This summer, Brandeis University will offer a new, “first-in-the-nation” pre-college seminar focusing on queer scholarship and civic engagement, according to the program’s webpage. The six-day offering, Queer Academics & Activism: A Seminar on LGBTQIA+ Histories & Futures, will be held from June 23 to June 28, 2019. High schoolers who attend will pay $1,800 in tuition to reside on campus and participate in events for “a thought-provoking examination of the American queer experience” with their peers.

The difference between Brandeis’ pre-college program and other queer youth educational programs is its focus on “the history of struggles around LGBTQIA+ rights and access to community supports,” per the website.

“While other queer youth programs are adept at providing a focus on identity formation and social development, we believe that LGBTQIA+ youth and their allies need to apply a scholarly lens to better know their histories and consider their futures,” the website continued.

C.J. Pascoe, a member of the QAA advisory board and an associate professor of sociology at the University of Oregon, explained the importance of the program in a March 13 BrandeisNOW article, saying, “We know that young people often do not have the opportunity to learn about queer people, queer history, or queer cultures in traditional high school environments. This program will allow young people to explore these topics, as well as to meet other young people with similar interests.” 

Students who participate will examine case studies, embark on field trips, hear keynote speakers and engage in small-group faculty lectures, among many “other experiential learning opportunities” offered by the program.

Rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are encouraged to apply to the program. Candidates will be chosen according to “demonstrated commitment to and interest in queer issues and academic achievement.”