Last year, we profiled the new podcast Sexing History, “a podcast about how the history of sexuality shapes our present” co-written and co-hosted by UT AMS Assistant Professor Dr. Lauren Gutterman, as well as Dr. Gillian Frank, Visiting Fellow at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Religion. After a successful first season, Sexing History has just debuted the first episode of their second season. The episode is entitled “Bandstand and the Closet,” and you can listen to it here.
“Bandstand and the Closet” is an exploration of the immense, and often damaging, narrative power of American Bandstand in shaping popular conceptions of youth culture in the 1950s and ’60s. “The hit television show American Bandstand,” Frank and Gutterman write, “has shaped how we understand the 1950s and early 1960s. For many, American Bandstand still evokes nostalgic images of white youth culture and sexually innocent teenage romance: a world made up of malt shops, juke joints, sock hops and drive-in movie theaters. If we look closer at how Bandstand was staged, and what was hidden from sight or hiding in plain view, we can see how the show’s creators erased blackness and queerness from the show itself and from the official story of youth culture.”