Visiting Lecturer in Human Rights and Gender and Sexuality Studies
Academic Program Affiliation(s): Gender and Sexuality Studies, Human Rights
Biography:Shay Olmstead (they/them) specializes in the fields of gender and sexuality history; US history with a focus on gender and labor; and Native American history and economic self-determination. A PhD candidate in history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, their dissertation examines transsexuals who brought employment discrimination lawsuits against their employers between 1964 and 1995. They argue that such lawsuits constituted an unexplored type of activism in which a small, often disconnected contingent of transsexual workers attempted to utilize institutions of power—the courts and mass media—to increase the visibility of transsexuality and develop a transsexual group consciousness. They previously taught at UMass Amherst and Montserrat College of Art. Publications include several columns in the Made by History section of the Washington Post including “Visible Activism Is the Key to Protecting Trans People from Bigoted Laws” (April 2022) and “The New Wave of Anti-Trans Legislation Is Based on Very Old Arguments and Ideas” (June 2021). Honors include a New Generation Award, United Association of Labor Educators; and numerous grants and fellowships from UMASS Amherst.
BS, Black Hills State University; MEd, Fitchburg State University; MA, University of Massachusetts Amherst; PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Spring 2023)