College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Women's & Gender Studies


Pauli Murray, queer world-making, African American history, black feminist intellectual history, LGBTQ history


In my thesis I follow the qualities in Murray’s life that suggest contrariety and eccentricity. In particular, I trace Murray’s performances in her portraits from the 1930s, which display her racial, gender, and sex reinvention. I illuminate these portraits as markers of Post-Soul Eccentricity to place Murray in a tradition in which her quare performance can be understood and suggest that her offbeat performances were part of her politics invested in Queer World-Making. I locate these ideas in portraits of Pauli Murray’s scrapbook viewed synchronously with her autobiography, Song in A Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage (1987) and biographical sources.