Profile: Timothy Stewart-Winter

Assistant Professor

Department of History, Graduate Program in American Studies, Program in Women's and Gender Studies

Research Interests: Modern U.S. history; sexuality and gender; political, social, urban, African American

Timothy Stewart-Winter (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2009) specializes in political culture and social movements in the United States, and teaches courses on sexuality and gender, race, politics, and urban history. His first book, Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics, is forthcoming from the University of Pennsylvania Press, in the Politics and Culture in Modern America series. Queer Clout argues that gay migration to cities shaped the trajectory of urban liberalism, offering a new analysis of the historical relationship between the black and gay politics in the second half of the twentieth century. Spanning both activism and electoral politics, and the decades before and after Stonewall, Queer Clout traces how lesbians and gay men challenged police raids and entrapment and won protection from being fired for being gay; how the black freedom struggle shaped their understanding of these twin punishments that defined gay life in postwar America; how black-led liberal coalitions, by breaking open urban machines, created the opportunity for gays and lesbians to acquire influence. The urban character of gay politics thus helps explain the movement’s unexpectedly radical roots and its later rapprochement with a regime of urban governance that was both multiracial and neoliberal. 

He has also begun work on a book-length study of the first fifteen years of the AIDS crisis in the U.S., tentatively entitled Sex and Drugs in the AIDS Crisis, which examines the epidemic in the context of black and queer history. Focusing on the particular shades of stigma, shame, and powerlessness attached to the multiple pathways of transmission, on the material context of death and dying, and the racial politics of caregiving and dying, the project uses the methods of urban social history to recast the AIDS crisis as it unfolded on the ground in an era of austerity.

Stewart-Winter graduated with Highest Honors from Swarthmore College in 2001, and has also taught at Yale University. His writing has been published in Gender & History, the Journal of the History of Sexuality, and the Los Angeles Times, and has received the support of the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Jacob K. Javits and James C. Hormel fellowships. He serves on the Governing Board of the Committee on LGBT History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association.


  • Associated Programs

    Affiliate faculty member, Graduate Program in American Studies and Program in Women's and Gender Studies

  • Courses Taught

    Contemporary America 
    Introduction to LGBT Studies
    Urban Sexualities in the Modern US

    Introduction to American Studies
    Race and Sexual Politics in Modern America
    Gender in US Politics and Culture Since 1900
    Sexuality and Sexual Politics 

  • Education

    Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2009
    M.A., University of Chicago, 2003
    B.A., Swarthmore College, 2001

  • Publications

    Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming)

    “Picturing Same-Sex Marriage in the Antebellum United States: The Union of ‘Two Most Excellent Men' in Longstreet's ‘A Sage Conversation'” (coauthored with Simon Stern), Journal of the History of Sexuality 19:2 (May 2010), 197-222

    “Not a Soldier, Not a Slacker: Conscientious Objectors and Male Citizenship in the United States during the Second World War,” Gender & History 19:3 (November 2007), 519-542

  • Awards

    Jacob K. Javits Fellowship

    Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship

    James C. Hormel Fellowship in Lesbian and Gay Studies

  • Expertise

    Modern U.S. history; sexuality and gender; political, social, urban, African American

  • Files