Queer Academics and Activism: A Seminar on LGBTQIA+ Histories and Futures

Queer Academics and Activism Logo

Young people across the country are embracing the opportunity to make change. The powerful history of the related social  movement must anchor their labors.  LGBTQIA+ teens and their allies are particularly engaged in movement building in light of the current political climate. Many, however, are not fully informed about how their work continues that of previous generations of activists. By understanding the history of struggles around LGBTQIA+ rights and access to community supports and using it as a touchpoint, these leaders are better equipped to plot constructive paths forward.  Universities can be invaluable training grounds for teens—members of the LGBTQIA+ community and allies alike—for whom this intellectual framework will ground and inform their work, and extend their creativity, passion, and drive.  

In this spirit, Precollege Programs at Brandeis University is launching a first-in-the-nation academic summer program—Queer Academics & Activism: A Seminar on LGBTQIA+ Histories & Futures.  The seminar adopts the template of Precollege offerings which empower participants to apply lessons learned in the classroom to issues they care deeply about. Relying on research and scholarship, participants will gain insights into queer activism, theories of practice that guide effective engagement, and acquire a language, culminating in a plan for action in their communities. 

What To Expect


Timely and flexible, Queer Academics & Activism will allow high school youth to grapple with issues that are urgent and relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community.  This six-day, residential seminar will offer high school students a thought-provoking examination of the American queer experience.  While other queer youth programs are adept at providing a focus on identity formation and social development, we believe that LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies need to apply a scholarly lens to better know their histories and consider their futures.  

The seminar is designed to create enduring networks along with memorable, lasting friendships.  As with other internationally-recognized Brandeis programs in leadership, the arts, computer science, and medicine, students will benefit from keynote speakers; small-group faculty lectures; case studies; field trips; and other experiential learning opportunities.  We aim to attract a diverse student population of rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors from across the country, and will do so by connecting with high school LGBTQIA+ and ally organizations.  Candidates will be selected by their demonstrated commitment to and interest in queer issues and academic achievement.