Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

All days
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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
F-13 SEX08 Crossing Borders: Transnational Encounters of a Queer Kind
B23
Network: Sexuality Chair: Chris Waters
Organizers: - Discussants: -
Justin Bengry : “A Spot of Controversy Could Well Turn to Your Advantage”: Profit and Regulation on the Queer Stage and Screen
While film scholars and historians have examined discourses around homosexuality and queerness in film and theatre, this paper digs deeper into officials’ attempts to regulate that discussion on stage and screen. I rely primarily on the pre-decriminalisation (1967) correspondence and classification files of the Lord Chamberlain and British Board of ... (Show more)
While film scholars and historians have examined discourses around homosexuality and queerness in film and theatre, this paper digs deeper into officials’ attempts to regulate that discussion on stage and screen. I rely primarily on the pre-decriminalisation (1967) correspondence and classification files of the Lord Chamberlain and British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), the bodies responsible for theatre and film censorship respectively. Rather than the content of completed film and theatre productions, I am most interested in the understandings and evaluations of decision makers in the processes of production and distribution. Internal reports and memos among officials from each body are remarkably candid about their recognition of queerness from the 1920s onward. The silences imposed on playwrights and scriptwriters speak to concerns about queerness and homosexuality and the limits that regulating bodies wished to place upon their commercial invocation. But authorities from each of these bodies differed substantially in their positions on homosexuality. The Lord Chamberlain was particularly concerned that producers and playwrights might use homosexual characters and storylines to attract queer audiences or profit from the scandal of the subject and banned productions using this justification. Conversely, with the ability to offer various classifications rather than outright ban, the British Board of Film Classification restricted filmmakers to what it defined as discreet and balanced discussions. But the BBFC’s Secretary also advised specific cuts that would permit particular ratings, and therefore access to potentially wider audiences and markets, and therefore greater profitability both domestically and internationally. Each body was aware of the lucrative potential of homosexual themes, I argue, but approached them from within different regulatory structures, each justifying those structures in part by the profit potential that depictions of queer characters and homosexual desires could bring.

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Jamel Buhari : Queerness and the African diaspora in the Netherlands, 1990 - present
This project looks at developments surrounding queer migrations from the African continent to the Netherlands from 1990 up until present. It analyses the dominant public and political discourses and related policies regarding queer African immigrants. The topic is studied from a governance perspective. This means that it looks at governments ... (Show more)
This project looks at developments surrounding queer migrations from the African continent to the Netherlands from 1990 up until present. It analyses the dominant public and political discourses and related policies regarding queer African immigrants. The topic is studied from a governance perspective. This means that it looks at governments in the countries of origin, transit and settlement, at international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), and the media. Self-identification and identification by others do not per se align and differ per context. Definitions and identities are fluid, while in a governance perspective static definitions are used. In a broader perspective this project looks at the point where identity formation and governance, in a transnational setting meet.
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Peter Edelberg : From Criminal Radicalism to Gay and Lesbian Lobbyism: a Trans-National Sketch of the Scandinavian Gay and Lesbian Movement, 1948-1971
This talk presents a new historical analysis of the development of the Scandinavian gay and lesbian movement from 1948 to the early 1970s. The early development of the Norwegian and Swedish movements has been described separately before, mainly built on activists’ accounts, but the Danish movement has only been described ... (Show more)
This talk presents a new historical analysis of the development of the Scandinavian gay and lesbian movement from 1948 to the early 1970s. The early development of the Norwegian and Swedish movements has been described separately before, mainly built on activists’ accounts, but the Danish movement has only been described in autobiographies, and in articles built on these autobiographies.
My analysis will represent two new approaches from previous analyses of the early Scandinavian movements.
Firstly, it will be based on the documentary evidence of the main gay and lesbain organizations in Scandinavia, namely the ‘Forbundet af 1948’ in Denmark, the Riksförbundet för Sexuell Likaberettigande in Sweden, and the ‘Norske Forbundet av 1948’. I have visited ten archives in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany to collect the scattered evidence from the movements. Using the documentary evidence allows me to delve into previously forgotten and hidden aspects of the early development of the movement.
My analysis shows that the early movement, even in a time of criminalization of homosexuality, was much more radical than the ‘respectable homophiles’ we might imagine. I argue that we need a new periodization of the era that does not juxtapose homophiles vs. gays and lesbian, but recognizes an early and radical period as well as a later and more collaborationist period, when homophiles in Scandinavia developed a close relationship with police authorities.
Secondly, this chapter will analyze the history of the movements as a transnational flow, rather than through the eyes of ‘methodological nationalism’, as is so common in LGBT+ history writing. I argue that key moments and developments cannot be understood looking at one country in isolation, and that we need to broaden our analyses of LGBTQ history. (Show less)

Kamil Karczewski : “Nothing to Envy the West.” Queer Poland in Interwar Europe – a Transnational History.
“Polish culture seems to be a border zone when it comes to attitudes to homosexuality, a transitional sphere between Western European culture—repressive towards and clearly distinct from homosexuality—and the neutral or indistinct from [homosexuality] culture of the Eastern European type.” This thesis of a Swiss Slavist, German Ritz (2002, 178), ... (Show more)
“Polish culture seems to be a border zone when it comes to attitudes to homosexuality, a transitional sphere between Western European culture—repressive towards and clearly distinct from homosexuality—and the neutral or indistinct from [homosexuality] culture of the Eastern European type.” This thesis of a Swiss Slavist, German Ritz (2002, 178), has been widespread in Polish literary studies. Although defining “Polish culture” as intermediate between “West” and “East” in its approach to queerness has far-reaching implications for the history of sexuality in Europe, it has not been tested with the methods of social history so far.
This paper concludes a research project on the history of queer desire in Poland in the interwar period conducted between 2016 and 2022. It challenges the claims that in the attitudes toward same-sex desire before 1945 Poland represented a sphere of transition between binarily defined cultural areas. By tracing the international flows of sexual knowledge and queer bodies across the continent in the interwar and integrating Polish-language sources with the global historiography on twentieth-century sexuality, it offers instead a more nuanced, non-dichotomous picture of queerness in interwar Europe. This transnational study of the case of Poland demonstrates interactions between European centres of sexual knowledge production, rural and urban spaces, and spots of queer sexual pleasures across the continent.
The relationship between queerness and Polishness (and the Polish nation-state) hass been far more ambiguous than the common perceptions—both in the country and abroad—would have it. Poland was the second European nation (after the USSR) to decriminalise homosexual acts in the twentieth century—Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland, and Sweden only followed the suit in the 1930s and early 40s. As soon as the reform entered into force, some homosexual men in Warsaw demanded the creation of an association to connect and represent them. Three novels depicting lesbian desire were published in Polish in 1933, including a translation of 'The Well of Loneliness' that was banned only a few years earlier in the UK. Same-sex loving men and women had their meeting places, cruising points, and probably associations (although these officially had other purposes, such as sport). As police sources reveal, homosexual sex workers walked the streets of Warsaw and cross-dressing men were not an uncommon view before the mid–1930s.
The various queer communities in Poland in the interwar time, defined mostly by the social class of their members, were remarkably mobile. Men and women circulated between rural and urban places adapting to different opportunities offered by these spaces. They also travelled to Berlin, Paris, and most of all—to Italy. In 1933, one supposedly queer traveller commented in the press on the strict attitudes to homosexuality in Western Europe stressing that there was “nothing to envy the West.” At the same time, Polish forensic experts and lawyers debated the meaning of homosexual desire for the well-being of the nation consulting German, English, and French works on the subject aiming to create a distinct and modern Polish approach to sexuality. Simultaneously, Poland felt central and peripheral, progressive and conservative. (Show less)

Andrew DJ Shield : Migration to "Gay Capital" Amsterdam, 1970-2001
For decades after WWII, gay men viewed Amsterdam as a "Gay Capital," which not only shaped the city but also gay men's tourism and migration patterns. Since 2001, clear-cut cases of 'queer migration' in the Netherlands include same-sex binational couples (i.e. family reunification migrants), or those whose cases of ... (Show more)
For decades after WWII, gay men viewed Amsterdam as a "Gay Capital," which not only shaped the city but also gay men's tourism and migration patterns. Since 2001, clear-cut cases of 'queer migration' in the Netherlands include same-sex binational couples (i.e. family reunification migrants), or those whose cases of 'LGBTI Asylum' received positive outcomes (technically possible since 1981, but unusual in the twentieth century). But in the 1970s-90s, those who migrated to "Gay Capital" Amsterdam had to navigate a variety of migration schemes (labor, post-colonial, etc.) in order to remain in the Netherlands (see e.g. Schrover & Kampman, 2019). Through new oral histories with gay men who moved to Amsterdam prior to 2001, this research asks: how did queer sexuality relate to the migration process? And how did the fantasy of Amsterdam as part of a queer global landscape compare/contrast with the lived experiences of queer migrants navigating the city?
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