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Class flyer from Fall 2020 semester at SAIC

Generating Queers: LGBTQ Intergenerational Dialogue

In response to student requests, project co-founders Adam Greteman and Karen Morris created and co-taught a new course in Fall 2020 entitled “Generating Queers” at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Now in its third year, the course offers a hybrid pedagogical experience alternating between class seminars and intergenerational dialogues. Within the seminars, students engage key texts, documentaries, and podcasts that address various LGBTQ+ historical and present circumstances. Paired with this work are intergenerational dialogues that allow students and elders to think through such issues in dialogue with experiences that span decades.

Story-telling has become a focus of our intergenerational dialogues, and we often spend the first hour of each meeting listening to participants talk about their personal experiences with topics and moments important to LGBTQ+ history. Storytelling allows members across generations to learn about and see commonalities and differences in lived experience, bringing to life the scholarship engaged in seminars.

For their final project, students and elders work in small intergenerational groups to create something that embodies their experiences. You can check out projects from past years below.

ReGenerating Queers: LGBTQ+ Intergenerational Art-Making

Launched in Spring 2023, this studio seminar is centered around intergenerational queer artmaking as a form of dialogue. Most class sessions are intergenerational. Students and elders participate in small group discussion and open studio time, conduct research at Gerber/Hart Library and Archives (the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ+ archives), and share a meal at the end of each gathering.

Assigned readings, screenings, and podcast episodes in this class explore 1) a range of LGBTQ+ art and creative production from different decades, mediums, and contexts, and 2) ways that differently-situated scholars, artists, and community members have thought about queer art as a concept, practice, and intra-community conversation.

Over the course of the semester, LGBTQ+ students and older adults collaborate to plan an exhibition open to the public at Center on Halsted, and work in small intergenerational groups to conceive, produce, and install work that engages with wider LGBTQ+ conversations, histories, experiences, and art/creative expression.