“We Are Everywhere!” Rhetorical Significance of Lesbian Archives on Community Building.

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University of Alabama Libraries

During the Gay liberation and feminist movement of the 1970s, lesbians quickly recognized that they were being excluded, erased, and forgotten as they faced sexism from the gay rights movement, and homophobia from the feminist movement. Due to this unique positioning in the public, lesbians relied on one another to maintain and record their existence and memories. This thesis analyzes how lesbians began creating their own personal archives as ways to combat lesbian erasure, fight oppression, and spread community. Specifically, this thesis focuses on the archival collections of Sandi Strong, The Tuscaloosa Lesbian Coalition, and Reverend Marjorie Ragona, and how each of these collections demonstrate rhetorical properties of community building among lesbians at the time, in the archive, and in the future. Each of the women responsible for these collections were heavily active in LGBTQ+ activism in Alabama, making the understanding of their rhetorical strategies and public memory all the more important.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
archival theory, Community, lesbian, Memory, queer, Rhetoric