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Department of History

Phil Tiemeyer

Phil TiemeyerAssociate Professor

Office: 103 Calvin Hall
Email: tiemeyerp@ksu.edu

My work focuses on how gender and sexuality has interacted with other social forces, such as the legal system, workplace management practices, the labor movement, technological innovation, and the US's growing global influence after World War II. My research has been enhanced by two in-residence fellowships at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

My first book, Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants, examines how flight attendants in the US combated sexism and homophobia through the eight-decade expanse of the career. Focusing on men in this profession deepens understandings of how gender discrimination operates, foregrounds instances of anti-gay workplace discrimination, and highlights how advocacy for disability rights—especially involving workers with HIV/AIDS—has been central to America's civil rights legacy. Plane Queer won the 2015 John Boswell Prize for outstanding book in the field of LGBT history, awarded by the American Historical Association's Committee on LGBT History.

My current book project, Aerial Ambassadors: National Airlines and US Power in the Jet Age, examines the proliferation of air travel during the Cold War, with a particular focus on the global expansion of US carriers and the establishment of new national airlines in the developing world. The project focuses on airlines' influence on foreign relations, examining how civil aviation created new opportunities for contact and negotiation between newly-independent states and the US. Aerial Ambassadors also maintains my first book's focus on gender and sexuality by examining the workforce of these airlines, especially flight attendants, who have been prominent "aerial ambassadors" of their home countries. These workers' gender performance as working women who traveled extensively—and, oftentimes, as gay men or lesbians—offers opportunities to uncover how feminism and LGBT rights became increasingly globalized movements after World War II.

Select Publications

Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.

"Launching a Non-Aligned Airline: JAT Yugoslav Airways between East, West, and South, 1945-1963," Diplomatic History, forthcoming 2017 (pre-released online Dec 2015).

"LGBTQ Issues and U.S. Foreign Relations," Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, forthcoming Fall 2016.

"Technology and Gay Identity: The Case of the Pre-World War II Male Flight Attendant." History and Technology: An International Journal, 27:2, June 2011, 155-182.

"'Male Stewardesses': Male Flight Attendants as a Queer Miscarriage of Justice." Genders, 45, Spring 2007.


Graduate Faculty
Security Studies Teaching Faculty
Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Affiliated Faculty

Courses Taught

HIST 152 History of the United States Since 1877
HIST 531 The United States in the Twentieth Century
HIST 533 Topics in the History of the Americas: Gender and Sexuality
HIST 983 Topics in American History: Gender and Sexuality