SURF

Jacqueline Forsyte

Queer/Trans Spaces in Los Angeles: 1847-1939

How do we imagine Queer and Transgender pasts? My project aims to investigate 19th century and early 20th century Queer and Transgender spaces in Los Angeles. I will be exploring the intersections of Decolonial and Queer theory to study the city of Los Angeles. I am exploring the Indigenous communities who preceded the city and understanding how their resistance to violence informs a Queer reading of the past. Using research on the colonization of the American West, I will begin by studying the formation of the city, then begin to investigate specific sites of Queer and Trans life. I am also researching the judicial and prison systems formation in Los Angeles, seeing how the city enacted violence onto Queer and Transgender people. How does class, race, and gender inform the experience of being Queer? Using archival material in Los Angeles, I want to map how Queer and Trans spaces changed over time, informed by historical context. Drawing on a blend of published sources and original archival research, my project will begin imagining Queer and Trans pasts, informed by anti-racist and decolonial theory.

Message to Sponsor

I want to share my deepest gratitude to the Adam Z. Rice Fund. As Professor Christine Palmer shared with me, Adam was an engaged scholar and a deeply compassionate human being, whose curiosity encapsulated the best academic work. I am honored by his legacy. The project's funding has given me a sense of groundedness in the most uncertain time, which has given me the freedom to do expansive and imaginative thinking. I am currently working on writing my senior honors thesis in American Studies, which I hope to transform into a creative piece in the Spring. I plan to take this academic groundwork into graduate school, transforming this piece into a dissertation, and maybe even a published book. Thank you for your support.
  • Major: American Studies
  • Sponsor: Rice Fund
  • Mentor: Christine Palmer