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University of Texas Press


In 2001 I became, as far as I can tell, the first person hired at a Catholic university specifically because of my work in LGBTQ studies. I am blessed, as it were, with a departmental colleague who publishes widely in postcolonial queer studies, a colleague in another department who teaches queer U.S. history every two years, and many supportive friends on the faculty. Still, I am the most public face of LGBTQ studies on campus, and if a new queer studies course is added to the curriculum, I am likely to be the one who develops it. Over the years I have come to realize that my role is not unusual, Catholic university or not. I was in a similar position at a large state university for seven years and have several friends and acquaintances across the country at a variety of institutions in similar spots. Most of us are not lucky enough to work among even a small clustering of others teaching in our field, even if we do have colleagues who assign queer theory in their courses or publish on queer topics. Of necessity this makes us chameleons, generalists. As an interdisciplinary scholar with an interdisciplinary doctorate, I feel suited to the role.


This is a pre-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of the History of Sexuality following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available through the University of Texas Press at



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