John D’Emilio LGBTQ History Dissertation Award

Recognizing the best PhD dissertation in US LBGTQ history.



The John D’Emilio LGBTQ History Dissertation Award is given annually by the Organization of American Historians to the best PhD dissertation in U.S. LGBTQ history. The award is named for John D’Emilio, a pioneer in LGBTQ history.


Dissertations submitted for consideration must be completed during the period July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024 to be eligible for the 2025 D’Emilio Award.

Submission Process

Please send a PDF of your complete dissertation, abstract, and table of contents in one email to all of the D’Emilio committee members. The subject line should be “2025 John D’Emilio LGBTQ History Dissertation Award.”

All material must be received by 11:59 p.m. (PST) on October 1, 2024.

Past Winners


Austin Randall Williams, University of Missouri–Kansas City. “The Ordinance Project: Commemorating Kansas City’s LGBTQ Landmark Legislation” 


Beans Velocci, University of Pennsylvania, “Binary Logic: Race, Expertise, and the Persistence of Uncertainty in American Sex Research” (dissertation completed at Yale University, with advisers Joanne Meyerowitz and Joanna Radin)


Elisabeth Frances George, K-12 educator, curriculum developer, and guidance counselor, “Lesbian and Gay Life in the Queen City and Beyond: Resistance, Space, and Community Mobilization in the Southwest Missouri Ozarks” (dissertation completed at SUNY Buffalo under the direction of Dr. Susan Cahn)


Caroline Radesky, University of Iowa (dissertation competed at the University of Iowa under the direction of Leslie Schwalm), “Feeling Historical: Same-Sex Desire and Historical Imaginaries, 1880–1920”


Scott De Orio, Northwestern University, “Punishing Queer Sexuality in the Age of LGBT Rights” (dissertation completed at the University of Michigan with the direction of advisers Matthew Lassiter [Chair], David Halperin, Gayle Rubin, and William Novak)


Chelsea Del Rio, CUNY–LaGuardia Community College, “‘That Women Could Matter’: Building Lesbian Feminism in California, 1955–1982”


Ian Michael Baldwin, University of Redlands, “Family, Housing, and the Political Geography of Gay Liberation in Los Angeles County, 1960–1986” (University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Adviser: Professor Marcia Gallo)