This poster promotes one of the early conferences sponsored by CLAGS, Black Nations/Queer Nations?. The conference was held at the CUNY Graduate Center over the course of three days from March 9th to 11th, 1995. This conference was among the first large-scale events to use an intersectional approach and look at "queerness" and "blackness" together, to discuss the unique experiences of queer individuals of African descent. The conference brought together famed scholars such as Essex Hemphill, Barbara Smith, and Jacqui Alexander to hold seminars and workshops on a variety of topics such as the dynamic interplay of black and queer identities and the prevalence of homophobia among Black communities.
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.