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Laura Stamm

Laura Stamm
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

While I am a media studies scholar by training, I am also a cultural historian concerned with film and media’s productions of identity and personhood at the level of the local and the global. In an effort to understand how we define ourselves in relation to one another and how we articulate projects of care, my research seeks to make visible histories and lives that have been effaced by dominant history. My dissertation project investigates the discourses of health, loss, and personal narrative that consolidated during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. By looking to queer activists’ and artists’ responses to the pandemic, I examine how media artists portraying the life stories of queer individuals were able to engage with cultural stigmas surrounding queer bodies to counter conservative attacks on queer life. I am currently working on projects on the history of queer film festivals and trans-produced media.

Teaching Interests

• WGSS 100: Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
• WGSS 200: Introduction to Feminist Theories
• WGSS 206: Perspectives in Queer Theory
• WGSS 406: Queer Theories and Sexual Politics

Research and Creative Activities

• Queer media studies
• Feminist theories and methodologies
• History of sexuality
• LGBTQ community activism
• Critical race theory
• Media spectatorship and reception studies


• Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh (Film and Media Studies, Ph.D. Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies)
• B.A., Grinnell College (Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies)

Published Research

• “Becoming the Virus: Queer Art that Infects.” Spectator. Special issue on Contagion, April 2019.
• “Delphinium’s Portrait of Queer History: Rethinking Derek Jarman’s Legacy.” Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media 16. Special issue on Queer Media Temporalities. Winter 2018.
• Review of American Independent Cinema: Rites of Passage and the Crisis Image, by Anna Backman Rogers. New Review of Film and Television 15.2. Spring 2017.
• Review of Girls Will Be Boys: Cross-Dressed Women, Lesbians, and American Cinema, by Laura Horak. Feminist Media Studies. August 2016.