Dr. Eric Gonzaba is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. He received his doctorate in American History from George Mason University in 2019. A specialist in African American history and LGBT culture, he’s currently completing a book on the culture and politics of gay American nightlife since the 1970s.
Beyond his research, Gonzaba strives to find innovative ways to teach and understand our past, especially through digital public history. In 2014, he founded Wearing Gay History, a digital archiving project documenting the history of modern LGBT communities through t-shirts. The project currently includes over 4,000 historical LGBTQ shirts from over twenty archival facilities across the globe and showcases the dynamic history of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trans people across local and national boundaries. In 2016, the National Council on Public History awarded Wearing Gay History its top student prize.
In February 2020, he and Dr. Amanda Regan founded Mapping the Gay Guides, an interface for visualizing the growth of historical American queer spaces between 1965 and 1980. The project is now generously funded via a NEH grant until 2024.
When not working on historical projects, Gonzaba enjoys going to the movies, chowing down on popcorn or Japanese food, poorly playing the piano, reading his favorite authors (Langston Hughes, Nora Ephron, Truman Capote, & Zora Neale Hurston), or attempting to best his friends and family while watching Jeopardy.
And on particularly stressful days, you can find him re-watching his favorite movie that has never failed to cheer him up: The Birdcage.