Katie Batza

Katie Batza
  • Associate Professor

Contact Info

321 Blake Hall


Katie Batza earned her doctorate in United States History from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2011 along with a graduate concentration in Work, Race, Gender, and the Urban World and a graduate certificate in Gender and Women's Studies. Her research explores the intersection of sexuality, health, and politics in the late 20th-century United States. She is currently engaged with several research projects: a book project that explores the experiences of the early AIDS crisis in the Heartland, a walking tour and podcast project on reproductive justice in Boston, and a cross-disciplinay analysis of access to healthcare for gender non-conforming and disabled individuals. Her first book, Before AIDS, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in February 2018 and explores gay health activism in the period before AIDS. She also has published on the history of lesbians and the fertility industry, mapping queer health history, and neoliberalism. She played an active role in the National Park Service’s LGBTQ initiative, contributing a chapter to the National Park Services LGBTQ theme study and co-founding a non-profit, Rainbow Heritage Network, that aids in identifying, preserving, and interpreting historic sites of particular meaning to the LGBTQ communities. She employs a wide array of research methods in her work, including oral history. Her work has been funded by Point Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, a Mellon-Schlesinger fellowship from Harvard University, and numerous internal grants.


Teaching Interests

  • Health
  • Policy
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • History
  • Oral History
  • Social Movements and Activism

Research Interests

  • History of Sexuality
  • U.S. Social movements
  • Health and Medicine
  • Oral History


Katie has served as the Director for Undergraduate Studies and the Director of Graduate Studies for the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. She has also been the co-chair of the University Sexuality and Gender Diversity Faculty and Staff Council.

Selected Publications

AIDS in the Heartland, book manuscript in progress. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend and the American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship.

“Tactical Deployments of Respectability: Religion, Race, and Rights in the United States Heartland early-AIDS Response,” chapter in progress for Feminist and Queer Activism in Britain and the United States in the Long 1980s, ed. Sarah Crook and Charlie Jeffries, SUNY Press, expected publication Spring 2020.

Review essay of Robert W. Fieseler, Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation in Reviews in American History, vol. 47, no. 2, forthcoming.

“Trinity Episcopal Church Historic Site Nomination,” a nomination for the National Register of Historic Sites for the State Historic Preservation Office of Missouri, Spring 2019.

Before AIDS: Gay Health Politics in the 1970s, University of Pennsylvania Press, February 2018.

“National Park Service Theme Study Roundtable Discussion,” forthcoming, GLQ, Issue 25.1, Winter 2019.

“LGBTQ and Health,” invited chapter, in LGBTQ Community and Place, accepted at Berghahn Books (reprint of National Park Service Theme Study).

“Sexual Revolution in the United States,” encyclopedia entry, The Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History, ed. Howard Chiang, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2019, 1483-1486, January 2019. 

“A Clinic Comes Out: Idealism, Pragmatism, and Gay Health Services in Boston, 1971-1985,” invited chapter, The Politics of the Closet in the Age of Reagan: New Perspectives on Sexuality and the American States Since 1970, edited by Jonathan Bell, in press from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

“Sickness and Wellness,” invited chapter, in Routledge History of Queer America, edited by Don Romesberg, Routledge, May 2018, 287-299.

Review essay of Timothy Stewart-Winter, Queer Clout: Chicago and the Rise of Gay Politics and Gregory Woods, Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World, in Reviews in American History, vol. 45, no. 3 (Fall 2017), 526-532.

Book review of Marcia M. Gallo, “No One Helped:” Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy, in the Journal of American Studies, vol. 55, no. 2, (Summer 2016), 97-98.

“Historic Places in LGBTQ Health,” invited chapter, in National Park Service LGBTQ Theme Study, October, 2016, 22.4-22.26.

“From Sperm Runners to Sperm Banks: Lesbians, Assisted Conception, and the Fertility Industry, 1971-1983,” TheJournal of Women’s History, vol. 28, no. 2, (Summer 2016), 82-102.

“Behind the Stud File,” a review of Justin Spring, Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade, in the Newsletter of the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History, Spring 2012.