The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) recently announced the recipients of their 2022 ACLS scholarships, and among the 60 recipients are two faculty members from UC Santa Cruz. Philip Longo, Continuing Lecturer in the Humanities Division Writing Program, and Caitlin Keliiaa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies at UC Santa Cruz, will both receive awards that allow them to take time off to continue their academic research.
“I’m very grateful,” Longo said. “It’s especially surprising because I thought it was a very long time as a speaker, but I’m really excited to have research support for this project.” Keliiaa shares her colleague’s enthusiasm about this award. “I was thrilled to hear the news,” she said. “I’m very happy to know that it worked and very excited to start this.”
For more than 100 years, the ACLS has supported scholars in the humanities and interpretive social sciences around the world. For 2022, the organization will award more than $3.7 million to 60 fellows chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants.
Longo will use her award to further develop her project “Circles of Sex: The Queer Origins of Sexual Revolution,” which will explore how queer writers and theorists in America helped set the tone for a period of sexual liberation in the 1960s and 1970s. . . Central to Longo’s research is the life and work of Gavin Arthur, an amateur sexologist and astrologer who was the grandson of former US President Chester A. Arthur. During his lifetime, Gavin Arthur created “The Circle of Sex”, a visualization of 12 different sexual orientations.
Longo first discovered this work via a 1965 article written for Playboy by one of Arthur’s friends, Alan Watts. As Longo delved into his story, he was able to follow the evolution of “The Cirle of Sex” through mentions in early publications aimed at gay and lesbian audiences like The scale magazine and through a book Arthur wrote for Pan-Graphic Press, the first gay-owned and operated publishing house in the United States
“When I started following Arthur through this print network, I found he had an extremely fascinating life,” Longo said. “Especially in regard to his relationships with many of the leading sex theorists of the early 20th century through the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.”
As Longo argues, many of these connections between Arthur and the work he did to elucidate his theories in print soon had an impact far beyond LGBTQIA+ communities.
“A printed network emerges where people begin to write, name and come up with different conceptions of identity,” Longo said. “It’s picked up by the mainstream press in the United States. It starts in Playboyand with its success you have magazines like Weather and Newsweek and Ebony and LIFE, all begin to write articles on the “sexual revolution”. And they’re drawing on a lot of the ideas that are being developed in these queer print networks.
For Keliiaa, the ACLS scholarship will allow him to continue working on A Disturbing Domesticity: Native Women and 20th-Century United States Indian Policy in the San Francisco Bay Areahis forthcoming book that looks at the Bay Area Outing Program, an exploitative program that sent Indigenous children living in boarding schools in nearby communities to serve as laborers.
“This program existed from 1918 until about World War II,” Keliiaa said. “This program was specifically for Aboriginal girls, many of whom were between 14 and 19 years old. They have all become domestic helpers thanks to this work programme.
On the surface, this exit program was supposed to help assimilate these young women into supposedly civilized society, but in reality, they were forced into exploitative, and often dangerous, situations.
With this as a starting point, Keliiaa uses her research and her book to follow the threads of the history of domestic work in the American West. This includes a discussion of how communicable diseases may have spread through the Indigenous population due to the biased treatment they received in medical clinics in the early 20th century, as well as the wider community born out of shared experiences. of those of Indians. boarding schools and the Outing program.
“I’m looking at something called the Four Winds Club, which was an organization that actually started with Native domestic workers, and then as the Indian community in the Bay Area grows, it starts to include everybody. “, said Keliiaa. “Ultimately, it became the backbone of the Bay Area Indigenous community as we know it today.”