A Conversation with Katie Hemphill, Ph.D.

A Conversation with Katie Hemphill, Ph.D.

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, LGBTQ-RAN hosted a conversation with 2021-22 LGBTQ Religious History Award winner Katie Hemphill, Ph.D. and Gillian Frank, Ph.D.  Hemphill's award-winning paper, "'Pastor Was Trapped:' Queer Scandal and Contestations over Christian Anti-Vice Reforms", explores the disappearance of the Reverend Kenneth G. Murray, who suddenly disappeared from the city and from public life in 1916, just as the anti-vice crusade was reaching its height. Hemphill’s attempts to find out why uncovered a mostly forgotten scandal that erupted after Murray was exposed for engaging in sex with another man at Baltimore’s Central Branch Y.M.C.A. “‘Pastor was Trapped’” explores both Murray’s activism and his downfall, with a focus on how Baltimore iconoclast H.L. Mencken and other critics of anti-vice reformers used the allegations of Murray’s homosexuality to undermine reformist causes. For them, Murray’s apparent queerness seemingly confirmed the sexualized and gendered pathologies of Christian progressives.

Read the press release for more information about Hemphill and her research, and the LGBTQ Religious History Award.

Katie Hemphill, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History and faculty affiliate of the Institute for LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona, where she teaches courses on U.S. history, manhood and masculinity, the history of crime and punishment, and historical methods.

Gillian Frank received his Ph.D. in American Studies from Brown University. He received his undergraduate training at York University in Toronto Canada. Gillian specializes in the overlapping histories of sexuality, gender, race and religion. Currently, he’s a visiting research fellow in the Program in American Studies at the University of Virginia.   He is also co-host of the podcast Sexing History, which explores how the history of sexuality has shaped our present.


Author/editor | Baltimore | Maryland