Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication and Rhetorical Studies


Lyndsay Gratch


Performance;Preservation;Public memory;Queer history;Vernacular photography

Subject Categories

Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Abstract This thesis explores the intersections of queer vernacular photography, queer history, and performance as a means of preservation. The artifacts that are analyzed include a selection of vintage, queer, vernacular photographs (VQVPs) that come from three published collections, as well as The Gay Gala, a performance installation that took place on February 13, 2024, at Syracuse University. The Gay Gala offered a gallery style installation with original photographs and recreated photographs, as well as costume pieces and an area for attendees to recreate their own photographs. Anonymous, written feedback was gathered from attendees during the Gala, which is used in the second chapter as part of a critical autoethnographic analysis of the performance. Using performance theory, queer theory, and public memory as a framework, I argue for the importance of performance and recreation as tools to preserve queer history and public memory. Key words: Queer history, public memory, performance, preservation, vernacular photography


Open Access

Included in

Communication Commons



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