Judith Butler Kessler Lecture
The Kessler Award, named after an endowment from David R. Kessler, is given each year by CLAGS to a scholar who is believed to have made a significant contribution to the field of queer studies. Butler was the 10th recipient of the award and is considered among the ranks of other notable queer scholars such as Barbara Smith, Eve Sedgwick, and Susan Stryker.
Although formally instituted at the CUNY Graduate Center in 1991, CLAGS: The Center for LGBTQ Studies was first conceived 5 years earlier by Martin, Duberman, one of the first historians to embrace the, then infantile, field of Queer Studies. Duberman sensed the need for a formal center devoted to queer research. As the first university-based center for LGBTQ research, CLAGS continues to demonstrate its dedication to advancing Queer Studies, by hosting public events showcasing queer research and sponsoring fellowships to support queer scholars. Among its many notable contributions, CLAGS annually puts on at least one major conference and holds the Kessler Award Lecture every fall to celebrate a queer scholar who has made a notable contribution to the field of queer studies.