Eric Gonzaba, a PhD student in the history program, was recently awarded a 2017-18 Predoctoral Fellowship for Excellence through Diversity at the University of Pennsylvania. The prestigious award is designed to provide mentorship and access to Penn’s resources for doctoral students in the humanities or social sciences, enrolled at universities other than Penn, as they complete their dissertations.
Gonzaba’s dissertation, tentatively titled “Because the Night: Nightlife and Remaking the Gay Male World, 1970-1990,” examines the politics of discrimination and violence at gay nightlife establishments in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Far from being safe spaces, Gonzaba’s dissertation argues that sites of gay nightlife divided gay communities along racial, sexual, and class lines.
While at Penn, Gonzaba will work with Dr. Kathy Peiss, a leading historian in modern American culture and sexuality.
Gonzaba is the second student from George Mason to win the fellowship. Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe previously won the fellowship for work on her dissertation, "They Need You! Disability, Visual Culture, and the Poster Child, 1945-1980." Sharpe received her PhD from George Mason in 2016.
March 28, 2017