IHC Pre-Doctoral Fellow: Carly Thomsen

Carly Thomsen a Doctoral Candidate in Feminist Studies. Her dissertation is titled “I’m Just Me”: Queer Critiques of Gay Visibility, Identity, and Community from LGBTQ Women in the Rural Midwest.

This dissertation analyzes representations, discourses, experiences, and identities of queer women in the rural Midwestern U.S. I examine what gay “community,” “identity,” and “visibility” mean for this demographic, arguing against the ideologies of national gay rights organizations, particularly their celebration of identity politics and their calls for gay visibility. I argue for new conceptualizations of the relationships between sexuality and space, and more capacious and less dogmatic approaches to understanding what gay “community,” “identity,” and “visibility” mean for marginalized queer subjects. In doing so, I revise understandings of contemporary queer life, the nature of rural communities, and LGBTQ activist struggles.

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