Summersell Center Students Present at National Conference

John Giggie, Emma Pepperman, and Margaret Lawson at the conference.Students enrolled in Dr. John Giggie’s Invisible Histories course recently presented research posters at the Queer History South Conference, which was held in Birmingham, Alabama, from March 27 through March 29. Invisible Histories is the first course of its kind in the history department — dedicated to learning about queer history and specifically recapturing the emergence of the queer student movement at The University of Alabama and across the state. Dr. Giggie has taken groups of students to three conferences within the last year. Within the last year, he has taken groups to the National Peace and Justice Summit, the Annual Meaning of Southern Historical Association, and now the Queer History South Conference.

At the conference itself, the students headlined a special session focused on local battles for civil rights waged by LGBTQ+ individuals. They also met with historians, archivists, and researchers from across the South. Students are now building a digital humanities website to host their research and offer perspectives on the history of student life at the university. The follow-up course will be offered this fall, HY 430: Queer History South, in which students will take oral histories of state-wide queer leaders. All students, regardless of class standing or major, are welcome to enroll and speak with Dr. Giggie.