Dr. Mary Robertson, who received their PhD in sociology at CU Boulder in 2014, returned to campus on Wednesday, April 3rd as an invited lecturer in the Honors Program Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Robertson is an assistant professor of sociology at California State University San Marcos, specializing in feminist and queer theories, qualitative methods, sex, gender, race and sexuality studies.
Her talk was based on her recent book Growing Up Queer: Kids and the Remaking of LGBTQ Identity (NYU Press 2018), an ethnography of an LGBTQ youth drop-in center which examines how young people embody, express, and embrace queerness. By focusing on the voices and stories of youths themselves, she illustrates how young people understand their sexual and gender identities, their interest in queer media, and the role family plays in their lives. "Moving beyond an oversimplified examination of teenage sexuality, Robertson’s work illuminates the exciting yet complicated terrain of queer adolescence." The event was held at the British & Irish Studies Room in Norlin Library, and co-sponsored by the Department of Women and Gender Studies.
Dr. Robertson also spoke with students in the Introduction to LGBTQ Studies course, taught by Dr. Emmanuel David. She discussed her personal journey into academia, from her undergraduate work in women's studies at Metro State University, to the encouragement that led her to a PhD program at CU Boulder. The students, who had read Growing Up Queer for their class, were prepared with many thoughtful questions for Dr. Robertson, who was both engaging and captivating in her responses.