Claremont Discourse Lecture: Through the Glass Closet: The Homosexual Origins of the Far Right

Thursday, Feb. 21, 4:15 PM
Honnold/Mudd Library • Founders Room
Robert Dawidoff, Professor of History, Claremont Graduate University
Through the Glass Closet: The Homosexual Origins of the Far Right

Lecture is free and open to all, refreshments and discussion to follow.

What types of closets are there? In some cases, one constructs a closest that can provide, however temporarily, a place of respite from society’s norms. This is the closet of the underground. Another type of closest is the type in which you cloak yourself under society’s norms and you become a person of whom society can approve. Both types of closets are survival strategies, both types are for hiding, but one provides freedom and one provides constriction, psychological suppression and denial. Both types of closets have their costs and both have exerted influence on the very society that marginalized and demonized them. One of the strangest stories of an influential American closet concerns the origins of the American anticommunist right and its lasting form in American politics. Robert Dawidoff, author of The Genteel Tradition and the Sacred Rage: High Culture vs. Democracy in Adams, James and Santayana, Created Equal: Why Gay Rights Matter to America (with Michael Nava), and Making History Matter, is a professor of history at the Claremont Graduate University. His lecture previews a chapter of his forthcoming book, The Glass Closet: A History of Solutions.

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