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Valerie Korinek

Valerie Korinek 1

Prize for Best article on the history of Sexuality


Valerie Korinek, “‘We’re the girls of the pansy parade’: Historicizing Winnipeg’s Queer Subcultures, 1930s–1970,” Histoire sociale/Social History 45(May 2012).

Blending archival sources and oral histories, Korinek maps Winnipeg’s historically changing queer subcultures over a period of four decades and, in doing so, situates queer subjects as significant players in the history of “a region noted for valorizing nuclear families, faith and farming.” At the same time that Korinek queers the history of the West, she also shifts the existing emphasis in the historiography of sexuality on Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver; Korinek’s research firmly establishes Winnipeg as one of the country’s “queer capitals.” In addition to its empirical and historiographical contributions, the article also represents a significant methodological advance. Drawing on the international literature on queer theory and space while pursuing a rigorous historicization, Korinek eschews a “gay history” in favour of a “queer perspective” that “captures individuals who would not have fit into present-day categories of sexual orientation and affords a more nuanced, accurate portrait of queer life in Winnipeg.” As a bonus, Korinek’s extensive footnotes function as an excellent bibliography and recent snapshot of the field in Canada.