George Chauncey

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Samuel Knight Professor of History & American Studies


George Chauncey is the Samuel Knight Professor of History and American Studies and has served in the past as chair of the History Department and the LGBT Studies Committee at Yale.  He is the author of Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 and Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality, the co-editor of Hidden From History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past, and numerous articles on the history of gender and sexuality. He is currently nearing completion of another book, The Strange Career of the Closet: Gay Culture, Consciousness, and Politics from the Second World War to the Gay Liberation Era.  He received his doctorate in history from Yale and then taught for fifteen years at the University of Chicago before joining the Yale faculty in 2006.  While at Chicago, he co-chaired a year-long Mellon Sawyer Seminar on Sexual Identities and Identity Politics in Transnational Perspective (selected papers were published in 1999 as a special issue of GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies).  He also chaired The Future of the Queer Past, a four-day transnational history conference held at Chicago in September 2000 that drew together 200 historians from a dozen countries to present their work on some fifty panels.  Since 1993, he has participated as an expert witness in more than 25 gay rights cases, including Lawrence v. Texas (2003) and the two same-sex marriage cases the Supreme Court decided in summer 2013.