University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: How Queer History Shaped our World

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
12:00pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

Today's lecture is entitled, "Queer, There, and Everywhere: How Queer History Shaped our World" and will be presented by Sarah Prager.

Synopsis: Queer people have changed the world, from inventing the computer to inventing the high five. Sarah Prager’s new book, Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World, brings the stories of twenty-three of these individuals to life. Sarah will share the lives of artists like Lili Elbe who was one of the first people to receive gender confirmation surgery in the 1930s, athletes like Glenn Burke who battled homophobia as a MLB player in the 1970s, leaders like Roman emperor Elagabalus who ruled as female in the 200s AD, religious figures like Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz who wrote lustful poems to another woman from her Mexican convent in the 1600s, and queer rights activists who made an impact on the course of history.

How far back does queer history go? How do we know if queer people existed before recorded history? Since the terms in “LGBT+” are relatively new, what language can we use to refer to queer people of the past? Can we even call anyone from the past queer if they lived in a time without that concept? Why does the sexuality of a history-maker matter? This lecture will cover a discussion of these questions along with non-Western queer history, the changing concepts of gender throughout time and place, and queer persecution and resilience. There will also be readings from the book.

Biography: Sarah Prager is the author of Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World and the creator of the Quist mobile app, two resources that teach queer history outside of the textbook. Sarah’s writing has been published in The Advocate, Huffington Post, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, It Gets Better Project’s blog, and various other newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Queer, There, and Everywhere: 23 People Who Changed the World was published in May 2017 by HarperCollins. It has been awarded a Kirkus Star, nominated for a New England Book Award, and is an official selection of the Junior Library Guild. Quist, a free app for iOS, Android, and Windows, brings LGBTQ and HIV history to life for a following of over 35,000 from over 100 countries. Raised in Simsbury, CT, Sarah now lives in Wallingford, CT with her wife and daughter.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their lunches.


Rainbow Center (primary), UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

Control Panel