Kristyn Scorsone (they/them) is a PhD candidate in the American Studies program at Rutgers University-Newark where they study LGBTQ+ history, African American women’s history, urban history, and public history. They conduct interviews and are the volunteer manager for the Queer Newark Oral History Project, a community-directed initiative to capture the life stories of LGBTQ+ people in and of Newark, NJ.
They are a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University-Newark where they have taught the following courses: History of Newark, African American History I, and Oral History: Storytelling as Resistance.
Their forthcoming dissertation, A Way Out of No Way: The Labor and Activism of Black Queer and Transgender Women in Newark, New Jersey, draws extensively on their research with the Queer Newark Oral History Project as they examine Black queer and transgender women’s labor and related activism in Newark from the 1970s to the present. Since joining the project in 2015 they have conducted over two dozen oral histories, given numerous talks, oral history workshops, interviews, and presentations, designed and led Queer Newark walking tours, co-curated the 2017 traveling exhibit, At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project, and produced and hosted the Queer Newark podcast.
Their writing has appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Public Historian, History@Work, Notches, Out History, Out in New Jersey, and Los Angeles Music Blog. They will also have a chapter in the forthcoming anthology: Queer Newark: Stories of Resistance, Love, and Community edited by Dr. Whitney Strub.
Available for research and teaching opportunities, talks, LGBTQ+ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training, public history projects, and consultation, including workshops for K-12 educators on how to use the Queer Newark Oral History Project as an diverse historical resource to meet New Jersey's LGBTQ+ curriculum mandate.
Jennifer Bucalo, Ph.D.
Director of Partnerships
Academic Foundations Center
Rutgers University - Newark
Kristyn has presented for students that are part of the BOLD Women's Leadership Network about creating safe spaces for LGBTQ colleagues and coworkers. As our undergraduate students prepare for graduation and entering the workforce, Kristyn's informative presentation allowed for students to ask questions and learn without judgement. I have heard Kristyn present on various occasions and each time I have learned something new. I have recommended that Kristyn speak in other higher education spaces for staff meetings, but their presentation would serve well for any professional development spaces.
Anne M. Valk, Ph.D.
Director, American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning
Professor, PhD Program
CUNY Graduate Center
In 2021, Kristyn presented to the Urban Listeners, a NYC group of scholars and documentarians. Kristyn’s presentation, based on many years of involvement with the Queer Newark project, thoughtfully blended a discussion of community history with attention to many important methodological issues. I was most impressed by Kristyn’s deep understanding of many facets of public history practice and their apparent commitment to research processes developed through deep collaborations with community members. Students, researchers, and practitioners interested in undertaking community-based oral history and engaged public humanities projects would learn a lot from Kristyn!
Joseph Plaster, Ph.D.
Director, Tabb Center
& Curator in Public Humanities
Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries & Museums
Kristyn gave a fabulously engaging presentation to students enrolled in Queer Oral History, an undergraduate course I taught at Johns Hopkins University. Kristyn presented on the Queer Newark Oral History Project, a community-directed initiative to record the life stories of LGBTQ+ people in and of Newark, NJ, and engaged students in a vibrant conversation about interview methods, historical representation, and public humanities. They were also able to provide insight on creating historical walking tours, multi-media exhibits, and podcasting.
I met Kristyn through their work with the Queer Newark Oral History Project. I was considering a similar project in my class and they delivered an interactive Zoom lecture on the topic of doing queer oral history to my class. Kristyn was an engaging and knowledgeable facilitator who made plenty of room for student curiosity. I saw first-hand that students used Kristyn’s best practices in their oral history interviews. I consider Kristyn one of my teachers in queer oral history methods, and they have remained a generous educator who offers to share skills and insight because they deeply care about this work.