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Cutting edge scholarship and conversations with leading LGBTQ politicians and advocates.

On Thursdays at 11.30am-1pm Eastern USA 
New Series: September-December 2021

QPW is an online seminar in LGBTQ politics and public policy.

Presentation, questions and discussion in 90 minutes, via Zoom.

In Fall 2021 meetings are Thursdays at 11.30am EDT USA.

The Zoom address will be made available to participants ahead of each meeting.

We invite faculty, students, activists, advocates, practitioners and anyone with an interest in LGBTQ politics to sign up for our mailing list.

We will use that list to distribute abstracts and the zoom link.


Please join the mailing list by signing up on our REGISTRATION FORM


If you have a paper you’d like to present, please let us know by emailing us at 


Fall 2021 Schedule

September 30th

Joanna Wuest (Princeton)

Born This Way: Science, Citizenship, and Inequality in the American

LGBTQ+ Movement

Zein Murib (Fordham) 

Brokering Identity: Citizenship, Rights, and the Construction of LGBT

Political Identity in the US

Joanna Wuest studies identity, inequality, and American political and constitutional development. At Princeton University, she holds the Fund for Reunion-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts. Her academic work has been published in Perspectives on Politics, Politics & Gender, Law & Social Inquiry, ​and nonsite, and her public writing has appeared in outlets including the Nation and Boston Review. She is currently writing a book based on this talk for the University of Chicago Press and another book on corporate power and minority rights struggles.


Zein Murib (they/them/theirs) is an assistant professor of Political Science and affiliated faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Fordham University. Murib's research and teaching interests take an intersectional approach to questions of gender and sexuality, race, and political identity construction in US politics. Their research has been published in Politics, Groups, & Identities, Politics & Gender, New Political Science, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and a special issue of Administrative Theory & Praxis on gender and sexual identity and expression in public and nonprofit contexts. 

November 4th 

Stuart Turnbull-Dugarte (Southampton)

The apple comes out (and votes) independently from the tree:

parental partisanship, self-reported sexuality and voting behaviour.

Michal Smrek (Uppsala)

Where the grass is greener: persistent sexuality gap in voter turnout

in Sweden

Stuart Turnbull-Dugarte is an Assistant Professor in Political Science in the Department of Politics & International Relations at the University of Southampton. He works in comparative politics with a general interest in political sociology and political party competition. 

Michal Smrek is a researcher at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, working on a FORTE-funded project entitled Strategic inclusion? The promises and pitfalls of diversity initiatives in Swedish party politics together with Elin Bjarnegård and Pär Zetterberg. His research interests include political parties, representation, legislative behaviour and candidate selection with a particular focus on gender.

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Spring 2021 Schedule


Thursdays (new time: 12 noon EDT USA)


February 4th

Sa’ed Atshan (Swarthmore)

Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique

Sa'ed Atshan asks how transnational progressive social movements can balance struggles for liberation along more than one axis. He explores critical junctures in the history of Palestinian LGBTQ activism, revealing the queer Palestinian spirit of agency, defiance, and creativity, in the face of daunting pressures and forces working to constrict it. 

February 11th

Ibtisam Ahmed (Nottingham)

Queer Liberation as Utopia in Bangladesh


Ahmed juxtaposes the local narratives of queer identity in Bangladesh with attempts at more neoliberal activism deemed acceptable on the global stage. By tracing the history of queer liberation as an Underground decolonial struggle, he argues that reclaiming histories is part of a broader utopian goal towards grassroots emancipation.

February 18th

Phil Jones (Delaware)

Respectability Politics and Straight Support for LGB Rights

Marginalized groups frequently engage in respectability politics, presenting themselves as adhering to dominant norms in order to gain public support. The LGBTQ movement, for example, has consciously portrayed same-sex relationships as aligned with heteronormative values to win over straight Americans. But how effective is this strategy?


March 4th

Scott Siegel (San Francisco State)

Explaining Positions on Same-sex Marriage in Europe among Would-be MPs





March 11th

Ari Waldman (Northeastern)

Queer Lawyers and Queer Identity

How has the movement for queer legal equality reckoned with sometimes conflicting questions of identity and litigation strategy? To what extent is queer identity front-and-center in impact litigation in the federal and state courts? Waldman’s project is based on interviews with lawyers and plaintiffs, archival material, and trial transcripts. It leverages scholarship on respectability politics, the connection between law and public opinion, and political science. 




March 18th

Thiago Coacci (Federal University of Minas Gerais)

The Brazilian Trans Movement

Coacci traces the emerging transnational strategies of Brazilian travestis, transsexual women and trans men. The Latin American Observatory of Transphobic Violence seeks to influence policy through gathering data on violence against trans people.




March 25th

Jayaprakash Mishra (Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad)

Gay Men in India Navigating Marriage and Family

Drawing on his ethnography in the small towns of Eastern Indian state of Odisha, Jayaprakash discusses how ‘gay men’ married to women reconfigure their kinship structure by forging ‘partnership’ with other men without dissolving their marriage with their wives.


April 1st

Jamie Hagen (Queen's University, Belfast)

Queering Women, Peace and Security

Hagen considers how heteronormativity, and a lack of attention to queer experience more generally, limits important work to center a gender perspective in international peace and security through the Women, Peace and Security agenda. 




April 8th

Pippa  Catterall (University of Westminster)

Queer Spaces

Public space is not always, well, public. In the past forty years or so queer, feminist and racial geographies have drawn attention to marked inequalities in access to and safety in public space. Catterall makes recommendations for queering public space in order to make it much more inclusive and welcoming for all.



April 15th

Rasa Kamarauskaite (University College, London)

Strategies of inclusion of homosexuality within Lithuanian nationalist discourse

Homosexuality in Lithuania is portrayed by anti-LGBT groups as a 'foreign' sexuality that threatens the existence of the family, and integrity of Lithuanian nation. Kamarauskaite describes how LGBT activists in Lithuania have sort to de-sexualize their messaging to counteract the alienation of homosexual people.

April 22nd

The experiences of bisexual and pansexual women parliamentarians







April 29th

LGBTQ scholars and scholarship in the academy: What is to be done?


















May 6th

Ahmad Qais Munhazim (Thomas Jefferson)

Queer and Trans Muslims in the US

How do queer Muslims navigate their lives in fragile and volatile times? Through an in-depth ethnographic study with queer and trans Afghan Muslims in the United States, Munhazim shows the construction of multiple thick and thin layers of lives, identities, secrets and experiences similar to matryoshka dolls.

Past Webinars (Fall 2020)

Thursday June 18:

Gabriele Magni (Loyola Marymount) Andrew Reynolds (Princeton)

Pete Buttigieg: Too gay, not gay enough, or just right but not the right time?

Mayor Pete Buttigieg was a long shot presidential candidate: despite his impressive biography he was young, politically inexperienced, and a gay man from a small Mid-West college town but his candidacy caught fire far more than most observers predicted. Magni and Reynolds polled over 6,000 registered voters in twelve states on who they would choose in a Buttigieg versus Trump Presidential election head to head. The presentation of Donald Trump remained constant but they varied the way in which Mayor Pete Buttigieg was presented to the voters. A neutral Pete, a gay Pete, a 'super-gay' Pete, a veteran Pete, and a religious Pete.


Thursday June 25:

Andrew Flores (American University)

The Criminal Victimization of LGBT People in America


Starting in 2017, the National Crime Victimization Survey - the country’s primary source for crime data and statistics - began documenting sexual orientation and gender identity. Flores presents a more comprehensive understanding of criminal victimization of LGBT people in the US. (Coauthored with Lynn Langton, Ilan Meyer, Bianca Wilson, Jody Herman, and Adam Romero). 


Thursday July 2:

Lee Badgett (UMass. Amherst)

The Economic Case for LGBT Equality: Why Fair and Equal Treatment Benefits Us All

Badgett finds that homophobia and transphobia cost 1% or more of a country’s GDP. Examining the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, India and the Philippines, she reveals the expensive repercussions of hate and discrimination, and how our economy loses when we miss out on the full benefit of LGBT people’s potential contributions.








Thursday July 9:

Phillip Ayoub (Occidental College)

Movement/countermovement interaction and instrumental framing: rooting Polish lesbian and gay activism (with Agnès Chetaille, Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux)

Drawing on multiple years of fieldwork with Polish civil society actors, Ayoub and Chetaille use content analysis to trace the trajectory of the lesbian and gay movement’s frames, showing that they are shaped by ongoing movement/countermovement interactions, as well as the multi-level discursive context in which they operate.



Thursday July 16:

a conversation with Park Cannon (Georgia State Representative) 

New Faces, New Realities: Queer Black Voices in Office

Park Cannon is a State Legislator representing Atlanta. Elected in 2016 she is one of five out LGBTQ members in the Georgia statehouse. Park is one of the most impressive voices in elected office in America today.




Thursday July 23:

Kristopher Velasco (University of Texas at Austin)

Queering the World Society: Global Norms, Rival Transnational Networks, and the Contested Case of LGBT Rights

How did the integration into the world society of rival pro- and anti-LGBT networks influence the expansion and contraction of LGBT rights from 1990-2018? Global LGBT norms can spur defiance and backlash – not just compliance. Indeed, illiberal actors simultaneously co-opt and subvert the mechanisms built by the liberal world society to advance illiberal outcomes. 



Thursday July 30:

a conversation withTarek Zeidan (Executive Director, Helem, Beirut)

Millions in the Shadows: Prospects for LGBTQ people in the Arab world.

Tarek Zeidan heads Helem, based in Beirut, Lebanon, the oldest and largest LGBT rights organization in the Arab world.

Thursday August 6:

Sean Howell (LGBT Foundation)

Identifying and Reaching the Hidden $1 Trillion LGBTQ+ Economy 

Sean Howell is the CEO of LGBT Foundation and a Co-Founder of the social network, Hornet. 

Their study with Kantar Consulting, found a Q+ community with more than 15 million members in the US who “list their orientation as ‘heterosexual,’ but—in terms of sexual attraction, behavior, and personally held identity—they live outside of strict heteronormative confines.” That 6% of the American population combines with the 17 million members (7%) of the LGBT community. 


Thursday August 13:

Russell Robinson (UC Berkeley)

Marriage and Meaning-making after Obergefell

Some scholars and activists argued that the institution of marriage is inherently heteronormative and that legalizing same-sex marriage would minimally benefit or even harm the most marginalized members of the community, particularly Black people. Others saw marriage equality as a gateway to unlock a broader array of social and political rights. Robinson et al surveyed the views of LGBTQ people in three US cities. 

Russell K. Robinson is the Walter Perry Johnson Professor of Law & Faculty Director, Center on Race, Sexuality & Culture at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Thursday August 27: 

a conversation with Paisley Currah (Brooklyn College, New York)

Trans Politics, Trans Scholarship.

Paisley Currah is professor of political science at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a founding co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly.

Thursday September 10: 

Christopher Pepin-Neff (University of Sydney)

The Construction of Social Capital in LGBTQ Communities

(with Alexander Webb)

What we can learn about LGBTQ social capital by reviewing the opening and closing of LGBTQ organizations and businesses between 2008-2019. We analyze the changing landscape of LGBTQ bars, non-profits, sex clubs, podcasts and newspapers. 


Thursday September 17: 

Andrew Proctor (University of Minnesota)

The politics of sexuality in the US party system from 1980 to 2012.

Proctor finds that Democratic delegates routinely gave lower ratings to gay men and lesbians than to other constituency groups that comprise the Democratic coalition. Gay men and lesbians mobilized into the Democratic Party without strong support from labor but with support from women's groups and racial justice organizations. Institutional barriers and systemic inequalities complicate the process of representation and inclusion in the party system for the members of disadvantaged political constituencies.

Thursday September 24: 

a conversation with Sean Meloy (Victory Fund)

LGBTQ candidates 2020: State of Play.

There are more competitive out queer candidates running for congress, statewide and local positions than ever before. Sean Meloy, Senior Political Director at the Victory Fund, takes us through their prospects.

Thursday October 1: 

Brian Harrison (Minnesota) and Melissa Michelson (Menlo)

Transforming Prejudice

What tactics are effective in changing public opinion regarding transgender people?  Individuals need to feel confident in their own identity before they can embrace a stigmatized group like transgender people, and that support of members of an outgroup can be encouraged by affirming the self-esteem of those targeted for attitude change. 

Thursday October 8:

Jack Bailey (Manchester University)

Voting in the UK at the Intersections of Sexuality and Gender

Drawing on the largest panel of sexual minority voters ever assembled in the UK, Bailey et al find that sexual identity effects on voting are more than twice as large for women than for men.

Thursday October 15:

Sam Ritholtz (Oxford University)

Internal LGBTIQ Migration in the United States as Displacement

Sexual and gender minorities migrate from homophobic to ‘safe’ areas in the United States. Cut off from their community and facing discrimination, queer/trans people leave home, but can their displacement be considered a form of forced migration? Using queer epistemology to analyze displacement reveals subtle forms of coercion that catalyze queer/trans migration. 

Thursday October 22:

Dmitrii Tolkachev (Moscow Higher School of Economics)

Being LGBTQ in Russia Today: Law and Society:

Dmitrii Tolkachev is PhD student working on LGBTI Rights in Russia and Europe. His research

focuses on sexual politics, queer theory, policy evaluation, anticorruption policy.


Thursday October 29:

a conversation with Andrea Jenkins (Minneapolis City Council)

The World I Live In: The World We Live In.

Andrea Jenkins is Vice-President of the Minneapolis City Council and was the first out African-American trans woman to be elected in the USA.

Thursday November 12: 

Jen Jack Gieseking (University of Kentucky)

A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers


Over the past few decades, rapid gentrification in New York City has led to the disappearance of many lesbian and queer spaces, displacing some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community. In A Queer New York, Jen Jack Gieseking highlights the historic significance of these spaces, mapping the political, economic, and geographic dispossession of an important, thriving community that once called certain New York neighborhoods home.


Thursday November 19: 

Kevin Guyan (EDI Scotland)

Kevin Guyan (EDI Scotland)


Constructing a queer population? Asking about sexual orientation in Scotland’s next census 


For the first time, Scotland’s 2022 census will ask a question about sexual orientation. Guyan shares his engagement with statistical organisations, the Scottish Parliament and campaign groups to present an account of decisions made, the uneasy relationship between ‘queer data’ and state power, and the question of who is counted when we count LGBTQ people. 

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