|LGBT studies in higher education are at a critical crossroads. The emergence of the historic gay and lesbian movement (1970s), the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic (1980s on), the decline of high queer theory (1990s on), and the rise of anti-gay politics in the 21st century have challenged the relevance of academic LGBT studies in response to societal needs. Future progress requires new effort to integrate knowledge production, creation of policy tools, and professional support and services in preparation for national and local leadership. This plenary is a call to action toward achievement of this holistic integration of theory, research-based interventions, and best practices in training the next generation of leaders. Examples will be drawn from controversies surrounding same-sex marriage, and Donít Ask, Donít Tell, as they have reshaped the LGBTQ community in the USA.
Gilbert Herdt is Professor of Anthropology and Sexuality Studies, and founder of the Department of Sexuality Studies, and of the National Sexuality Resource Center at San Francisco State. Previously he taught at Stanford University and the University of Chicago. A Fulbright, NIH, NEH, Ford Foundation, and Guggenheim Scholarship recipient, Professor Herdt is best known for his studies of the Sambia of Papua New Guinea on ritual homosexuality and his pioneering studies of LGBT youth in Chicago. He has published and edited thirty-five books and monographs and 100 peer-reviewed articles. He is the senior founding editor of the journal Sexual Research and Social Policy. His latest book is Sex Panics/Moral Panics (NYU Press, 2009). He is currently researching culture, sexuality and HIV change in Papua New Guinea, and the twenty-year follow-up to his gay youth study.