Kristyn Scorsone

Kristyn Scorsone


k.scorsone [at]

Kristyn Scorsone (they/them) is a PhD candidate in the American Studies program at Rutgers University-Newark where they study LGBTQ+ history, African American women’s history, urban history, and public history. They conduct interviews and are the volunteer manager for the Queer Newark Oral History Project, a community-directed initiative to capture the life stories of LGBTQ+ people in and of Newark, NJ.

Their forthcoming dissertation, A Way Out of No Way: The Labor and Activism of Black Queer and Transgender Women in Newark, New Jersey, draws extensively on their research with the Queer Newark Oral History Project as they examine Black queer and transgender women’s labor and related activism in Newark from the 1970s to the present. Since joining  the project in 2015 they have conducted over two dozen oral histories, given numerous talks, oral history workshops, interviews, and presentations, designed and led Queer Newark walking tours, co-curated the 2017 traveling exhibit, At Home in Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project, and produced and hosted the Queer Newark podcast. 

Their writing has appeared in The Star-Ledger, The Public Historian, History@WorkNotches, Out HistoryOut in New Jersey, and Los Angeles Music Blog. They will also have a chapter in the forthcoming anthology: Queer Newark: Stories of Resistance, Love, and Community edited by Dr. Whitney Strub. 

They are currently working on a research project with Apple’s Research and Strategy team dedicated to cultural moments in which their expertise and point of view will be used to inform how editorial and design teams across Apple Services honor Pride-led narratives globally for Pride 2023. The narrative framework for their research is based on their work as an oral historian with the Queer Newark Oral History Project.

Courses Taught

History of Newark

African American History I

Oral History: Storytelling as Resistance

Introduction to American Studies



2022-2023 Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship

2021-2022 Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship 


2023 National Council of Public History Travel Award

2023 Rutgers University-Newark Graduate School Graduate Student Travel Award

2021-2022 Henry Rutgers Graduate Fellowship

2016 Jan Herman Veenker Award

2015 The Beth Niemi Award for Excellence in Women’s and Gender Studies


“Glitter on Halsey Street: Queer and Trans World-Making in Newark, 1970s-present” in Queer Newark, ed. Whitney Strub (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming 2023). 

Op-ed with Dominique Rocker, “ExternalExternalLGBTQ+ students should see themselves represented in history, too,” The Star-Ledger, August 2022.

ExternalExternalPride Month Q&A,” 94.5 PST, June 22, 2021.

ExternalExternalA call for resources on sexual harassment and gender discrimination in public history,”

History@Work, March 2021.

ExternalExternalQueer Like Us: A Conversation with the Queer Newark Oral History Project,”, June 2020.

ExternalExternalInvisible Pathways: Public History by Queer Black Women in Newark,” The Public Historian, May 2019.

*Listed as among the five “Most-Read Articles” in The Public Historian, October 2020.

ExternalExternalThe Queer Newark Oral History Project,” Get Out!, August 15, 2018.

ExternalExternalBrick City’s Queer Oral History Project Shines Light on Black LGBT Past,” Out in Jersey, April 22, 2017.

ExternalExternalEmerging LGBTQ Scholars Reflect on Dawn of Trump Presidency,”, January 2, 2016.

ExternalExternalDispatch from Fireball in Newark: The Ballroom Scene and Legendary Houses,”, May 12, 2016.

ExternalExternalMaking Art, Resisting Detention,” States of, Humanities Action Lab, 2016.