Queer Music History 101


I want to start off this blog by sharing my project Queer Music History 101, as it is a highlight of my work for the last year. After visiting a university class in LGBT Studies I realized that the music history of our culture is likely missing from almost all college classes, with the likely explanation simply that the resource material is not available and has never been organized for a university setting. Also, academic musicologists and historians of popular culture have almost entirely ignored this topic. So I created my own “lesson,” free for anyone to use and ready to insert into courses, and available in several formats.

The lesson can be taken as a two-hour audio course, which features narration, graphics, and short song clips, 65 of them, covering 1926 to 1985, or read on the website or flipbook versions, with options to hear complete songs. This is not just reading about songs; this is actually hearing them. Hearing all of a song will give a much greater appreciation and understanding of not only its meaning, but also the place of the artist or song in history. So the lesson’s target audience is not only the students but their professors, and it also can provide a broader platform for work done by researchers.

Also built into the lesson is a study guide and links to resources on the internet or my own website, such as interviews with many of the artists. I have inserted questions on various subject areas throughout the lesson. The “flipbook” option was chosen to hopefully appeal to a young internet-oriented audience, adding some “bells and whistles.” From the flipbook version you can also download the lesson in PDF format, though of course without the song clips.