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Texts for facilitating discussion & reflection

Books & Articles, Videos & Film, American Heritage Center Resources, and Websites


Books & articles

  • Memory and Matthew Shepard: Opposing Expressions of Public Memory in Television Movies,
    by John Lynch was published in the Journal of Communication Inquiry , vol. 31, no. 3, 2007.*
    In this article, Lynch compares two different movie narratives of Shepard’s murder, one appearing on NBC and the other on HBO. Lynch analyzes each movie and compares how the two shape public memory of the event differently.

  • The Matthew Shepard Tragedy: Management of a Crisis , by James C. Hurst
    Published in About Campus, July-August 1999.*
    James Hurst was UW’s Vice President for Student Affairs at the time of Shepard’s murder. In this article, Hurst tells the story of how the university community responded and reflects on what the university’s offices and teams learned through facing the crisis.

    * These two readings are likely to be part of a writing assignment in English 1010 at UW, meaning that the article(s) may be read by as many as 950 students in the 2018-19 academic year. The final decision on which article(s) will be used will be made by August 7, 2018.

  • October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard , by Leslea Newman
    A novel written in poetic verse about the author’s response to Matthew Shepard’s story and the impact of his murder on the world. 
  • The Laramie Project (script), Moises Kaufman
    A play by Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project about the reaction to Matthew Shepard’s murder. The play incorporates hundreds of interviews with Laramie residents, news reports, and the theater members’ journal entries. 
  • Losing Matt Shepard , by Beth Loffreda
    A book that explores the significance of Matthew Shepard’s murder on many fronts, including politics of sexuality, America’s history of violence against minorities, and Loffreda’s own observations based on interviews with students, Laramie residents, police, journalists, and politicians. 
  • The Murder of Matthew Shepard , by Jason Marsden                                                   A short article detailing the events leading up to Matthew Shepard’s murder and the efforts to pass a hate crime bill in the subsequent years. 
  • The Legacy of Matthew Shepard , by Jason Marsden An article describing the author’s perspectives (as Matt’s friend and a gay local reporter) on Matthew Shepard’s story and the impact of the murder on advocacy and legislation.
  • What It’s Like to Grow Up Gay in Wyoming After Matthew Shepard’s Murder , by Jess Fahlsing                                                                                                                 An article exploring the author’s reflections about Matthew Shepard on his birthday alongside her experience with the “Live and Let Live Tutu Protest” that occurred in Wyoming in response to comments made by Senator Enzi at a high school in Greybull. Fahlsing reflects on her experience as a gay UW student, native of Rock Springs, and participant in the tutu protest in Laramie. 
  • Jim Osborn’s Angel Action  
    A blog post written by the author about his experience with the first Angel Action staged by UW students during a visit by Reverend Phelps to the UW campus. 
  • What Matthew Shepard Would Tell Us: Gay and Lesbian Issues in Education , by Doug Risner
    Risner, D. (2003a) What Matthew Shepard would tell us: gay and lesbian issues in education, in:H. Shapiro, S. Harden & A. Pennell (Eds) The institution of education (Boston, MA, Pearson).Reprinted in: H. Shapiro (Ed.) (2005) Critical social issues in education: democracy and meaning in a globalizing world (Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).                                                                                                                                   A Chapter in the book Critical Social Issues in American Education that describes Risner’s experiences with teaching university undergraduate curriculum focused on gay and lesbian issues. Risner overviews pedagogical approaches that focus on the roots of hate as well as how students can confront their own backgrounds, beliefs, and communities’ actions. 
  • I’ve Completely Changed: The Transforming Impact of the Matthew Shepard Scholarship, by Nicholas J. Pace
    Link to article
    An article published in the Journal of Advanced Academics that describes the impact of receiving the Matthew Shepard Scholarship (a 4-year, full scholarship) on eight students who were openly gay or lesbian in high school.
  • A President’s Perspective: A complete historical record from former-President Phil Dubois. President of UW during the murder of Matthew Shepard: MATTHEW SHEPARD RESOURCE SITE and YouTube Video
  • Avenging Angels,” with Romaine Patterson                                                                  An interview with Romain Patterson, co-host of the Derek & Romaine show on Sirius Satellite Radio’s gay channel, about her experience organizing the Angel Action protest during Reverend Phelps visit to the UW campus in 1999. 

Videos, Film


American Heritage Center (AHC) Resources

There are many resources available at the American Heritage Center, including our Out West in the Rockies collections. The AHC's LGBT collecting initiative is rooted in the landscape of the Rocky Mountain West, and underscores and illuminates the history and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communities in the greater narrative of American Western History.

The History and Culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans communitites.

Other resources include materials related to the resistance of LGBTQ+ activism and rights, which can be found in our post-1950s Conservatism collections, materials in University department collections, and materials in the President’s Office collections. 

For hands-on classroom learning in the archives, visit the AHC’s website learn more and to schedule a visit  .

Additional information about using the archives.

Here is a selection of some of the LGBTQ+ research resources available at the AHC.




  • The Matthew Shepard Foundation
    Started by Judy and Dennis Shepard, the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s mission is to replace hate with understanding, compassion, and acceptance.  The Foundation provides information about social justice opportunities with events and how to volunteer. The site also has educational resources about The Laramie Project , Matthew Shepard is a Friend of Mine , its own blog, information about hate crimes and reporting, and more.
  • Wyoming Equality 
  • Matthew Shepard Web Archive, 1998-2008 (AHC Collection #300023) This collection documents the impact that Matthew Shepard’s murder had on people around the world, evinced in web pages, blogs, video clips, online memorials, and the websites of several organizations. The 70 websites captured by the web-crawl reflect a broad and in-depth coverage of the Shepard murder, memorials, and efforts that address inequalities based on gender and sexual orientation. These include sites such as the Westboro Baptist Church that protested at the University of Wyoming following Shepard's death and condemns homosexuality. There are also blogs written by friends, family, reporters, and people who did not know Shepard. Also included are sites of organizations related to Matthew Shepard and LGBT issues. Additionally, the websites of films, books, and music about Shepard's life and his murder were included in the website harvest. Media coverage that only existed on the Internet was included. 
  • Inventory of the Matthew Shepard Web Archive, 1998-2008

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