A Search for our Queer Ancestors in Education: Ella Flagg Young





LGBTQ , queer, historical methods, women educators, Progressive Era


Educators with non-normative sexualities and genders have long existed, but strikingly little historical research has been published that explores their experiences during the Progressive Era in the USA. This was a time when working in schools opened new professional and personal possibilities for a large population of mostly unmarried women. Conducting such research presents many challenges, though, including: 1) difficulties in locating documentation about aspects of educators' lives that they chose not to record, and 2) differences in language that may have been used then versus now to describe such persons. In this article, I describe some of these challenges that I have encountered as I have researched and written a biography of Ella Flagg Young, Chicago's school superintendent from 1909-1915. I argue that Young transgressed bounds of normative sexuality and gender for her time and furthermore, her stories are of continued relevance for people in schools who now identify as LGBTQ+


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How to Cite

Blount, J. (2023). A Search for our Queer Ancestors in Education: Ella Flagg Young. Historia Y Memoria De La Educación, (18), 19–40. https://doi.org/10.5944/hme.18.2023.35622