Eric William Denby

 Eric Denby

Contact Information

309 Gregory Hall
810 S Wright
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801
PhD Student, Graduate Instructor
View CV


I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign with a focus on 20th century LGBT Youth rights. My masters thesis (completed in May of 2015 at Western Michigan University) is titled Fighting for Inclusion: The Origins of Gay Liberation at the University of Michigan. I explore the ways in which a gay and lesbian community sought to create institutional acceptance in the early 1970s.

Prior to pursuing my college education, I held a variety of positions in marketing, communications, public relations, and sales. The majority of my career was spent in the music industry, mainly as an in-house talent buyer for national and regional entertainment.

Research Interests

  • LGBTQ Social and Political Movements
  • Modern U.S. History
  • Women, Gender, & Sexuality
  • US and the World

Research Description

I am currently interested in LGBTQ activism, resistance, and oppression in middle and high school students between 1965 and 1990.


  • Bachelor of Science, History, Central Michigan University
  • Master of Arts, History, Western Michigan University

Distinctions / Awards

  • List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent and Outstanding based on ICES Scores, Fall 2016, Spring 2017


  • History Department Summer Pre-Dissertation Research Travel Grant, University of Illinois, 2017
  • The Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History Travel Grant
  • The Virginia Karnes Archives and Special Collections Trave Grant


  • HIST200: Intro to Historical Int, "A Queer United States"
  • HIST101: History Now, LGBT Civil Rights from the Streets to the Supreme Court
  • HIST203: Reacting to the Past: US Riots, Revolutions, and Revolts
  • HIST171: US History to 1877
  • HIST172: US History Since 1877