Mary Foltz, Recipient of ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowship

Mary Foltz received an ACLS Scholars and Society fellowship for 2021-2022 to support a project titled “Expanding and Activating LGBTQ Community Archives in Small Urban Centers.” Foltz will work to expand holdings in the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive and to showcase the value of LGBTQ political history in small urban centers through social media, an exhibition, and academic publications. Through collaboration with the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive, the project explores how LGBTQ activists in eastern Pennsylvania drew upon the strategies of cosmopolitan radicals and diverged from them in order to address the specific challenges of our small urban center, surrounded by conservative rural communities. The project addresses how activists in small urban centers contribute to statewide and national progressive movements while modeling the value of public-facing scholarly work in community archives. The host organization for this project is Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center (Allentown, PA), which developed regional LGBT community archives in 2016 and continues to support archival expansion and exhibition to enhance knowledge of regional history.