Queer Then and Now: The David R. Kessler


An essential anthology of leading academics, activists, and artists on the state of queer studies today.

The David R. Kessler Lectures, established in 1992 by CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies at the City University of New York, represent the cutting edge of queer studies in the United States. Queer Then and Now collects the lectures given from 2002 to 2020 by some of the most influential scholars, artists, and activists of the last two decades—Adrienne Rich, Amber Hollibaugh, Cathy J. Cohen, Cheryl Clarke, Dean Spade, Douglas Crimp, Gayle Rubin, Isaac Julien, Jasbir K. Puar, Jonathan Ned Katz, Martin Duberman, Richard Fung, Roderick A. Ferguson, Sara Ahmed, Sarah Schulman, Susan Stryker, and Urvashi Vaid—alongside new reflections and two scholarly roundtables.



Diverse and dynamic, these lectures and intertextual conversations tackle some of today’s most important interventions from the margins—including the growth of trans studies, the synergy and disconnect between theory and activism, the role of LGBTQ+ art and media, and the challenge of transnational and postcolonial theory. Charting the intellectual development of queer studies after the 1990s, Queer Then and Now lays the groundwork for queer thinking in the twenty-first century and beyond.