Prof. Tristan Cabello is the Director of American Studies at American University, DC.

Dr. Tristan Cabello [kuh-BE-loh] is a scholar of African American history. His research focuses on sexuality and popular culture.

His first monograph, Queer Bronzeville: Race, Sexuality and Culture in Black Chicago, 1920-1985, explores the history of black gays and lesbians on Chicago’s South Side from the end of the Great Migration to the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

Tristan published his research in academic and popular venues. His peer-reviewed articles appeared in the academic anthologies Dissent and Plural Identities and Gender and Sexuality. He designed and wrote entries for the Encyclopedia of American Reform Movements, the International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest, and the Encyclopedia of Blacks in European History and Culture. His book reviews appeared in the Committee on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History Newsletter, History: Books in Reviews and the African American Review. He also wrote public history articles for the Windy City Times and the Huffington Post.

Tristan presented his research at national and international meetings of academic organizations [the American Historical Association (AHA), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Collegium for African American Research (CAAR), the Social Science History Association (SSHA) and Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA)], various universities centers [The Center for Race Studies at Rutgers University, the Humanities Center at DePaul University and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York] and public venues (The Center on Halsted and the Gerber/Hart library in Chicago). Tristan’s research was funded by the Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CUNY, New York City) and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tristan is also interested in digital history. Queer Bronzeville: The History of African American Gays and Lesbians on Chicago’s South Side, 1885-1985, his virtual exhibit published by, featured 100 historical documents, 20 entries, a scholarly introduction and a bibliography. The virtual exhibit was profiled in the Windy City Times and the Rod 2.0 blog on African American gay culture. Tristan was awarded a OutHistory fellowship for the quality of his work.

Since 2012, Tristan Cabello teaches in the American Studies Program at American University in Washington, DC, with primary interests in African American Studies, LGBT Studies and Popular Culture Studies. Tristan added new course offerings to the curriculum: “AIDS in America,” “In the Life: Black Queer Culture,” “Global Hip Hop,” “Global Icons,” and “The Global Cultures of Michael Jackson.”

In 2014, Tristan Cabello was appointed Director of the American Studies Program. Since then, Cabello has been in charge of faculty affairs, program marketing, students’ affairs, program evaluation, financial management and supervision of staff for the American Studies program. He supervises a team of ten faculty members. Every semester, the program welcomes 200 students in its various courses.

Prior to American University, Tristan taught at Kalamazoo College (Kalamazoo, Mi), The University of Chicago (Chicago, IL), Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies (Chicago, IL), and Bowdoin College (Brunswick, ME).

Educated in Europe and in the United States, Tristan received a BA and MA in American Studies from the Université Marc Bloch (Strasbourg, France) and a MA and PhD in American History from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL).

Tristan Cabello's Curriculum Vitae is available here in PDF. More information is also available on LinkedIn.

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