Susan Stryker is an award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s. She is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of numerous books and anthologies, including Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (1996), Queer Pulp: Perverse Passions in the Golden Age of the Paperback (2000), The Transgender Studies Reader, volumes 1 and 2 (2006 and 2013), and Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2nd ed., 2017). She won an Emmy Award for her documentary film, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005), and she has also received a Lambda Literary Award, the Ruth Benedict Book Prize, the Monette-Horowitz Prize for LGBTQ activism, the Transgender Law Center’s Community Vanguard Award, and two career achievement awards in LGBTQ studies: the David Kessler Award from the City University of New York’s Center for LGBT Studies in 2008 and Yale University’s Brudner Memorial Prize in 2015. She served as executive director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco from 1999 to 2003 and as director of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona from 2011 to 2016, where she is currently an associate professor of gender and women’s studies and the coordinator of the university’s Transgender Studies Initiative. In addition to serving as founding coeditor of the academic journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, she is currently developing several media projects as well as a book project, "What Transpires Now," about the uses of transgender history for the present.
This lecture traces the history of cross-gender performance at the Bohemian Grove, the annual summer encampment of San Francisco's elite, all-male Bohemian Club, from the 1870s to the 1920s. It suggests that the club performances were closely linked to how the men enacting and witnessing them imagined their roles in the US Pacific Empire, inculcating in them, on the one hand, a sense of comic distance from particular colonized others, while on the other hand producing a sense of white, heteronormative masculinity that entitled them to the lands they occupied.