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Event Details

Vital Perspectives on Healthcare and Science: Whitney Strub QUEER NEWARK

Formerly the Future of Healthcare Series, Vital Perspectives on Healthcare and Science engages with some of the most pressing public health issues of our time, in a regular public forum catalyzed by a book. This March event will feature Dr. Whitney Strub, author of Queer Newark, alongside Dr. Jason Chernesky. Dr. Zenzele Isoke and Dr. Jo Giardini will join them in conversation.

Join us for an evening of scholarship made accessible, opening conversation around this book. Histories of gay and lesbian urban life typically focus on major metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York, opportunity-filled destinations for LGBTQ migrants from across the country. Yet there are many other queer communities in economically depressed cities with majority Black and Hispanic populations that receive far less attention. Though just a few miles from New York, Newark is one of these cities, and its queer histories have been neglected—until now. Queer Newark reveals a new side of New Jersey’s largest city while rewriting the history of LGBTQ life in America.

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Whitney Strub writes about political, legal, and cultural battles over obscenity and pornography. He situates these social struggles in various contexts, particularly modern feminism, LGBT history, the rise of the New Right, and the sexual revolution. His first book, "Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right," was published in 2011, and his next book, "Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression," was published September 2013.

Jason Chernesky earned his BA in history from Rutgers University-New Brunswick and his MA in history from Rutgers/NIJT-Newark. He recently earned is PhD in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania. As a historian of twentieth-century medicine, healthcare, public health, and environments in the United States, Jason’s research examines race-based health inequities among American children and their families in the context of the built environments in which they lived. Jason’s research interests also include histories epidemic disease, drug use, biomedical technologies, and nursing. Based on his doctoral dissertation, “The Littlest Victims”: Pediatric AIDS and the Urban Ecologies of Health in the Late-Twentieth-Century United States, Jason is working on a book proposal that examines the ways in which the AIDS pandemic affected Black and Latinx children and their families in the United States. Jason has recently contributed a chapter to the forthcoming edited volume Queer Newark (Rutgers Press, 2024). The chapter is titled “Project Fire: AIDS, Erasure, and Black Queer Organizing in Newark.” Jason is also interested in public history and has helped create public history events on topics related to the history of medicine and public health. As the CLIR Opioid Industry Research Postdoctoral Fellow, Jason is involved in the stewardship of public access and engaged research into this growing digital archive co-curated by Johns Hopkins and UCSF.

Jo Giardini is a post-doctoral fellow with the Program for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and with the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center at Johns Hopkins University. They are presently writing on the politics of communalism and separatism in the 1970s, and working on a critical history of the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic, its relationship to trans communities in Baltimore, and its often noxious effects on access to trans care and affirmation.

Zenzele Isoke is a black feminist theorist, urban ethnographer, and political storyteller. Drawing from the ideas of black decolonial thinkers, Isoke writes the contemporary history of cities through the political struggles of self-identified black/queer women of the African diaspora. Writing across the fields of geography, political science, and urban anthropology, her scholarship spans several cities in the U.S., Middle-East, and the Caribbean. Her book new project: Unheard Voices at the Bottom of Empire develops a set of “counterpoetic” writing practices to theorize and explore black feminist politics through the mediums of collaborative art-making, breath and meditation, and conventional grassroots organizing in racially segregated urban spaces. She is author of Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance (Palgrave 2013). Her writing has been featured in several peer-reviewed journals and anthologies including Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, Transforming Anthropology, Gender, Place and Culture, among others. She is also the mother of two teenaged black girls, a (slowly) rising poet, and organizer in her own right. For more information, visit her faculty webpage.






Event Details

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 6:00pm


Bird in Hand Coffee & Books, 11 E. 33rd St, Baltimore, MD 21218
11 E 33rd St
Baltimore, MD 21218

by Dr. Radut