaces, and New York City is the exciting urban environment to begin within. In this Seminar in the City, we will read work that challenges and queers the normalized histories and spaces of lgbtq life. How can we queer the neighborhood, bar, streets, and bodies within it to tell stories of difference?

I often …

Sharing AERA Panel Video: “Toward What Justice?”

This session brings together compelling scholars within diverse intellectual traditions in educational research to discuss corresponding and sometimes competing definitions of justice. Each panelist will respond to a set of questions designed to reveal the salient points of convergence and difference between Indigenous studies, critical disabilities studies, critical race studies, immigration and border studies, and queer studies in education. A noted critical discussant will synthesize perspectives, offer ideas for future inquiry, and prompt further discussion between the panelists.

Why LGBTQ People Need to Care about the Gender Pay Gap

Today is Equal Pay Day, a day I much admire because it is 1/365th of the reminder we need as a society in the US that women are paid $.78 on the $1. My research and a great deal of other research on lesbian, bisexual, and queer urban spaces indicates that the limited number and limited tenure of these spaces with ever increasing property values–such as the likes of NYC–is greatly affected if not driven by women’s lesser income.

The constant conversation about the ever closing lesbian bar is a case in point, which younger LGBTQ people do now see as linked to patterns of gentrification as well as, I suggest, financialization. Yet this isn’t anything new. Research also shows that women drink less, go out less, and socialize less outdoors. WI suggest this is not only because of predatory behaviors against women in public spaces, but also because …

Talk at Yale Tomorrow: Dyke Publics, Privates, and Queer New York

Forthcoming work from Queer New York.

I am en route to New Haven to give a talk at the invitation of the Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Program, American Studies Program, and Public Humanities Program at Yale University. My talk, “Dyke Publics, Privates, and Queer New York,” will trace how notions of public and private have undergirded much of the work in lgbtq studies. I suggest that there has been a prioritization of publics alongside visible claims to collective spaces. In turn, many lesbians’ and queer women’s spaces have been obscured or invisibilized by overlooking the profound role of private spaces. These arguments are part of my monograph-in-progress, Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008.

The talk will be at noon on October 8th, 2014, in York 212. Hope to see you there!

Talk Today at EuroPride Oslo: Where Does Queer Life Go after the Gayborhood?

Today I am speaking at EuroPride in Oslo: “Where Does Queer Life Go after the Gayborhood?” If you happen to be in the land of the midnight sun, join in!

Here is the abstract and info:

Reflections from Queer Spaces in New York City, 1983-2013: Scholars, activists, and journalists have recently proclaimed the end of the radical and welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and queer (lgbtq) neighborhood or “gayborhood,” both in North America and Europe. The affordable and marginal qualities of these spaces that helped to bring together diverse socioeconomic groups of lgbtq people have been eroded by global processes of intensified gentrification and the objectification of lgbtq bodies and experiences. Where does queer life go after the end of radical gayborhoods? Drawing on interviews with 47 lesbians and queer women who came out between 1983 and 2008 and archival research from that period, I trace the processes of gentrification …

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, …

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…

Reflecting on “Identity Work and Identity Play Online” #2013ASA

Livetweets from"Identity Work and Identity Play Online" with @Greene_DM, @lportwoodstacer, @anitaconchita, @lnakamur, & @tmcphers at #ASA2013. Link to the panel info can be found here: http://convention2.allacademic.com/one/theasa/theasa13/index.php?click_key=1&cmd=Multi+Search+Search+Load+Session&s

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 …

Generationally Speaking Across Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Historian Marc Stein contends that a sequential narrative of lgbtq history can reflect “the critical study of change over time, with special emphasis on human agents of change” (2005, 623). The narrative of such change has the power to inspire and begin to enact that change. I designed my research to embrace multiple generations of participants and let them share their experiences across and within generational focus groups. Throughout my qualitative interviews with and research into lesbian-queer everyday lives, the issue of generations came up repeatedly independent of my interest in the issue as it clearly framed these women’s life experiences.

I’m keen to explain the generational breaks you are about to see in my future data visualizations. They are far from haphazard. They are based not only on trends and shifts in these archival data, but also from patterns I found among women who took part in my …

Sharing the #CLAGSqNY Twitter Hashtag Archive & Its Relationships

For those of you interested not only in the conversations we shared in the “Queer(ing) New York” Seminar in the City I taught with the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in the spring of 2013–that are available via video on this site or in the comments below each week’s post for the course for those who talked in the chat window–the Twitter hashtag archive for #CLAGSqNY is now available below.

I have also rendered a social network analysis of Twitter mentions of various individual’s handles (namely those in the class) who used the #CLAGSqNY hashtag. Each dot below is a person or group tweeting. Each line indicates they mentioned or were mentioned by someone else connected to them. A total of 502 tweets let us see that three major networks of communication (based on the colors of the connections) formed on Twitter: @CLAGSNY (Center for Lesbian and Gay …

First Lgbtq Book Review in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers

I just published what is the first book review on lgbtq spaces in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers. If you do not sit at home nightly pouring over the flagship journal of the Association of American Geographers, you may not have noticed that in it’s 102 year history, it has never published a book review on lgbtq people, place, or space, or even one on any matter of geographies of sexualities. There have certainly been some key articles on these topics in the journal though, such as Michael Brown and Larry Knopp’s fantastic “Queering the map: the productive tensions of colliding epistemologies” in 2008. Regardless, dozens of books on geographies of sexualities and lgbtq geographies continue to be published at an ever increasing rate, and we now have the first book review in the top journal in the field. I am honored to be a …