LGBT Research Community

Seeking Asylum in the UK: Lesbian Perspectives

February 24, 2014
by Carla Barrett

IMG_149111Claire Bennett is a member of the ESRC Centre for Population Change. She recently submitted her PhD, a qualitative study exploring how lesbian asylum seekers navigate the UK asylum process and the impact this has on their social and sexual identity. Her research covers the public and private nexus which are enacted during the asylum process and includes the legal requirement to ‘evidence your sexuality,’ to disclose personal and intimate accounts of same-sex relationships and to frequently recall experiences of sexual violence to the Home Office and immigration judges.

To read more about her current research project, click here.

Her research was also referred to in a recent Guardian article, entitled ‘Home Office wouldn’t believe I was gay: how do you prove it?’ To read the article, click here.

Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2014 (Podcast Available)

February 20, 2014
by Carla Barrett

DoanAs part of LGBT History Month, last week the University of Southampton hosted the 3rd annual Southampton Stonewall Lecture. Each year this lecture is devoted to LGBT or queer history. This year, Professor Laura Doan gave a fascinating talk entitled ‘On the Entanglements of Queer Memory and History – the Case of Alan Turing’. Her talk centred around collective memory (or the cultural phenomenon of what groups remember); and she used the case of Alan Turing as a means of considering the tensions between collective memory and academic history.

I write this post as a geographer, not a historian. My own academic work considers how contemporary uses of space, and ways of living in the home, might be queer. In other words, I am interested in contemporary queer spatialities. What I found most interesting about Doan’s talk was the attention she drew to queer temporalities. This is a relatively new field in queer studies, interested in putting queer people back into history. One of the key questions that Doan posed in her talk was how do you (or can you) historicise contemporary identities? She noted that today we understand sexuality in terms of possessing an identity, whereas this was not necessarily the case at the time that Alan Turing was living. As such, Doan pointed out that although describing Alan Turing as ‘gay’ might help us to understand the past, it may also fail to really capture how he would have experienced the world.

To download a podcast of Professor Doan’s lecture, please click here.


LGBT History Month events at the University of Southampton

February 6, 2014
by Carla Barrett

Gay Russia

February is LGBT History Month, and the theme for 2014 is music. To celebrate, there are a number of events planned at the University of Southampton, including the annual Stonewall Lecture and the ‘“Coming Out” to Gay and Lesbian History’ Study Day. Find out more about the range of events planned below:

Saturday 8th February
‘“Coming Out” to Gay and Lesbian History’ Study Day
10am-4pm, building 85, Highfield campus
A study day run by the university to explore the field of lesbian and gay history. To find out more, click here.

Wednesday 12th February
Amnesty International Society make origami roses
4pm, building 58 room 1039, Highfield campus
Making origami roses with ‘Love is a human right’ written on them to be handed out on Valentine’s Day around the concourse.

Thursday 13th February
Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2014
6pm, Avenue Campus
‘On the Entanglements of Queer Memory and History – The Case of Alan Turing’ by Professor Laura Doan. An annual lecture dedicated to LGBT history. To find out more, click here.

Friday 14th February

Amnesty International Stall
2.30pm-5.30pm, the Concourse, Highfield campus
Origami roses and cake sale to raise awareness of LGBT issues around the world.

Wednesday 26th February

Open Mic Night for LGBT History Month
7pm, The Bridge Bar, Highfield Campus
An evening of music to celebrate the LGBT community. Organised jointly by SUSU LGBT, Amnesty International Society, and the E&D forum. To find out more, click here.