Percy, William A. III
AKA Bill; William Armstrong Percy, III; William Armstrong Percy Jr., William Armstrong Percy; William A. Percy, Jr; William Percy; Bill Percy; Uncle Bill; Uncle Will; Wee Willie; Bad Billy; Auntie Wilma; and sundry other names unmentionable in polite society.
I am a Southerner; an Episcopal atheist, a former Republican, a capitalist, and landlord. I'm a refugee from the Ku Klux Klan, the Southern Baptists, and other members of the fundamentalist Protestant right. I'm still a gay activist who disapproves of most of the current activists agenda. For many years I was also the senior professor of history and the senior pre-law advisor at UMB. I attended nine universities and taught in nine. I published 6 books, more than a dozen articles, about 100 notes (short articles), and 100 book reviews. From me you will gain a different perspective.
On the politically correct campus of U-Mess/Boston (a.k.a. UMass/Boston), I was diversity itself: a semi-expired white male of the old school. That campus went downhill every year since I came in 1968 and even more since my retirement in 2011. In my retirement, I have founded the William A Percy Foundation named after me and my "Uncle" William Alexander Percy. Calamine Poet and author of the best selling Lanterns on the Levy
Autobiographical essay as published in Princeton University's 1955 at 50
I was immensely relieved in June of 2003 to be reclassified by the U.S. Supreme Court as no longer a felon when homosexuality was decriminalized in this country. In 1973-4, the American Psychological Association, and in 1974-5, the American Psychiatric Society, proclaimed that I was no longer ill or in need of therapy. Thanks to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, I may now marry a male. The Episcopal Church has ordained a practicing homosexual as bishop, a daring move I fervently pray will result in a schism no deeper than that between the High and the Low Church. The Pope, however, as well as the Born Agains, still considers me a sinner. The Massachusetts legislature since 1989 has protected my kind against discrimination in housing, which I don't need because I own 10 condos in Boston's South End.
My freshman advisor at Princeton, Goheen, was running for president and didn't have time for me. I fled at the end of my sophomore year because Dean Godolphin sent me to a shrink, to whom I was devious enough not to confess, fearing, correctly, expulsion. I was denied a junior year in Paris because my sophomore advisor, the eminent Presbyterian, E. Harris Harbison, deemed me "too immature," a Freudian concept for homosexuals. So I fled to the Army, not having been skillful enough to bed more than two fellow students at Princeton, and then only once each. Worse, I hadn't really gotten to know my way around the gay haunts in Manhattan, no doubt because I wore gray flannel to Greenwich Village.
I found the Army more congenial. For a year I was at Fort Ord in the infantry (sleeping with all those handsome butch recruits in the barracks) and then weekending in San Francisco, where no one ever let me buy my own drink. After learning Norwegian at the Army Language School, I was pictured on the front page of the Army Times as the 10,000th graduate. Then the CIA recruited me to interpret French in a spy school on Saipan. J.R. Strayer himself, my favorite history teacher and a classmate of Allen Dulles', opened the door to the CIA, which perhaps was why they took me despite the fact that their lie detector caught me denying my homosexuality.
I graduated from Tennessee in '57, went for a year to Cornell, then to the University of Naples, back to Cornell after Ted Mommsen's suicide, and finally finished my Ph.D. at Princeton, about taxes in medieval Sicily, under Strayer. Next, I taught at the University of New Orleans, the most integrated in the South, which radicalized me, and next at L.S.U., the largest in the South, if you didn't count Texas. I was run out, denounced as a dangerous Communist by the head of the state's Democratic Party because I favored integration and opposed the war. I escaped to St. Louis.
The President of the University of Missouri was greatly relieved to learn that I was at St. Louis rather than Columbia, where he was. After two years, that dump fired me - the low point of my adult life. Then I lucked into a high-paying job at University of Massachusetts, Boston.
By adhering to How to Win Friends and Influence People, a book far superior to the Bible, I quickly became the most popular professor on campus and the Chancellor's best friend. This brought me early tenure and promotion in 1974 despite scant publications - half a book on the Renaissance.
Then I decided to drop my disguise. Heeding my cousin Wallis' quip that one can never be too thin or too rich, I shed 40 pounds on a Mexican sabbatical diet of mangos and huevos tibios with dry toast every other morning. On return I appeared for the first time ever in blue jeans at the faculty club and gave How to Win Friends to a bumptious student. I've never been appointed to significant committee since, although I have steadily attracted a devoted clique of students and have published books about Greek pederasty, Roman marriage ages, as well as co-edited the two-volume Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, and a far-ranging book advocating Outing. I am currently suing UMB for homophobia.
Edited Biographical Sketch In Who's Who
PERCY, WILLIAM ARMSTRONG, III, historian, educator; b. Memphis, 10 Dec. 1933; s. William Armstrong Percy, II, and Anne Minor Dent. Valedictorian, Middlesex School, 1951; Special Program in the Humanities, Princeton U., 1951-1953. U.S. Army, 1953-1956; Norwegian, Army Language School, 1954; French translator, CIA, 1955. BA, U. Tennessee, 1957; certificato, Universita di Napoli, 1960; MA, Cornell U., 1961; AM, 1962, PhD, 1964, Princeton U. Dissertation: "Taxation in the Kingdom of Sicily under Charles of Anjou (1266-1285) and the Vespers," serialized in Italian Quarterly. Teaching asst., Cornell U., 1957-60; asst. prof., U. New Orleans, 1962-64; Louisiana State U., Baton Rouge, 1964-66; assoc. prof., U. Missouri, St. Louis, 1966-1968, U. Massachusetts, Boston, 1968-1973, professor of history, 1973-. Co-author (with Jerah Johnson), The Age of Recovery, the Fifteenth Century, 1970; co-author (with Warren Johannsen), Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence, 1994, "Homosexuals in Nazi Germany," Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual VII, 1990; co-author (with Arnold Lelis and Beert Verstraete), The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome, 2003; author, Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece, 1996; author, "William Alexander Percy: His Homosexuality and Why it Matters," Carryin' On: An Anthology of Southern Lesbian and Gay History, 1997; assoc. editor, Ency. of Homosexuality, 1990; mem., editorial bd., Journal of Homosexuality, 1994-. Active in Civil Rights and Anti-War Movement, Baton Rouge, 1964-66; Act Up, Boston and Washington, D.C., 1990-96. Mem.: Boston Athenæum (proprietor, 1976-), American Hist. Assn. (chair, comm. on Lesbian and Gay history, 1989-91). Episcopalian.
CURRICULUM VITAE OF WILLIAM A. PERCY
Professor of History University of Massachusetts
Valedictorian, Middlesex School, 1951.
Special Program in the Humanities, Princeton University, 1951-53.
Army Leadership School, Fort Ord, California, 1953.
Army Language School (Norwegian), Monterey, California, 1954.
B.A., University of Tennessee, 1957.
Fellow, American Numismatic Society, Summer 1958.
Certificato, University of Naples, 1959.
M.A., Cornell University, 1961.
A.M., Princeton University, 1962.
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1964.
Post-Doctoral, South Central Renaissance Institute, Duke University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Summer 1966.
Seminar on The History of Legal and Political Thought, Columbia University, 1974-76.
Seminar on Homosexualities (CUSH), Columbia University, 1989-1996.
Lesbian and Gay Seminar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989-91.
Seminar on Civilization of Ancient Greece and Rome, Center for Literary and Cultural Studies, Harvard University, 1991-96.
Seminar on Lesbian and Gay Studies, Columbia University, 1998–2002.
Boston Athenaeum, Proprietor, 1977–present.
Instructor, Leadership School, U.S, Army, Ft. Ord, California, 1954.
Interpreter (French), CIA School, Saipan, 1954-55.
Teaching Assistant, Cornell University, 1957–8, 1959–60.
Assistant Professor, University of New Orleans, 1962–64.
Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, 1964–66.
Associate Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1966-68.
Visiting Associate Professor, Washington University, Summer 1967.
Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts–Boston, 1968-73.
Professor, Northeastern University, part-time 1969–81.
Visiting Professor, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Fall 1975.
Visting Instructor, Norfolk Correctional Facility, Walpole, MA, Spring 1978
Instructor, Norfolk State Prison, Spring 1982.
Professor, University of Massachusetts-Boston, 1973–2011.
BOOKS, MONOGRAPHS, AND MANUSCRIPTS
With Jerah Johnson. The Age of Recovery: The Fifteenth Century. New York: Cornell University Press,
1970. pp 157. (The Development of Western Civilization X).
Associate editor with Warren Johansson. Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Ed. Wayne R. Dynes 2 vols. New York: Garland, 1990). pp. 1,484 (double-columned). The Encyclopedia won 6 prizes: The Laud Humphreys Prize; Choice; American Libraries; American Library Association; New York Public Library; Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the American Library Association. Reviewed about thirty times. Sold 2,000 copies.
With Warren Johansson. Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. New York: Haworth Press, 1994. pp. 341. Second Edition, 1994. pp. 374. Reviewed about twenty-five times.
Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece. Champagne/Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996. pp. 260. (Hardback and Paperback). Reviewed about forty times. Sold 3,500 copies.
With Arnold Lelis and Beert Verstraete. The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2003, pp. 146.
Critical Overview, Lincoln, Sex, and Scholars by Lewis Gannet and William A. Percy III, i.e. Preface to C. A. Tripp, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. edited by Lewis Gannet, revised Paperback Edition, New York: Thunder's Mouth Press 2006, pp. XXXVII-L.
My Family and My Life. (in progress this work indicates that many family members were homosexuals and pederasts, usually described as suffering from depression and frequently suicidal)
CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
"Sexual Revolution 600 B.C. to 400 A.D.: The Origins of Institutionalized Pederasty in Greece." Classics. Ed. Wayne R. Dynes. New York: Garland, 1993. pp. 360-375.
With Warren Johansson. "Homosexuality." Handbook of Medieval Sexuality. Ed. James Brundage and Vern L. Bullough. New York: Garland Publishing, 1996. pp. 155-189. Paperback edition, 2000.
"William Alexander Percy (1885-1942); His Homosexuality and Why it Matters." Carryin’ On: An Anthology of Southern Lesbian and Gay History. Ed. John Howard. New York: New York University Press, 1997.
"Warren Johansson" in Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. Ed. Vern Bullough. New York: Harrington Park Press, 2002.
With Lewis Gannett. "Jim Kepner" in Before Stonewall: Activists for Gay and Lesbian Rights in Historical Context. Ed. Vern Bullough. New York: Harrington Park Press, 2002.
"Reconsiderations about Greek Homosexualities" in a special edition of The Journal of Homosexuality 49, nos. 3/4, 2005, pp. 13-61. Reproduced in hardback as "Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West." Eds. Beert C. Verstraete and Vernon Provencal. New York: Haworth Press, 2005.
PRESSES FOR WHICH I HAVE READ MANUSCRIPTS, BOTH ARTICLE AND BOOK LENGTH:
Cornell - Second editions of three volumes of the Development of Western Civilization.
LSU - A manuscript on Medieval geography.
Haworth/Park-Harrington - "Kiddy Porn" and "Empirical, historical, cross-cultural, cross-species discussion".
Harvard-Belknap - Homosexuality and Civilization.
JHS - The Idealization of Pederasty in Archaic Lyric and Elegiac.
Cambria - "Greek Civism".
THe Gay and Lesbian Review.
University of Massachusetts - A translation of The Famous History of the Dispersion Throughout Europe of The Radical Italian Protestants Fleeing The Inquisition.
ARTICLES AND REVIEW ARTICLES
"Debasement and Forced Distribution of Coinage in Medieval Sicily." Italian Quarterly XIX (Winter-Spring, 1976): 63-76.
"The Earliest Revolution Against the Modern State. Direct Taxation in Medieval Sicily and the Vespers." Italian Quarterly XXII (Spring 1981): 69-83.
"The Indirect Taxes of the Medieval Kingdom of Sicily". Italian Quarterly XXII (Summer 1981): 73-85.
"A Reappraisal of the Sicilian Vespers and the Role of Sicily in European History." Italian Quarterly XXII (Fall 1981): 77-96.
"Antisemitism and Homophobia Linked in Discussion of Holocaust Victims Memorial." Gay Community News, Centerfold.(March 8-14, 1987). Reprinted Utne Reader 22 (July-August 1987).
"The Christian sexual revolution: Prelude to gay genocide." Vrije Universiteit/Schorer stichting (Amsterdam: September 1987): 15 oversized pages.
"Greek Pederasty." Gay Community News, Centerfold (November 22-28, 1987).
With Warren Johansson. "Homosexuals in Nazi Germany." Simon Wiesenthal Center Annual VII (1990): 225-263.
With Pedro J. Suarez. "Today's Western and World Civilization College Texts." The History Teacher XVII (August 1984).
"Sexual Revolution 600 B.C.-400 A.D.: The Origins of Institutionalized Pederasty in Greece." The Gay Review (Fall 1990).
With Pedro J. Suarez. "Plus ça change: An Update on Today's Western and World Civilization Texts." The International Journal of Social Education III (Winter 1990-91): 48-71.
"Three Bungled American Outings." Metroline (Sept. 1994).
"Pederasty in the Western Mind." Gay and Lesbian Review VI (Winter/Spring 1999): 16-20.
With Lewis Gannett. "In Memoriam: C. A. Tripp." Journal of Homosexuality 47 (Summer 2004): xxi-xxxii.
With Lewis Gannett. "Lincoln, Sex, and the Scholars" The Gay & Lesbian Review, XIII, 2 (Spring 2006): 18–23.
"The Middle Ages," The American People’s Encyclopedia. 1976.
The following articles can all be found in The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. 2 Vols. (1990). "Alexandria," "Anacreon," "Antisemitism," "Aquinas, St. Thomas," "Aristophanes," "Artemidorus of Daldis," "Boston," "Cambridge and Oxford," "Catullus," "Chrysostom, John," "Cicero," "Clement of Alexandria," "Crete," "Damian, Peter," "Demographic Factors," "Edward II of England," "Epicureanism," "Exiles and Émigrés," "Fascism," "Frederick II of Hohenstaufen," "Freedom, Sexual," "Gnosticism," "Goethe," "Gross Indecency," "Gymnasia," "Hellenistic Monarchies," "Hesiod," "Holocaust," "Homer," "Ibycus," "Inquisition," "Kantorowicz," "Law, Canon," "Law, Feudal and Royal," "Law, Germanic," "Law, Municipal," "Legal Procedure," "Lewdness, Open," "Loitering," "Lucian of Samosata," "Medieval Latin Poetry," "Metastasio," "Montaigne," "Nationalism," "Neoplatonism," "New Orleans," "Nonnus," "Olympic Games," "Patristic Writers," "Petronius," "Philosophy," "Plautus," "Plutarch," "Protestantism," "Public Schools," "Richard II," "Roman Emperors," "Sexual Liberty and the Law," "Sicily," "Solicitation," "Sophocles," "Stoicism," "Suetonius," "Symposia," "Tacitus," "Teleology," "Thebes," "Templars," "Theocritus," "Theognis," "Tibullus," "Vergil," "Zeno of Citium," and other short articles.
"Aldo Ferrabino," "Aimé (Amatus of Monte Cassino)," "Michele Amari," "Gaetano DeSanctis," "Giorgio Falco," "Einhardt," "Ernesto Pontieri," "Guglielmo Ferrero." Great Historians of the Modern Age: An International Dictionary. 1st Ed. 1991.
"Greeks: Sexual Customs of the Ancient Greeks." Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia. 1st Ed. 2 vols. 1994.
"Anjou, Houses of," "Corvée," "Curia Regis," "Demography," "Homosexuality in France," "Irminon, Polyptich of Naples and Sicily," "The Normans in Southern Italy and Sicily," "Sicilian Vespers." Medieval France: An Encyclopedia. 1st Ed. 1995.
"On the Matter of Publications and Reviews." CLGH Newsletter Fall, 1990.
"Bérubé," "Duberman," "Duncan." Gay & Lesbian Literature. 1st Ed. 1994.
"Three Bungled American Outings." Metroline (New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia) September 1994.
"Sentenced to Rape." Scallywag (Great Britain). September 1994.
"Back to Basics." Out! Magazine (New Zealand). October 1994.
"Une bombe à retardement dans les prisons." RG Magazine (Quebec, Canada. March 1995).
"HIV and the Homeless." Network Magazine (New Jersey) (March 1995).
"Plutarch." Gay and Lesbian Literary Heritage. 2nd Ed.
Various articles and reviews for gay periodicals: IN (Boston), Gay Community News (Boston), Bay Windows and Windy City Times (Chicago), 1987-95.
Letters to the editors of the Times Literary Supplement (3), New York Times (3), Boston Globe (5), Commentary, Advocate, Gay Community News, IN, Empathy, Mass Media, Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Times Literary Supplement, Barron’s and other periodicals.
Guest editor for Current College Survey Textbooks in Anthropology, Political Science, and American History, with Intro. by Pedro J. Suarez and me, II, 3 (Winter 1987-88).
Current College Survey Textbooks in Western Civilization and World History, Law and Justice, and Psychology, with Introduction by William A. Percy and Pedro J. Suarez, Winter 1990-91.
Associate Editor, Gay Review, Boston, MA, 1990-91.
Editor, CLGH Newsletter of the AHA, 1990 and 1991.
Reader MSS. for Cornell, UMass., Louisiana State University, Garland Publishing, Jewish Publication Society of America, Park Harrington Press (Haworth), and Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Brace, Harvard University Press and Journal of Hellinistic Studies.
Associate Editor, since 1986, The International Journal of Social Education.
Assistant Editor Journal of Homosexuality, 1992-present.
Consulting Editor, QWR Quarterly (North America's Lesbian and Gay Secular Humanist Newsletter), 1993–1995.
Editorial Board, Journal of Homosexuality, 1993-present.
Book Review Editor of Journal of Homosexuality, Medieval and Classical periods, 1995-2004.
"The Poverty of Historicism." Louisiana History. (April 1965).
"The Use of History." Louisiana History. (April 1965).
"I Registri della Cancelleria Angioina.” American Historical Review 70 (July 1965):1162-1163.
"La diplomazia communale a Perugia.” Speculum 42 (January 1967): 130-132.
"Historical Thinking and The Nature of Historical Thinking." Louisiana History (1969).
"Florence in Transition." Manuscritta I (1969).
"I Registri della Cancelleria Angioina." Speculum 44 (January, 1969): 132-134.
"Caterina Sforza." Speculum 44 (October 1969): 622-623.
"Florence in Transition." Manuscritta II (1970).
"Liber Augustalis." Speculum 48 (April 1973): 402-404.
"Africa and the West." Ralph (January 1976).
"La Politica Napoletana di Urbano VI." Speculum 51 (October 1976): 740-741.
"Early Medieval Italy." Italian Quarterly XXIV (Summer 1983).
"Medieval Italy." Italian Quarterly XXIV (Summer 1983).
"A Medieval Italian Commune: Siena Under the Nine, 1287-1355". Italian Quarterly XXIV (Summer 1983).
With Charley Shively. "Homosexuality: A Research Guide." Gay Community News (1988).
"Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe." CLGH Newsletter (December 1988).
"Un monde méditerranéen: Économie et société en Sicile, 1300-1450." Speculum 65 (January 1990):127.
"Lettera a un tesoriere di Palermo." Speculum 65 (July 1990): 233.
"Rogerii II, Regis Diplomata Latina." Speculum 65 (July 1990): 129.
"Inquisición y represión sexual en Valencia: Historia de los sodomitas (1565-1785)." Journal of the History of Sexuality (July 1990): 151 -160.
"The Mount Vernon Street Warrens." Bay Windows 9 (August 1990).
"Calamus Lovers: Walt Whitman's Working Class Camerados." CLGH Newsletter (Fall 1990).
"Drum Beats: Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers." CLGH Newsletter (Fall 1990).
"A Response from the Editors of The Encyclopedia." Empathy II (Winter 1990-91).
"An Island for Itself." American Historical Review Vol.1-3 (1993):851-852.
“The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me.” IN Magazine (Boston) 10 April 1994.
“Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.” The Boston Phoenix 8 July 1994.
“Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.” Network (New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia) June 1995.
“Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.” RG Magazine (Quebec) July 1995.
"Homophile Studies in Theory and Practice." News Telegraph (Kansas City, St. Louis) 28 Oct. – 10 November 1994.
"Homophile Studies in Theory and Practice." Network ( New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia) April 1995.
"The House of Percy." The Alabama Review (April 1996): 126-128.
"The Literary Percies." The Alabama Review (April 1996): 128-130.
"Queer Spirits: a Gay Men’s Myth Book." Journal of the History of Sexuality 6 (January 1996): 459-461.
"Boston Bohemia." Journal of Homosexuality 33 (1996): 102-105.
"The Normans and Their Historians." Speculum 71 (1996): 507.
"Courtly Desire and Medieval Homophobia." Cross Currents 48 (Winter 1998): 577.
"The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology." American Historical Review 98 (April 1998): 496.
"Piety and Property in Medieval Florence." Italian Quarterly XXXVI (Winter/Spring 1999): 113.
"Siena and the Sienese in the Thirteenth Century." Italian Quarterly XXXVI (Winter/Spring 1999): 114.
"Family Power in Southern Italy." Italian Quarterly (Winter/Spring 1999): 115.
With Jack Garrity. "Forbidden Friendships." Journal of Homosexuality 40 (Academic Edition 2000): 123-127.
"A Freethinker’s Primer of Male Love." Journal of Homosexuality 41 (2001): 177-78.
"Sexual Culture in Ancient Greece." Gay and Lesbian Review (May/June 2001).
"Plato's The Banquet; Alcibiades the Schoolboy." Gay and Lesbian Review (November/December 2001).
"Gay Ideas: Outing and Other Controversies." Journal of Homosexuality (2002).
"Many Roads Traveled.” Gay and Lesbian Review (2002).
"Die Homosexualität des Mannes und des Weibes." Translation by Magnus Hirschfeld. Gay and Lesbian Review (November/December 2002).
"Nationalsozialistischer Terror gegen Homosexuelle." Central European History XXXVII # 1(2005): 322-325.
"Mississippi Sissy." Gay and Lesbian Review (November-December 2007): 31-32.
SCHOLARLY PAPERS AND PUBLIC ADDRESSES
Moderator and Speaker, First Teach-in Against the War in the Deep South, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Spring 1966.
"Social and Economic Developments in Fifteenth Century Europe." South Central Renaissance Conference. Spring 1966.
"Major Trends in Eastern Europe During the Later Middle Ages." Southwestern Social Science Conference. Spring 1966.
"Academic Freedom and Responsibility During the Middle Ages." Missouri Valley Historical Association. Spring 1971.
"Diet and the Renaissance," South Central Renaissance Conference. New Orleans. Spring 1971.
“Prisons and Prisoners, two forums chaired by me at UMB. 1970 and 1971.
"The New Left, Alive and Well or Sick and Dying." Organizer, Moderator, and Panel Member at UMB. 1972.
“When the Kingdom of Sicily made Lombardy and Tuscany look like backward areas: The Normans and the Kingdom of Sicily from 1018 to 1250.” Talk to the Dante Alighieri Society at the Harvard Club, Boston. November 1972.
"Taxation and the Vespers: the First Modern Revolution." Columbia University Tannenbaum Seminars History of Legal and Political Thought. October 1974.
"Il Mezzogiorno nella storia d'Italia." Circulo Litterario Italiano. October 1975.
"Taxation throughout History." University of Massachusetts/Amherst, History Graduate Students. December 1975.
"Overtaxation and the Fall of Rome." University of Massachusetts/Boston, History Graduate Students. March 1976.
Debate with Ed Beard. "Resolved that the Best Presidents Since World War II were Republicans." UMB. 1984.
Debate with Paul Watanabe. "U.S. Policy in El Salvador." UMB. 1986.
"The Christian Sexual Revolution: Prelude to Gay Genocide." International Scientific Conference on Gay and Lesbian Studies. Amsterdam. 25 Dec. 1987.
"Medieval Gay Studies After Boswell." Gay and Lesbian Caucus of AHA. December 1988.
"The Institutionalization of Pederasty in Ancient Greece." Columbia University Seminar on Homosexualities. November 1989.
"Stages in Greek Pederasty." Gay and Lesbian Caucus of AHA. December 1989.
"Pederastic Pedagogy and the Greek Miracle and Homophobia in the Middle Ages." Boston University. February 1990.
"Percy Authors: Uncle Will, Walker, Me and Three Nineteenth Century Female Novelists." "Gay Scholarship and the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality." Southeastern Conference for Lesbians and Gay Men '90. Raleigh, North Carolina. 22-25 March 1990.
"Lesbian and Gay Scholarship and the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality." Lesbian and Gay Student Group. University of Massachusetts/Boston. 26 April 1990.
"The Current State of Gay and Lesbian Scholarship." Public Broadcasting. UMB Radio. 29 May 1990.
"Buchanan and Garfield, Gay Presidents?" Committee of Lesbian and Gay History of the AHA. 28 December 1990.
"Suppressio Veri What Classical Scholars Have Not Said About Greek Pederasty." Fifth Annual Lesbian and Gay Conference. Rutgers University. 1November 1991.
"Democratic and Republican Perspectives on the Issues of Interest for Lesbian and Gays" Hosted Steve Grossman, Chair of the State Democratic Party, and Alamn Saffron, Director for the State Republican Committee, Sponsored by the McCormack Institute of UMB, 18 March 1992.
“Homosexuality as a Pseudo-Problem” (with Warren Johansson). Harvard Medical School Symposium on Homosexuality. 6 March 1993. Distributed at the symposium and later reprinted by IN.
"Gays in the Military." Yale University. 2 April 1993.
Book tour for Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence. Appearances at: Borders Bookshop, 1727 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, March 14, 1994; B. Dalton, 8th Street at 6th Avenue, New York, NY, March 15, 1994; Lambda Rising, 1625 Connecticut Ave., Washington, DC, March 16, 1994; Lambda Rising, 241 West Chase St., Baltimore, MD, March 20, 1994; Glad Day Bookstore, 673 Boylston St., Boston, MA, April 10, 1994.
"Southern Authors, Southern Religious Issues and Gay and Lesbian Life." University of Alabama. 11 October 1994.
"Southern Religious Issues and Gay and Lesbian Life." Mississippi State University. 12 October 1994. “Homosexuality and Alcoholism among Southern Writers." University of Southern Mississippi. 13 October 1994.
"Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and the Southern Literary Tradition." Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, New Orleans. 16 October 1994.
"The Client." Chaired a panel at the first International Conference on Prostitution. California State University, Northridge. 15 March 1997.
"The Age of Consent Throughout History." California State University, Northridge, California. 17 March 1997.
"Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece." Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia. 4 April 1997.
"Pederastic Pedagogy in Ancient Greece." California State University, Northridge, California. 6 August 1998.
"Why I am a [Gay] Republican?" John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts, Boston. 20 February 2002.
"The Outing of the Great Emancipator – The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp, assisted by Lewis Garnett." Boston Public Library. Moderator, 15 March 2005.
"Invisibility: Gay Icons in U.S. History." Equality Forum 2005. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 26 April 2005. Panelist, along with Blanche Weisen Cook and Lewis Gannet, moderated by Jonathan D. Katz.
"Gay Men’s History in and around the South End." United South End Settlements and Boston Prime Timers. South End Center for Adult Education in Boston, Massachusetts. 19 October 2005. Panelist.
"Merits of Democracy: Can a Democracy last more than 200 years?" UMB Philosophy Club. 6 April, 2007.
Pre-Law Advisor, 1968-2000, with annual addresses to Pre-Law Society.
Secretary and Member, Planning Committee for UMB, 1968–70.
Head faculty representative for opening the Harbor Campus.
Chairman of the UMB Graduate Council, 1972–73.
First teacher in the UMB night school, 1973.
Original Planner for the History M.A. Program at UMB (1975).
Secretary of the UMB Faculties, 1973–77.
University of Massachusetts Press Committee, 1975-77-first member from UMB.
Visits to Massachusetts correctional institutions almost annually with my pre-law class.
Public lectures almost yearly at UMB on topics from prison reform, presidential effectiveness and foreign policy, the New Left, law schools, to Gay History and why I became and quit being a Republican.
Occasional Advisor and Judge for the UMB Debating Society.
Chair, Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, American Historical Association, 1989-91.
Unofficial advisor to the UMB Administration and member of various Committees concerned with equal rights for lesbians and gays, 1988–present.
Faculty Senate of the Colleges of Arts and Science and University Assembly at UMB, passim. most recently 1991 and 1995.
Faculty advisor, College Republican Club, 1993–2003.
Nominated Martin Duberman for honorary degree at UMB, 1992–93.
Faculty advisor, College Gay and Lesbian Group, 1993–94.
Nominated Gore Vidal for honorary degree at UMB, 1993–94.
Undergraduate Majors Committee at UMB and various other department committees, passim.
Member of Columbia University Interfaculty Seminar on Gay and Lesbian Studies, 1994–95.
History Promotions Committee at UMB, member since 1975 and often chair.
History Personnel Committee at UMB, member and chair several times since 1973-1974 and most recently 2000–2001 and 2002–2003.
History Department Executive Committee, member and chair several times, most recently 1996-97, 2000-2001, 2003–2004.
Member, Advisory Board, International Journal of Social Education, 1990––present.
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Homosexuality, 1994-present
Nominated Vern Bullough for the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction (1998).
Founded and endowed the Percy Prize (2000), an annual award for the UMB student who has done the best research about the most effective activism for lesbian and gay rights—cancelled in 2003 when university refused to announce it or its winner properly.
Chair, History Personnel Committee at UMB, once before 1975 and again in 2000-2001, 2002-2003.
Member, Campus Life Resource Team at UMB, 2001-2002.
Member, Advising Committee at UMB, 2002. (It met only once and accomplished nothing).
Member, Graduate History Committee at UMB, several times.
Hundreds of hours fighting for equal rights for gays and lesbians at UMB.
SELECTED REVIEWS OF AND PRIZES FOR HIS BOOKS
Reviews of Encyclopedia of Homosexuality: Library Journal (15 April 1991), Gay and Lesbian Task Force (Spring / Summer 1991), New York Public Library (1991), California Academy of Sciences (1991), American Libraries (February 1991), Choice (1991), Institute for the Study of Human Resources (1991), Journal of Homosexuality (1992), plus 20 to 30 more in gay and lesbian newspapers.
Reviews of Outing: Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence: Gay Chicago Magazine 6 October 1994; Committee on Gay and Lesbian History Newsletter (United States - national); Mom Guess What? (newspaper); Choice (American Library Association - national), August 1994; Homosexual Information Center (national); Metroline (New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia).
Reviews of Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece: Lambda Rising (1996), Review of New Books (Spring, 1997), American Historical Review 102 (October 1997), Journal of History of Sex 8(October 1997), The Historian 60 (Summer 1998), Journal of the Royal Anthropological, Institution 13, The International History Review 19 by Paul Cartledge (November 1997), Hermes by Sir Kenneth Dover (1998), Classical Views (1998), Journal of Homosexuality 37 (May 1999).
Review of "Roman funeral commemoration and the age at first marriage" by Walter Scheidel, Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics: Stanford University (November, 2005).
ARTICLES ABOUT HIM OR HIS WORK
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), March 26, 1993. (Front page story with picture).
Windy City Times (Chicago), April 8, 1993.
IN (Boston), April 12, 1993. (Front page story with picture).
Boston Globe, April 13, 1993. (Front page story with picture).
The Guide (Boston), May 1993.
New York Post, December 17, 1993.
Metroline, September, 1994.
Bay Windows (Boston), (A.P.)."UMass-Boston professor stirs up controversy with unorthodox views on history, ancient pederasty." November 30, 2000.
Boston Magazine, 2001.
Esquire Magazine, December 2001.
Philadelphia Daily News, "Gay Abe". (Front page story), 26 April 2005.
The Mass Media, "Military Recruiters Should be Welcome On Campus," 29 October 2005.
INTERVIEWS AND APPEARANCES ON RADIO TALK SHOWS
Station WMSX (Boston), October 1993, Mindy Jackson Show.
Station WHDH (Boston), December 17, 1993, Howie Carr Show.
Canadian Broadcasting , February 7, 1994.
Cleveland, Ohio, February 7, 1994, The Buck Harris Show.
New England Talk Radio (Boston), February 9, 1994, The Upton Bell Show.
New York Talk Radio (New York), February 13, 1994.
Canadian Broadcasting, February 23, 1994.
WBAI Radio Show, February 27, 1994.
Irish Broadcasting, March 7, 1994, and South Africa Radio.
Station WMSX (Boston), June 9, 1994, Mindy Jackson Show.
Philadelphia, Spring 2005.
William A Percy's PMYR January 2008
(Periodic, multi-year post-tenure review)
Teaching Since 2001 I have taken over the Greek and Roman History classes. Because I had taught neither for thirty years, although I have published and am publishing in both fields, I nevertheless had to do a massive review of both to bring myself up to date with myriad facets and new theories to attract majors in classics as well as in history. In 2004-5 I also had to prepare for the long-neglected field “Renaissance and Reformation” course, which I had also not taught for thirty years and then as a two rather than as a one semester course and my book on it came out 35 years ago. With considerable flexibility and dedication, I’m trying to help the University maintain essential courses.
In 2005 I retooled the “Medieval Mind,” previously an undergraduate course, into a graduate one, and in 2006 I started a graduate course, not ever taught before “Topics in European History” aimed at high school teachers focusing on strengths and weaknesses of American and Western Civilization textbooks. In two lengthy articles I’d previously criticized such texts and edited a special edition of the International Journal of Social Studies in which I had my colleague Michael Chesson critique all of the American history texts. Finally, I have completely revised all my syllabi so that my students have alternative on-line readings (most now on my website) and can avoid purchasing expensive texts which often cost more than a $100 per course. I’ve also sat on the boards of several honors and masters’ theses and even directed a few.
I’ve revamped the syllabi of all of my regular courses so that students can find the material online. The written feedback from students of my classes over this period has consistently shown outstandingly high evaluations – a fact neither noted in Departmental reviews nor reflected in personnel committee evaluations. Of all the professors in the Department, I, though the oldest, prepared more new courses than any other did during this seven year period.
In 2007 a former student, by the name of Nash established a million-dollar endowment for undergraduate scholarship awards and support of guest lecturers in the Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri-St. Louis; “the William Percy and William Nash History Endowment Fund” in recognition of the value of my dedication to life-long learning and the inspiration my teaching has had on students over the years.
Research and Scholarship Over my long career I have published an extensive array of books, articles, scholarly notes and book reviews dealing with histories and cultures ranging from Ancient Greece to contemporary US Southern culture. Over the last seven years I believe that my publications have been cited more than those of any of my colleagues in the history department. Recently, the leading expert on Roman demography, Walter Scheidel, at Stanford University, conceded my point that his support of other distinguished scholars’ extrapolations from epigraphical data on Roman marriages was indeed erroneous (see the Princeton Stanford working paper in Classics website): The Age of Marriage in Ancient Rome (2003).
In my PMYR in 2001, I also referred to two other forthcoming works. First, two chapters in Before Stonewall: Pioneers of the Gay Rights Movement (2002), “Warren Johansson” and a second with Lewis Gannett “Jim Kepner.” The introduction acknowledges my role in transferring the editorship but not that in soliciting several crucial contributions for this seminal work that I did. That was an invaluable collection of biographies of significant gay figures active before 1969, all but one of which was written by authors who personally knew the subject.
Then my long article “Reconsiderations about Greek Homosexualities” – in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West was given pride of place because in part because I had conceived that idea of the special double issue of the Journal of Homosexuality. More importantly however is the fact that I asked Bruce Rind to write a footnote to that article of mine. The footnote evolved first into an appendix and then into a lengthy and very important article which was to be placed at the end of the collection. After much controversy it was deleted. Because many considered this censorship The Haworth Press agreed to publish an improved version of that article with critiques about it in a later special edition. I also collaborated with Lewis Gannet on “A Critical Overview, Lincoln, Sex, and Scholars” (2006), and a preface to C. A. Tripp, revised Paperback Edition, The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. edited by Lewis Gannet. I also published significant articles. These include two with Lewis Gannett: “In Memoriam: C. A. Tripp.” Journal of Homosexuality 47 (Summer 2004): xxi-xxxii, and Lincoln, Sex, and the Scholars” The Gay & Lesbian Review, XIII, 2 (Spring 2006): 18–23, and a long, groundbreaking, highly theoretical, essay “An Antebellum Dilemma Uncovered” with Aidan Flax-Clark, already far along about the large importation of slaves into the USA after 1809 as a working paper on my website. As you can see from my curriculum vitae which is online and my website I’ve published numerous other works.
Forthcoming Projects, Articles, Working Papers and Endeavors Many of these pieces are on my website, where I invite critiques from other colleagues along the lines of recommendations and insights given in “Towards Open Access in Ancient Studies,” available as a “Princeton-Stanford Working Papers in Classics (2007.” Some not yet included on it are: - An interdisciplinary project with Richard Yuill entitled “Sex Tourists and Predators: A re-appraisal of the role of the family, gender and government in contemporary global culture.” - With Dr Bruce Rind on a complex statistical rebuttal of Walter Scheidel’s latest. - With Aidan Flax-Clarke an essay on erotic Greek vessels. - An essay questioning the accepted text of Sappho and the Anacreontea.
Creative and Professional Activity Website: Activism and Academic Enquiry I run a website which receives a monthly average of around 200,000 hits, and between June 2006-August 2007 was visited over two million times (see http://www.williamapercy.com/wiki/index.php/Start_Page). This not only provides students with access to course materials, it provides readily accessible texts and bibliographies for anyone (students and academics alike) to research further the historical periods and cultures referred to, especially gay studies. I have put up many reprints – in short a sort of an online journal and publishing house.
Despite experiencing decades of discrimination at UMB, I have continued to fight for gay and lesbian rights on and off campus. Through attending and speaking at conferences, liaising with international academics and campaigners I have helped elevate both the profile of gay and lesbian issues and tried to improve our University’s role (sad as it’s been concerning homosexuals with only one course on the subject) in striving towards equality and diversity. Thus I think I have met the UMB Mission Statement criteria for excellence in social and public policy issues, public services, and in technological innovation. My site also facilitates work on Outreach Programs for minority communities and the wider society.
With Lewis Gannett I have written three screenplays about my family and its colorful history: “Young Will Percy,” “William A. Percy: The Middle Years,” both on my website, and a third, “W. A. P. The Later Years” which cannot yet be made public but is out for consideration. Selections from my memoirs of my family and my life to-date are accessible to anyone on my website. These detail many events and personal trials and tribulations of a gay Southerner throughout the last half century of upheaval in US social and political history and at UMB. I’m continuing to work on my memoirs. I will be putting up more of them on there.
Service: University I have worked at the History Department of UMB for 40 years now but never been appointed to a Committee outside the Department since I came out as gay in 1974. I advised the Pre-Law Society for over thirty-five years and served on the College Senate. I have served every year on several history departmental committees and chaired the History Personnel Committee in 2000-2001 and 2002-2003. I wrote numerous recommendations for students applying to law school and graduate school. I attended the orientation session in the Campus Center for incoming freshmen in Autumn 2004.
Outside I am on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Homosexuality, and was for several years its Book Review Editor for Ancient and Medieval History, and an Advisory Board member for the International Journal of Social Education. As a civilian member of Massachusetts Bar of Overseers, I was appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court to panels to hear appeals on three separate complaints against attorneys for malpractice. The third case was particularly complex because it involved four plaintiffs, three against two lawyers and an extra plaintiff against one of the two. I not only read the evidence but also a complex set of directives and a text about legal ethics and another on contracts to prepare me for the trials in each of which I and two lawyers were to act as judge and jury.
Conclusion In summary, my career development from 2001-2008 shows a dynamic and innovative attitude to pedagogical, technological and cultural challenges. Rather than stagnating, I have striven to extend my writings and teaching skills, and promote the University and the history department’s standing amongst US and International academics. I have been able to help develop all five areas cited by the “Vision Statement of UMB”: excellent teaching; innovative and flexible programming; recognizing the individual needs of students through offering a diverse and open approach; advancing inter-disciplinary intellectual enquiry; and finally, offering critical teaching which promotes an enhanced understanding of the interdependence of the university, nation-state, and global culture.
Retrospectively and ironically, I realized that during the past seven years, the most innovative and intellectually stimulating work that I have done is in American Studies – a field as far from my original one in Medieval European History as one can go. I sort of stumbled into this with my work on American bisexual presidents, on my notorious but distinguished family and on the American gay rights movement, especially its pioneers. This has resulted in publications, on and offline and in speeches about Lincoln at the Equality Forum in Philadelphia and at UMB on Uncle Will and Rising Tide sponsored by the Monroe Trotter Institute for African American Studies.
The Middlesex School Yearbook 1951
Pages 1-18 (as pdf)
Pages 19-30 (as pdf)
Pages 31-44 (as pdf)
Pages 45-56 (as pdf)
Pages 57-68 (as pdf)
Pages 69-80 (as pdf)
Pages 81-92 (as pdf)
Pages 93-112 (as pdf)
Pages 113-128 (as pdf)
Historical personal documents
Letter from Anne Percy
Army Language School Diploma
Army Language School Class Ranking
Army Tax Receipt
Army Language School Test Scores
Letter to parents and article
Gooch Foundation scholarship application parent statement
Gooch Foundation scholarship application
Selective Service Departure Form
Article in the Delta Democrat Times dated 1-4-1952
Letter from L. Caroline Percy dated 3-23-1955