LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #75: June 3, 2010

This month's news:

  1. Halper Honored with LGBT Religious History Award
  2. New Profiles Track MCC History
  3. Guidelines on Confidential Info in Collections
  4. Other News

1.  Halper Honored with LGBT Religious History Award

Shaun Jacob Halper received the 2009-10 LGBT Religious History Award at LGBT-RAN's annual dinner on Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Halper, who is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Berkeley Department of History, was honored for his paper: "Fashioning a Gay Jewish Identity in Interwar Prague: The Case of Jií Langer (1894-1944)."

In his remarks to LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee members and friends gathered, Halper shared his scholarly concern for finding a place for LGBT Jews in published Jewish history. He related his discovery of the Czech poet and writer Jií Langer while undertaking other research and learning that Langer's collected writings may well be one of the earliest articulations of a gay-Jewish consciousness. You can read the text of Halper's remarks here.

Halper is currently pursuing research for his dissertation in Israel. LGBT-RAN was able to arrange his travel to receive the award in person through the generous support of the Dr. Joel Kushner and the Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation and the .

2.  New Profiles Track MCC History

Frank Zerilli, former LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee member who works on the staff of the Metropolitan Community Church, has made it his goal to get biographical sketches of all members of the MCC Board of Elders and other MCC leaders into LGBT-RAN's Profiles Gallery. Thanks to Frank's diligent work, these 17 MCC leaders have been added to the Profiles Gallery since the last newsletter:

The unique stories of the many leaders of diverse LGBT religious movements will only be preserved for future generations through our efforts today. Consider joining Frank by taking on a project to collect and submit profiles for leaders of your group.

Another addition to the Profiles Gallery was Alfred Lankenau, archbishop of the Orthodox-Catholic Church of America, who died in February, 2010.

3.  Guidelines on Confidential Info in Collections

When preparing organizational records or personal papers to donate to an archive, questions about how to handle information of a confidential nature about other persons may arise. In response to inquiries for guidance on this issue, the Preservation and Outreach Team of the LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee has prepared and released this document: "Guidelines on Restricted Access to Archival Records." Please share this information with groups or individuals that are in the process of preserving their records and papers. Direct any followup questions to:

The Preservation and Outreach Team is also working on updating the comprehensive Guide to Preserving Historical Records that is available on the LGBT-RAN web site.

4.  Other News

Victor Marsh's new book, Mr Isherwood Changes Trains: Christopher Isherwood and the search for the ‘home-self" has been published by Clouds of Magellan in Australia and is available at In this book Marsh interrogates the assumptions and prejudices that have combined to disparage the sincerity of Isherwood’s religious life. He elucidates those features of Vedanta philosophy that enabled Isherwood to integrate the various aspects of his dharma: his vocation as a writer, and a spirituality not based on a repudiation of his sexuality.

The 2007-08 LGBT Religious History Award was given to Dr. Kathryn Lofton for her paper: "Queering Fundamentalism: The Strange Case of John Balcom Shaw (1860-1935)." Lofton's paper has now been published in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. For information on how to access the paper, go here.

Dr. Monique Moultrie, who recently earned a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, is working with LGBT-RAN's Oral History Project this summer interviewing some leaders of Black LGBT religious movements. Watch for more info on this important project.

The LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee decided to move its annual meeting and public gathering to the fall. Its next meeting is scheduled for September 25, 2011, in Berkeley, California.

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