Summer Scholars Spotlight

by mlreynolds on July 7, 2022

Megan Reynolds is a rising senior pursuing a double major in History and Music. A member of the Class of 2023, Megan dedicates her time to a variety of campus activities. On top of her regular coursework, Megan plays the bassoon in the Wind Ensemble, is the secretary of the Historical Society, is a member of the Fine Arts Committee, and has been Dr. Rosenthal’s research assistant for the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project since Fall 2019. She knew that she wanted to be a history major since the early years of middle school. At Roanoke College, she has focused her attention on the histories of Imperial Russia and U.S. LGBTQ+ and women’s history. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, reading, making bassoon reeds, and spending time with her family, including various pets. After graduating from Roanoke College, Megan plans to attend graduate school in the Boston area to receive a Master’s Degree in Gender and Women’s Studies.

This summer, Megan is continuing her work with Dr. Rosenthal on the project “The Internal Lesbian Menace: Challenges within the Lesbian Feminist Movement, 1970 to the Present.” Lesbian feminism is a strand of feminism that has been a part of the larger women’s movement since the 1970s. This cultural movement emboldened lesbians to concentrate on constructing comradery between women with a focus on rejecting heteronormativity and men. The way lesbian feminists handled race and gender differences, however, ultimately led to the exclusion of bisexual women, transgender women, and women of color within movement spaces. This project will examine lesbian feminism through the lenses of inclusion and exclusion to show how a movement meant to bring women closer together created a legacy of division within LGBTQ+ communities.

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