Library Expands Grant Program for Human Sexuality Collection

Contact: Brenda Marston
Phone:  (607) 255-3530

Cornell University Library Expands Grant Program for Human Sexuality Collection
Six Researchers Win Zwickler Grants for 2010

ITHACA, N.Y. (May 18, 2010) – Signaling the vitality of the expanding field of sexuality studies, Cornell University Library is offering grants to the highest-ever number of fellows to use its groundbreaking collection. Six researchers will come to the Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections (RMC) to use the Human Sexuality Collection, through the Phil Zwickler Memorial Research Grants.

Cornell’s Human Sexuality Collection, which seeks to preserve and make accessible primary sources that document historical shifts in the social construction of sexuality, supports a wide range of academic research projects. This year’s projects include:

  • Brian Distelberg, Yale University, “Minority Activists, the Mass Media, and the Politics of Anti-Defamation, 1940s-1990s”
  • Sean F. Edgecomb, Tufts University, “‘Christopher Street After Dark’: Gay Theatre Culture in Print, 1970-1980”
  • Christina B. Hanhardt, University of Maryland, “‘Safe Space’:  The Sexual and City Politics of Violence”
  • Abram J. Lewis, University of Minnesota, “‘A Certain Acceptable Way of Life:’ Locating Gender Minority Politics in Post-Stonewall LGBT Activist History”
  • Tim Retzloff, Yale University, “Suburb, City, and the Changing Bounds of Lesbian and Gay Life in Metropolitan Detroit, 1945-1985”
  • Nathan Andrew Wilson, York University, “Hitler, Homosexuality, and the Holocaust — The Politics of Memory in West Germany and the United States”

“Giving these awards is incredibly rewarding, because our whole purpose is to make more research on sexuality possible for more people,” said Brenda Marston, curator of the Human Sexuality Collection. “We choose people who can tell fascinating stories and make persuasive cases through our materials. All of the grant recipients show a desire to converse about their research, to get it out there, to challenge and expand ways we think about sexuality.”

Researchers receive funds for expenses incurred when they come to conduct research in RMC. The Zwickler grant program has been active since 2002, and this year, the Library received almost twice as many applications as in past years.

“These researchers have started thought-provoking work, re-thinking gender and transgender politics and putting LGBT history in the broad contexts of the histories of race, gender and religion,” said Ileen Devault, professor of Labor History at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Devault and Marston reviewed the applications and chose the grant winners.
The Phil Zwickler Charitable and Memorial Foundation makes the grant program possible. It honors filmmaker and journalist Phil Zwickler, who died at age 36 after documenting the AIDS crisis and the struggle for lesbian and gay rights.

“The ultimate purpose of the Human Sexuality Collection — and really, all of our library collections — is to increase what people are able to learn through the materials we acquire and preserve,” said Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian. “The Library is so pleased to be able to support such a huge variety of serious research projects in human sexuality, especially at a time when budgets are tighter than ever. We’re glad to see our collections have such a positive impact.”

About Cornell University Library
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Six researchers win Zwickler grants for 2010