Allan Bérubé Prize

Allan Bérubé

Allan Bérubé

The Allan Bérubé Prize recognizes outstanding work in public or community-based lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer history. It is awarded in even-numbered years, covering works from the previous two years.

The Bérubé Prize is underwritten by the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, CA.

Click here to learn more about Allan Bérubé.


CO-WINNERS: Out in Chicago, produced by Chicago History Museum, curated by Jill Thomas Austin and Jennifer Brier, staffed by Jessica Herczeg-Konecny, Emily H. Nordstrom, Daniel Oliver, Anne E. Parsons, Mark Ramirez, and Morgan W. Valenzuela.

The Queer Music Heritage Radio Show and Website, produced and staffed by JD Doyle, Houston, TX.

The Out in Chicago project team’s innovative installation for the Chicago History Museum worked extensively over a three-year period with community members to, as they describe it, “create an exhibition that recasts the city’s LGBT and urban histories thematically.” It was open to the public from May 2011 to March 2012. Out in Chicago is a lively exhibit that centers the experiences of individuals—especially African Americans, Latinos, transgender people, and the leather community—through four sections: family, home, community, and activism. Extensive use of oral history helped the curatorial team to create an impressively inclusive portrayal of the city’s many and varied queer peoples. New uses of archival and other objects, as well as innovative social media sources, also bring the exhibit to new audiences. Out in Chicago not only is one of the first exhibitions of its kind in a mainstream museum, but also showcases the possibilities of collaboration among institutions and community partners.

Queer Music Heritage is a labor of love of JD Doyle, who for over a decade has worked to “preserve and share the music of queer culture.” Doyle produces and hosts an engaging and informative monthly radio show and maintains an innovative user-friendly website that features a full audio archive of the program, transcribed interviews, and a wide range of visual materials. Among the many historical themes explored are the music of the “pansy craze” of the 1920s and 1930s, the Women’s Music Movement, and the music and politics of Queer Nation. Site content, impressive in its volume and scope, is organized to optimize access by researchers and educators. One noteworthy resource is “Queer Music History 101,” an exhaustively researched two-hour audio course covering the history of LGBT music from 1925-1986. Queer Music Heritage exposes diverse audiences to an important theme in LGBT history and encourages new research avenues.

HONORABLE MENTION: Memory Flash, produced by John Q. Collective, staffed by Wesley Chenault, Andy Ditzler, and Joey Orr.

Deriving from Atlanta-based queer archives, Memory Flash was a one-day, temporary art piece and performance that “reactivated” historical sites in Atlanta through oral history, installation, projection, and audience interaction. This “discursive memorial” was also presented though publications, academic conferences, and a museum exhibit, and deserves special recognition for its creative bridging of archive and repertoire and innovative exploration of place, memorial, and queer history.


OutHistoryCo-winner: OutHistory, founded by Jonathan Ned Katz, staffed by Lauren Gutterman, produced by the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City of University of New York Graduate Center, and funded by individual donations and grants from the Arcus Foundation

OutHistory is an extraordinary website that features a wide range of LGBT historical materials and exhibits generated and produced by a diverse and ever-growing collection of students, scholars, and others interested in LGBT history. With impressive accomplishments during its short life and even greater potential for growth in the future, OutHistory is a deserving recipient of the inaugural Bérubé Prize.

Polk Street Oral History ProjectCo-winner: Polk Street Oral History Project, produced by Joey Plaster with the support of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco, the California Council for the Humanities, and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

For different reasons, the Polk Street Oral History Project is equally deserving. Based on a study of a San Francisco neighborhood in transition, this project has consisted of a multimedia exhibit, a radio documentary, an oral history component, and a set of community-based conversations. The well-designed web-based elements provide ample evidence of the project’s sensitive explorations of race, class, gender, and sexuality; its focus on homelessness, poverty, drugs, and AIDS; and its interest in the voices and experiences of LGBT youth, immigrant, transgender, poor, and working-class cultures.