Chad Heap is Associate Professor of American Studies and the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at The George Washington University. An historian of sexuality and American culture, he is the author of SLUMMING: SEXUAL AND RACIAL ENCOUNTERS IN AMERICAN NIGHTLIFE, 1885-1940 (University of Chicago Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the 2010 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction; and of HOMOSEXUALITY IN THE CITY: A CENTURY OF RESEARCH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, the catalogue for an exhibition of that same name that he curated for the University of Chicago Library in 2000. He is currently working on a book-length study of the history of sociological studies of homosexuality, for which he received a fellowship from the National Humanities Center in 2013-14, as well as a book-length examination of "family secrets and forgotten histories."
In the summer of 2018, Heap served as one of three co-directors of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for College and University Teachers at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Focused on "Art and Public Culture in Chicago," the institute was co-designed with Liesl Olson (Director of Chicago Studies at the Newberry Library) and Rebecca Zorach (Professor of Art History at Northwestern University) and provided an opportunity for 25 scholars and instructors—ranging from senior faculty members at top research universities to contingent faculty members and current PhD students—to examine the arts, their reception, and their civic import in Chicago from the 1893 World's Fair through the present moment.
Heap's commitment to public history has prompted his participation in several radio and film documentaries and programs focused on the history of urban culture, race and sexuality, as well as his involvement (as consultant or advisor) in exhibitions and related programming at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Chicago History Museum, and the Newberry Library.
Heap is former chair of the Department of American Studies (2010-13) and also served as that department’s director of graduate studies (2007-08, 2009-10 & Spring 2018). From Fall 2015 to Spring 2019, he served as the Undergraduate Advisor for the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. At GW, he also served as an elected representative of the Arts & Humanities faculty on the CCAS Dean’s Council (2011-13) and the CCAS Committee on Graduate Studies (2015-18). He has also served on the CCAS Undergraduate Advising Task Force (2018-19), the GW Advisory Council of the Global Humanities Project (2013-15), and the Council on Diversity and Inclusion’s Faculty Recruitment and Retention Committee (2012-13). In addition, he fulfilled a three-year term as a member of the American Studies Association's Graduate Education Committee (2011-14).