Date of Award

Fall 2013

Document Type


Terms of Use

© 2013 Ali Roseberry-Polier. All rights reserved. This work is freely available courtesy of the author. It may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

First Advisor

Bruce Dorsey

Second Advisor

Farid Azfar


This paper studies gay and lesbian organizing at Swarthmore as part of national trends of neoliberalism, multiculturalism, and queer politics in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Students in this period achieved numerous concrete gains and institutional resources, particularly the establishment of an annual gay and lesbian studies conference and the Intercultural Center. In the process, they entered into new coalitions with each other, changing the way that students conceptualized identity and engaged with the school. Change was limited due to Swarthmore's corporate priorities and the challenges of achieving cultural transformation, but the process of organizing marked a valuable way of relating to the school and envisioning justice.


Recipient of the Robert S. DuPlessis Prize, awarded in 2014.