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The Nation and the Closet

One of CLAGS’ first events, held on November 19, 1991, The Nation and the Closet brought together four distinct academics to discuss queerness in Latin America. The first speaker, Lehman College professor, Oscar Montero discusses the way in which queer and Latinx identities resist one another. Following Montero Licia Fiol-Matta, and Fiol-Matta are in conversation on the impact and legacy of Chilean poet-diplomat Gabriela Mistral. The third speaker, Fordham University’s Arnaldo Cruz-Malavé discusses the state of Puerto Rican culture at the time, focusing on colonialism’s lasting impact on homosexuality in Puerto Rican poetry. Lastly, Yale graduate student Ben Sifuentes-Lauregui reflects on the combined message of the three scholars. 

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.

Source | CLAGS Archive
Creator | CLAGS
Date Created | November 19, 1991
Rights | Copyright CLAGS Archive
Item Type | Moving Image (Digital Video)
Cite This document | CLAGS, “The Nation and the Closet,” CUNY Digital History Archive, accessed December 11, 2019,


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