Publication: Review of “Safe Space” for Gender, Place and Culture

My review of Christina Hanhardt‘s utterly delicious Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence is available online and below (OA) in Gender, Place and Culture. When I say “delicious,” this is a spot on description for an important, beautiful work of lgbtq geographical history. I include the first two paragraphs below–you can read the entire publication here. (I was going to put it up on SSRN, only to find out, depressingly and shockingly, that it has been sold to the evil and most profitable-upon-academic-unpaid labor company Elsevier.)

Christina B. Hanhardt writes in Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence that one cannot “fully understand changing spatial development patterns apart from LGBT politics” (9). Geographers everywhere should take heed and would do well to read this book. Drawing upon Hanhardt’s insightful text will prove an exciting way to incorporate geographies of sexuality into research and teaching, particularly through the lens of neighborhood change.

Well written and thoroughly researched, Safe Space focuses on the landscapes of San Francisco and New York City from the 1960s to the present—strikingly little work has been done to put these well known queer hubs in dialogue until now. The 2014 Lambda Book of the Year is both a resource to scholars and instructors of urban studies, American studies, studies of violence and oppression (particularly in regards to issues of police brutality), and geographies of gender, sexuality, race, and class. Hanhardt draws on archival research in institutional and individual archives across the US; interviews with organizers; municipal documents; journalistic coverage; and attended rallies and direct actions. Trained as a historian in American Studies with attention to “thick description,” she has produced a vital and vibrant geographical history of urban marginalized lives in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Link to the entire review:

Gieseking, J. 2016. Review of Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence. Gender, Place and Culture.