Steven is a Canadian social historian, specializing in the history of sexuality. His research, scholarly publications, and contributions to public and community-based history are animated by critical questions concerning the histories and politics of gender and sexuality. He also publishes in the areas of archival theory and Foucault studies. Steven’s teaching focuses on the pedagogical possibilities of "a history of the present." He is the founder and ongoing co-chair of the Canadian Committee on the History of Sexuality, an affiliate of the Canadian Historical Association, and book review editor of the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Steven has been active in the LGBTQ movement for many years and writes frequently on politics, culture, and history for the mainstream and queer community press.
Articles and Book Chapters
- “1969 and All That: Age, Consent, and the Myth of Queer Decriminalization in Canada,” The Abusable Past, digital platform of the Radical History Review (September 2019).
- “Foucault,” The Global Encyclopedia of LGBTQ History, ed. Howard Chiang (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2019).
- “‘A New Way of Lovin’: Queer Toronto Gets Schooled by Jackie Shane,” “Introduction,” and “Six Nights in the Albert Lane, 1917” in Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer, ed. Stephanie Chambers et al. (Toronto: Coach House Books, 2017).
- “To Forgive and Forget? Homonationalism, Hegemony, and History in the Gay Apology,” C4E Journal: Perspectives on Ethics (November 2017), the e-journal of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Toronto, and co-published by Active History.
- “‘The Party with God’: Michel Foucault, the Gay Left, and the Work of Theory,” Cultural History 5, 2 (2016).
- “Police/Archives,” Archivaria 68 (Fall 2009). Reprinted in Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, ed. Patrick Keilty and Rebecca Dean (Sacramento: Litwin Books, 2013).
- “‘Without Working?’: Capitalism, Urban Culture, and Gay History,” special issue on “New Directions in Urban and Labor History,” ed. Joe William Trotter, Jr. and Patricia Cooper, Journal of Urban History 30, 3 (March 2004).
- “‘Hell Witches in Toronto’: Notes on Lesbian Visibility in Early Twentieth-Century Canada,” Left History 9 (Summer 2004).
- “The Maple Leaf (Gardens) Forever: Sex, Canadian Historians and National History,” Journal of Canadian Studies 36 (Summer 2001).
- “‘Respect Your Elders, Know Your Past’: History and the Queer Theorists,” Radical History Review 75 (1999).
- “On the Case of the Case: The Emergence of the Homosexual as a Case History in Early Twentieth-Century Ontario,” in On the Case: Explorations in Social History, ed. Franca Iacovetta and Wendy Mitchinson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998). Reprinted in Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies, ed. Maureen FitzGerald and Scott Rayter (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2012).
- “‘Horrible Temptations’: Sex, Men, and Working-Class Male Youth in Urban Ontario, 1890-1935,” Canadian Historical Review 78 (June 1997). Reprinted in: Crime and Deviance in Canada: Historical Perspectives, ed. Chris McCormick and Len Green (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2005) and Canadian Perspectives in Sexualities Studies: Identities, Experiences, and the Contexts of Change, ed. Diane Naugler (Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2012).
- “Through a Hole in the Lavatory Wall: Homosexual Subcultures, Police Surveillance, and the Dialectics of Discovery, Toronto, 1890-1930,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 5 (October 1994). Reprinted in Gender and History in Canada, ed. Joy Parr and Mark Rosenfeld (Toronto: Copp Clark, 1996).
- Department of History’s “Award for Excellence in Teaching” in 2018
- “Principal’s Teaching Award for Promoting Student Inquiry” in 2016
- Department of History “Award for Excellence in Teaching” in 2011
- The W. Kaye Lamb Prize for the article that most advances archival thinking in Canada, awarded by the Association of Canadian Archivists, June 2010, for “Police/Archives.”
- Prize for best article published by the Canadian Historical Review in 1997 for “‘Horrible Temptations’: Sex, Men, and Working-Class Male Youth in Urban Ontario, 1890-1935.”
- The Audre Lorde Prize for Outstanding Article in North America in 1997, awarded by the American Historical Association’s Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, for “‘Horrible Temptations’: Sex, Men, and Working-Class Male Youth in Urban Ontario, 1890-1935.”
Steven is available to work with graduate students whose research interests are in the history of sexuality and in Canadian social history more broadly.