Yale's LGBT historian George Chauncey moving to ColumbiaHistorians in the News
tags: Yale, George Chauncey, Columbia
Two beloved faculty members — history professor George Chauncey ’77 GRD ’89 and his husband, film studies professor Ronald Gregg — will be leaving Yale for Columbia University at the end of this academic year.
Chauncey, who specializes in 20th century U.S. lesbian and gay history, and Gregg, a professor of American studies and film and media studies who serves as director of film programming at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center, are both on leave this spring. Students and faculty close to Chauncey and Gregg told the News that their joint departure strikes a blow both to Yale’s LGBT studies program and to the professors’ large following of students and colleagues on campus.
“We’re both excited about going to Columbia, but I have to say I’m sad to leave Yale, which has played such a large role in my life from the days I was a student here to my last 11 years on the faculty,” Chauncey said. “The students here have been so amazing to work with.”
The couple, who have been together for two decades and were married in 2014, arrived at Yale in the fall of 2006.
Chauncey said the decision to move was incredibly difficult, but when Columbia expressed interest last year, he and Gregg decided it was their “last best chance” to set their lives in New York City, where they can continue their research on the city’s postwar gay culture and politics and postwar queer avant-garde filmmakers, respectively.
Chauncey added that when he finishes his next book in a few years, he will organize a series of international working groups on various topics within the history of sexuality, and Columbia makes for a good larger collective research base.
Chauncey is the co-director of the Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities and has served as the chair of the History Department, chair of LGBT studies and both director of graduate studies and undergraduate studies for American studies. He won the Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities in 2012, has contributed as a historian to more than 30 gay rights legal cases — including the two same-sex marriage cases the Supreme Court decided in 2013 — and has won numerous awards for his book “Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940.” ...