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122 Elm Street, Oberlin, OH 44074

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Joanna Wuest, author and professor, will present the second lecture in the World Politics Speaker Series. Born This Way: Science, Citizenship, and Inequality in the American LGBTQ+ Movement.

Wuest's book, Born This Way, tells the story of how a biologically based understanding of gender and sexuality became central to LGBTQ+ advocacy. Starting in the 1950s, activists sought out mental health experts to combat the pathologizing of homosexuality. As Joanna Wuest shows, these relationships were forged in subsequent decades alongside two broader, concurrent developments: the rise of an interest-group model of rights advocacy and an explosion of biogenetic and bio-based psychological research. The result is essential reading to fully understand LGBTQ+ activism today and how clashes over science remain crucial to equal rights struggles.

Joanna Wuest is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics at Mount Holyoke College. She teaches and researches constitutional law, American politics, and gender and sexuality politics. Wuest’s writing has appeared in academic and popular outlets including Perspectives on Politics, Polity, Politics & Gender, Law & Social Inquiry, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Nonsite, The Nation, Boston Review, Dissent, and Jacobin.


Sponsored by the John D Lewis Memorial Lectureship Fund and Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program.

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