Research Clusters 2008-09

The Institute for LGBT Studies funds Research Clusters that bring faculty, students, and community members together to investigate a common question or issue, in ways that enhance individuals' research agendas, build local and national alliances and generate public events at the University of Arizona and in Tucson.

Three outstanding Research Clusters, which reflect the diversity of LGBT scholarship at UA, were awarded funding from the Institute for LGBT Studies for AY 2008-2009. They are:

Fostering Oral History Projects That Study Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in Southern Arizona

Co-organizers: Maribel Alvarez, The Southwest Center, and Rosario Carrillo, Mexican American Studies & Research Center

Description: We aim to strengthen and deepen oral history research and teaching across disciplines. Although the group will be open to consider a variety of approaches to oral history, it will have at least two foci. First, we will explore the ways to conduct oral history work that considers gender and sexuality as they interact with race and class.  Second, we will facilitate student oral history projects in classes. Towards this end, we aim to continue to create a bibliography on oral history, to support several critical discussion groups about oral history, and to bring in an outside speaker.

LGBT Youth and Health

Co-organizers: Stephen T. Russell, Family Studies and Human Development, and Jennifer Vanderleest, Family and Community Medicine

Description: Same-sex sexual orientation, identity, and behavior remain important indices of health disparity for persons at all stages of the lifespan. LGBT youth have been the focus of much of the existing research, but remain relatively understudied. Yet they are known to be at disproportionate risk for the most compromising health challenges among contemporary youth, including mental health (low self-esteem and high levels of depression and suicidal thoughts and behaviors) and behavioral health (high risk-taking behaviors including substance use and abuse and self-harm). For the past two years we have been nurturing a network of scholars at UA who focus on the health and well-being of LGBT youth. This research cluster will extend the network and serve multiple purposes. One is to develop a multidisciplinary workgroup on LGBT youth and health. Our goal is that this will provide the framework for future research collaborations across UA colleges and programs, as well as within community organizations serving transgender and gender diverse youth. In addition, through campus-based research meetings and colloquia, we intend to raise attention to LGBT youth issues, and the profile of the Institute for LGBT Studies, at UA and in the Tucson community.

Subjectivities, Sexualities, and Political Cultures

Co-organizers: Adam Geary, Women's Studies, and Miranda Joseph, Women's Studies

Description: The purpose of this research cluster is to create a space of interdisciplinary intellectual exchange, advance the research agendas of the cluster members, and bring our discussions to a broader audience by hosting influential feminist and sexuality scholars who will discuss their work with a variety of audiences on and off campus. For 2008=2009, we have teamed with the Women's Studies Department to apply for funding to bring two influential, feminist/sexuality scholars to Tucson for weeklong "residencies" during which they will discuss their work with audiences on and off campus. The two visiting scholars selected for this project--Saba Mahmood, Associate Professor of Social Cultural Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and Saidiya V. Hartman, Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Women's and Gender Studies at Columbia University--are authors of groundbreaking scholarship that addresses pressing contemporary struggles.

Congratulations to these three outstanding research clusters!