All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Andrew McKnight

Advisory Committee Members

Mary Ann Bodine Al-Sharif

Josh Carter

Jenna Lachenaye

Lisa Sharlach

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


LGBTQ history within the US South is rich and diverse though it has remained mostly absent from mainstream and academic narratives around LGBTQ history generally. In recent years, there has been a growing effort to location, preserve, research and make accessible to the community the history of the Queer and Trans South. Despite stereotypes of the South as a hyper-conservative, homophobic, and transphobic region, many public history and community archiving projects have begun on public universities across the South. This qualitative constructivist grounded theory research explored the ways in which LGBTQ public history and community archiving projects on public universities in the South experience university support, engage with their local communities, represent those communities within their collections, and what needs they have as they try to maintain and grow their efforts. From this data the theory Institutionalized Engagement Intentional Representation (IEIR) emerged. IEIR explains how LGBTQ history and archiving projects on public college campuses in the US South are and could be better supported by their universities; how these projects are and could be better engaging with local communities; and factors i 1 which influence identity (race, gender, sexuality; ethnicity, first language, class, and so on) representation within collections. Three theoretical categories emerged from this data: 1) stratified support which breaks down levels of university support into substantive categories of superficial support, intermediate support, and institutional support; 2) community engagement success which factors in networks, climate, gatekeepers, and university support; and 3) community building and representation which explains the cyclical nature of representation within the collections of these projects. These categories help explain how projects simultaneously operate in both the university and community.

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