Associate Professor of History and Gender and Women's Studies
curriculum vitae (pdf)
With a joint appointment in the Program in Gender and Women’s Studies and the History Department, Jennifer Brier’s research and teaching are largely focused on exploring the historical intersections of gender, race, and sexuality. Her first book, Infectious Ideas: U.S. Political Response to the AIDS Crisis (University of North Carolina Press, 2009) argued that AIDS provides the perfect lens through which to see the complex social and political history of the 1980s and 1990s. She substantiates this argument by detailing how activists, service providers, philanthropists and the federal government responded to AIDS in the first two decades of the AIDS epidemic. She places the history of a successful yet complex and contentious social movement organized to deal with the AIDS epidemic in conversation with a more traditional political history of how the state dealt with this public health crisis. Finally, she links the local to the global by connecting the development of domestic AIDS policy and activism to global AIDS policy and activism.
She is also the co-curator of an exhibition on LGBT history in Chicago, "Out in Chicago," which opened at the Chicago History Museum in 2011. She also serves on the planning committee for Out at CHM, the gay and lesbian public lecture program run by the Chicago History Museum and the Center on Halsted.