Lecture: Living Queer History

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Join historian Samantha Rosenthal for a lecture about an LGBTQ community in Roanoke, Virginia, on how queer people today think about the past and how history lives on in the present.

Queer history is a living practice. Talk to any group of LGBTQ people today, and they will not agree on what story should be told. In her book Living Queer History, Samantha Rosenthal tells the story of a small city on the edge of Appalachia. Interweaving historical analysis, theory, and memoir, Rosenthal tells the story of their own journey—coming out and transitioning as a transgender woman—in the midst of working on a community-based history project that documented a multigenerational southern LGBTQ community. Based on over forty interviews with LGBTQ elders, Living Queer History explores how queer people today think about the past and how history lives on in the present.

Gregory Samantha Rosenthal (she/her or they/them) is associate professor of history and coordinator of the Public History Concentration at Roanoke College. She is co-founder of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project, a nationally recognized queer public history initiative. Her work has received recognition from the National Council on Public History, the Oral History Association, the Committee on LGBT History, the American Society for Environmental History, and the Working Class Studies Association. Samantha is the author of two books, Beyond Hawaiʻi: Native Labor in the Pacific World (2018) and Living Queer History: Remembrance and Belonging in a Southern City (2021).

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Program Notes:

  • Tickets are required for in-person admission. Tickets are not needed if you would prefer to join us live on YouTube or Facebook.
    • Members receive free admission. VMHC Members, remember to log in to reserve your ticket.
  • In-person attendees are invited to meet the author at the book signing immediately following the lecture.