History and Art History
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Eric Nolan Gonzaba

Eric Nolan Gonzaba

Eric Nolan Gonzaba

Twentieth century U.S. history, LGBT culture, African American history, urban nightlife

Eric Gonzaba is currently a PhD candidate in American history at George Mason University. His research interests revolve around the cultural politics of race and gender in late 20th century America, particularly 1970s/1980s African American and queer nightlife. 

Eric is the creator of Wearing Gay History, an award-winning online digital archive and museum which explores the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities through t-shirts. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Rainbow History Project, which collects and preserves LGBT history in metropolitan Washington DC. He also is a regular contributor to OutHistory, a site and blog dedicated to uncovering the queer past. 

Current Research

Eric is currently working on his dissertation, “Because the Night: Nightlife and Remaking the Gay Male World, 1970-2000,” which examines resistance to racial discrimination at gay nightlife in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.

Grants and Fellowships

Student Project Award, National Council on Public History, 2016

McKinnon-Morton Fellowship, 2015

Michael Schoenecke Grant, Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, 2015

Courses Taught

Women in American History

United States History to 1865

History of Western Civilization

Introduction to World History


Masters of Arts, History, George Mason University, 2014

Graduate Certificate, Women and Gender Studies, George Mason University, 2014

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and History, Indiana University, 2012

Recent Presentations

“Carding and the Clubs: Fighting Discrimination at Washington Gay Bars, 1973-1985," 43rd Annual Conference on D.C. History, Washington D.C., November 5, 2016.

“Rainbow Heritage and History: Preserving The Records of DC’s LGBT Communities,” Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Washington D.C., October 15, 2016.

"Gay Activism in Washington During the 1960s and 1970s ," Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington, D.C., June 25, 2016.

"Wearing What You Preach: Making an LGBT Digital Archive," Gay American History @ 40 - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer History: Past, Present, Future, New York, NY, May 6, 2016.

"Defending Dullsville: Madonna, Protest, and Community Identity in the Heartland," Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association National Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2, 2015.

In the Media

"Five More Digital History Projects We Loved in 2015," Slate Magazine, December 21, 2015  

“Exhibit Shares GLBT History Through T-Shirts,” Indiana Daily Student, April 3, 2012