Humanities@Home: Uncovering LGBTQ+ Histories in New Hampshire


In 1974, a lawyer for the University of New Hampshire argued that the university could legally bar the newly founded Gay Students Organization from activity on campus because its members had a “communicable mental illness.” This public battle, in both the courts and the court of public opinion, might have been the first time LGBTQ+ identity was a major topic of conversation in New Hampshire, but LGTBQ+ individuals had called NH home for much longer. 

In this talk, Dr. Holly Cashman will underscore the importance of knowing the histories of LGBTQ+ communities and share stories collected through two ongoing research projects: the Seacoast NH LGBTQ Oral History Project and the Living Free & LGBTQ+ at UNH in the 1970s project. The NH Seacoast LGBTQ Oral History Project grew out of a larger history project founded by Tom Kaufhold in the years approaching the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, considered by many the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Living Free & LGBTQ+ at UNH in the 1970s traces the founding of the Gay Student Organization, the first such organization on campus. This project involved UNH students’ hands-on research in the university archives to look at a story now viewed as a victory. These programs continue to make LGBTQ+ histories more visible in New Hampshire, uncovering for the public stories that have been overlooked for decades, and enriching our understanding of what it means to make the Granite State home.

About the presenter: Holly R. Cashman is Professor of Spanish and Women's & Gender Studies at the University of New Hampshire and author of Queer, Latinx, and Bilingual: Narrative Resources in the Negotiation of Identities. She is past president of the International Gender and Language Association and the Linguistic Association of the Southwest. Cashman was awarded the Kidder Award for “foster[ing] greater understanding of sexual orientation and gender expression,” the President’s Good Steward Award for using professional expertise in service to the wider community, and the Pink Triangle Award for “outstanding contributions to efforts for equity and visibility for the UNH GLBT community.”


Event Details


Friday, June 9, 2023 5:00pm


New Hampshire Humanities
Concord NH 03301

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New Hampshire Humanities

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New Hampshire Humanities,