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Film Screening – Tomboy – 7th March 2019

February 28, 2019
by Lewis Brennen

As part of LGBTQI History Month 2019, Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Southampton are presenting a screening of “Tomboy” a French film which centres around 10-year-old ‘Mikael’ who, when their parents move to a new neighbourhood, takes the opportunity to explore their gender identity (2011, Céline Sciamma).

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb-Oys-IcWE

Date: Thursday 7th March

Venue: University of Southampton, Avenue Campus 65, Lecture Theatre B

Time: 18.00 (run time 84mins)

The screening is open to all students and staff and will be preceded by a short introduction: Dr Sophie Holmes-Elliott, Lecturer in linguistics, will briefly examine the acquisition and emergence of gendered speech in child language, and Dr Eleanor Jones, Lecturer in Portuguese and cultural studies, will discuss how children’s gender expression can be understood culturally.

 

The screening is free to attend and will be followed by drinks and discussion in The Crown.

All welcome!

Dr Sophie Holmes-Elliott

To queer or not to queer Shakespeare? – Stonewall Lecture 2019

February 26, 2019
by Lewis Brennen

On Thursday 21st February Professor Bruce Smith (University of Southern California) came to Southampton to deliver the eighth annual Stonewall Lecture. The Stonewall Lecture series is organised by Professor Mark Cornwall and aims to explore the rich heritage that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history, in order to educate the present about the past and to promote social justice and inclusivity. Excitingly, this was the first time that the lecture looked back beyond modern history into the early modern period.

Bruce’s lecture was titled ‘To queer or not to queer Shakespeare? Prospects fifty years after Stonewall’ and he began by reminding us that in 2019—fifty years after the Stonewall Riots that are often seen as marking the beginning of the modern gay rights movement—the question of whether to queer Shakespeare or not seems perfectly reasonable. In 1969, conversely, many would have been aghast at the notion. Bruce outlined an etymology of the verb ‘to queer’, noting that it essentially means to undermine heteronormative ideas of gender and sexuality by examining something in light of the cultural priorities of queer theory. The lecture aimed to queer each of the four meanings of the noun ‘Shakespeare’: 1) the historical Shakespeare, the man named William Shakespeare who lived in England around the turn of the seventeenth century; 2) Shakespeare as author function, in other words the cultural projection of Shakespeare as a variety of figures and identities in different times and places; 3) the collected works of Shakespeare; and 4) Shakespeare as a transnational cultural icon.

Amongst other things, it was pointed out that the historical Shakespeare was very sure of his masculinity but there is not a shred of evidence that he was queer. Questions were asked about why we want Shakespeare as author function to be a queer person and it was noted that the whole dispute over whether Shakespeare was the real author of his plays is very queer, with the Oxfordians accidentally acting as queer critics! Bruce also spoke about a number of the queer characters within the collected works of Shakespeare and the explicitly queer depictions of them in the centuries following. In thinking about Shakespeare as a cultural icon Bruce made the point that it is not uncommon to find Shakespeare depicted in street graffiti and that this in effect brings him ‘down to size’, turning a high cultural icon into low culture, which itself is a form of queering. Bruce brought everything together by reminding us that while we can queer Shakespeare in a number of ways, it is also true that Shakespeare queers us, challenging us to queer our own ideas about gender and sexuality and the linear development of such things.

The lecture was followed by an engaging question and answer session, further discussion at a drinks reception, and a collection for Stonewall, which raised over £100. Many thanks to everybody who attended and many thanks to Professor Smith for coming all the way across the pond to deliver another excellent Stonewall Lecture!

Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2019: Registration Open

January 21, 2019
by Lewis Brennen

Registration is now open for the 2019 Southampton Stonewall Lecture. As a reminder, the lecture is free to attend but registration is vital. To register, and for more information, please click here.

This year’s Stonewall Lecture will be given by Professor Bruce Smith (University of California) on 21 February, 18.00, at the University of Southampton’s Avenue Campus.

Professor Smith’s lecture is titled, ‘To Queer or Not to Queer Shakespeare’. For more information please see the previous blog post, found here.

Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2019, Thursday 21 February: Professor Bruce Smith

January 2, 2019
by Lewis Brennen

The 2019 Southampton Stonewall Lecture will take place on Thursday 21 February, 6.00pm, at Avenue Campus, University of Southampton. As always the event is free to attend but you must register beforehand. More information on how to register will be circulated in due course.

This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Bruce Smith (University of Southern California), who will be speaking about:

 

To Queer or Not to Queer Shakespeare

‘Queer Shakespeare’? At the time of the Stonewall Riots in 1969 most people would have answered such a question with an astonished ‘What?’.  ‘Queer’ was a slur, and Britain’s national bard could not possibly have been one. Fifty years on, the term ‘queer’ has taken on personal, political, and analytical power. From an adjective with a broad meaning, and a noun with a quite specific meaning, ‘queer’ is now a verb. ‘To queer’ something is to question its status, to probe, to reevaluate. In this lively lecture Professor Bruce R. Smith will explore the stages and vagaries of this transition in the meanings of ‘queer’. Special attention is given to the ambiguous status of ‘Shakespeare’. That word can refer to four things: (1) the historical person who was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, (2) the body of work he produced as a playwright and poet, (3) the author that we imagine as we read those plays and poems, and (4) the cultural icon that ‘Shakespeare’ has become. Each of these entities can be the object of the verb ‘to queer’.

 

The annual ‘Southampton Stonewall Lecture’ explores the rich heritage that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history, in order to educate the present about the past and to promote social justice and inclusivity.

Each lecture offers an academic approach to a historical subject, revealing to a broad public audience some of the best recent research on the gay and lesbian past. The lecture builds on fruitful cooperation between the Stonewall charity and the University of Southampton in terms of our shared values and educational engagement with the wider community. Through a greater understanding of discrimination and tolerance through the centuries, we can help to promote tolerance and inclusivity in contemporary British society.

The lecture will be followed by a charity collection for Stonewall.

Philosophy of Sex Poster Display

April 23, 2018
by Lewis Brennen

This Wednesday25 April, from 12-1pm, there will be an exciting poster display session in the South Corridor of Avenue Campus, celebrating the fantastic work of students on Dr Fiona Woollard’s ‘Philosophy of Sex’ module. This is part of their assessment for the module, which requires them to critically assess key arguments and ideas in an original and eye catching manner. Every year the students display great creativity and wit and this year looks to be no exception!

Please do drop by during the poster display session. The students will be waiting by their posters to explain their ideas to you. There will also be cake available.

The posters will be on display in the South Corridor until Monday 30 April, so if you cannot make the poster session then do go have a look later this week.

Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2018

April 16, 2018
by Lewis Brennen

On the evening of Thursday 15 February, Professor Alison Oram (Leeds Beckett University) visited Avenue Campus to deliver the annual Stonewall Lecture. This was the seventh Southampton Stonewall Lecture, organised by Professor Mark Cornwall, an annual event dedicated to exploring the rich heritage that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history, in order to educate the present about the past and to promote social justice and inclusivity. 

Alison’s talk was titled ‘Queer Beyond London: Culture and Place in English Cities, 1970s-1990s’ and drew on research from her and Matt Cook’s current AHRC funded research project, ‘Queer Beyond London’. The project explores LGBTQ life in four provincial cities (Manchester, Brighton, Leeds and Plymouth) to challenge the usual London-centric history of queer life. The lecture last Thursday focused on three of those cities—Brighton, Leeds, and Plymouth—exploring why queer people moved to and from those cities, how they made their homes there, how this reflected the queer culture and communities more widely in those places, and how distinct trajectories of queer life and history developed. Alison’s approach here thus drew on a number of approaches, from oral history, to sociology, and urban geography. In doing so, it complimented the 2013 Stonewall Lecture given by George Chauncey on ‘Gay New York’.

Alison revealed the importance of communal living and collective households for queer residents of 1990s Brighton and the potential political radicalism that living in small flats and bedsits could encourage, but also some gender divisions within the queer community and a darker underside of Brighton with homophobia and a dangerous drugs scene. We saw that queer Leeds was a thriving centre of lesbian feminism, but with racial divisions that meant it was not always comfortable for queer people of colour. Moving onto Plymouth, Alison showed how queer culture there reflected the city’s close ties to the military, which encouraged a culture of relative toleration in the city as early as the 1960s. That said, it appears that while many queer residents of Plymouth were not exactly in the closet, they were not quite out and proud either; audience discussion during the following drinks reception reflected on how Plymouth reminded them of 1990s American ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ culture.

This was a fascinating lecture and it now seems inevitable that Alison’s work on the ‘Queer Beyond London’ project will serve as a much-welcomed corrective to London-centric modern queer history. Thank you very much to everyone involved in organising the lecture and, of course, to Alison for joining us in Southampton for this fascinating talk.

Southampton Stonewall Lecture 2018, Thursday 15th February: Professor Alison Oram

January 24, 2018
by Lewis Brennen

The 2018 Southampton Stonewall Lecture will take place on Thursday 15th February at 6.00pm at Avenue Campus, University of Southampton. The event is free to attend but you must register beforehand. For more information and to register please click here.

This year’s lecture will be given by Professor Alison Oram (Leeds Beckett University), who will be speaking about:

 

‘Queer beyond London: Culture and Place in English Cities since the 1960s’

How does a sense of place shape ideas of queer identity, politics and community? This lecture draws on the findings of the AHRC-funded “Queer Beyond London” research project which explores LGBTQ life in four provincial cities since 1965 (Manchester, Brighton, Leeds and Plymouth). It challenges the London-centric history of queer life, activism and cultures, showing that while the four cities share similar responses to national milestones, they have had different trajectories in terms of LGBTQ activism and community-building. For over half a century urban queer identities have been tied into distinct migration patterns, place-specific types of home-making, and new sexual politics.

Alison Oram is Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Beckett University. Her research focuses on lesbian and queer histories in 20th century Britain and on how these are represented in heritage. She led the “Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage” project for Historic England in 2015-16, and is co-investigator on “Queer Beyond London” with Professor Matt Cook.

Her books include: “Her Husband was a Woman!” Women’s Gender-Crossing and Modern British Popular Culture (2007) and The Lesbian History Source Book: Love and Sex Between Women in Britain 1780-1970 (2001: co-authored with Annmarie Turnbull).

 

The annual ‘Southampton Stonewall Lecture’ explores the rich heritage that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) history, in order to educate the present about the past and to promote social justice and inclusivity. Previous speakers have included Professors George Chaucey, Laura Doan, and Dagmar Herzog.

Each lecture offers an academic approach to a historical subject, revealing to a broad public audience some of the best recent research on the gay and lesbian past. The lecture builds on fruitful cooperation between the Stonewall charity and the University of Southampton in terms of our shared values and educational engagement with the wider community. Through a greater understanding of discrimination and tolerance through the centuries, we can help to promote tolerance and inclusivity in contemporary British society.

The lecture will be followed by a charity collection for Stonewall.

 

CFP: ‘Publishing Queer / Queer Publishing’

September 6, 2017
by Lewis Brennen

A really interesting conference, titled ‘Publishing Queer / Queer Publishing’, is to to be held on 16th March 2018 at Senate House, University of London. Details of the CFP can be seen here:

https://www.senatehouselibrary.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/Exhibitions/Queer-between-the-covers/QBTC-call-for-papers.pdf

The conference forms part of the ‘Queer Between the Covers: Literature, Queerness, and the Library’ exhibition and events season at Senate House Library, which will run from January – June 2018. More details of the full season will be available soon.

Upcoming Roundtable: ‘Planning Ahead: LGBT Issues at the End of Life’

April 20, 2017
by Lewis Brennen

Planning Ahead: LGBT Issues at the End of Life

The University’s Law School and Pulse LGBT+ Staff Network are pleased to invite you to a roundtable discussion on LGBT issues at the end of life taking place on Wednesday 26 April from 12:00 – 14:00, Room 1007, Building 67, Highfield Campus.

As the UK population ages, the availability and delivery of effective palliative care is becoming more important than ever, but what challenges do LGBT people face in accessing appropriate palliative care, and what are the legal and moral duties of healthcare providers to ensure that all patients at the end of life are able to die with autonomy and dignity?

Following the release of Compassion in Dying’s booklet supporting LGBT people to plan ahead to ensure they receive care that’s right for them, and a revealing new study by Marie Curie, this informal lunchtime discussion will explore the unique experiences of the ageing LGBT community, the law on end-of-life care, and the social and legal issues that these needs present.

This lunchtime conversation will open with a short presentation from  Professor Hazel Biggs,  Katie Hunt and  Matthew Watkins (Southampton Law School), followed by a roundtable discussion in which there will be an exchange of questions, answers and concerns. Resources for understanding LGBT needs in healthcare contexts and facilitating end-of-life conversations will be available.

Attendees should bring a lunch with them, but tea, coffee and cake will be provided. The organisers look forward to seeing you on the day!

For more information, including how to book your ticket,  visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/planning-ahead-lgbt-issues-at-the-end-of-life-tickets-33851015298. If you have any queries, please contact Professor Hazel Biggs:  H.Biggs@southampton.ac.uk.

Upcoming Seminar: ‘Queering Marxist [Trans]Feminism: Queer and Trans Social Reproduction’

April 20, 2017
by Lewis Brennen

Marxism in Culture Seminar

Friday, 28 April 2017

17:30-19:30
Wolfson Room, Institute of Historical Research
Senate House, University of London

Nat Raha (University of Sussex)

Queering Marxist [Trans]Feminism: Queer and Trans Social Reproduction

Despite the recent resurgence of social reproduction theory and Marxist feminist political praxis, the social reproduction of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) lives remains under-theorised. While heterosexuality as a form of work has long since been considered as part of Marxist feminism’s analysis, the consideration of queer sexualities, and the reproduction of life and labour-power outside and beyond of the cis-, heteronormative nuclear family, have been sidelined in the canon of Marxist Feminism. Bridging the theoretical work of queer Marxism, Black feminism and trans studies, and the political praxis of LGBTQ groups Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries and Wages Due Lesbians, this paper will address the expanded definition of social reproduction necessary to understand the social reproduction of LGBTQ lives.

The paper will argue that the forms of caring labour that enable LGBTQ lives take place in spaces beyond the domestic sphere and within familial forms that exceed the nuclear family; and moreover that such labour includes the reproduction of genders, desires and bodies anchored in non-normativity – work that is often naturalised and not considered as labour. Furthermore, the continued failure of the capitalist socius to support the lives of poor trans women and trans femmes of colour and/or sex workers raises questions of how the politics of queer and trans liberalism(s) devalue and compound the conditions of queer and trans social reproduction under a racialised and gendered division of labour.

Nat Raha is a poet and trans / queer activist, living in Edinburgh, Scotland. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Sussex, working on a thesis titled ‘Queer Capital: Marxism in queer theory and post-1950 poetics’. Her poetry includes two collections: countersonnets (Contraband Books, 2013), and Octet (Veer Books, 2010); and numerous pamphlets including ‘£/€xtinctions’ (Sociopathetic Distro, 2017), ‘[of sirens / body & faultlines]’ (Veer Books, 2015), and ‘mute exterior intimate’ (Oystercatcher Press, 2013). She’s performed and published her work internationally. Nat currently works as a Research Support Assistant for ‘Cruising the 1970s: Unearthing Pre-HIV/AIDS Queer Sexual Cultures’ at the Edinburgh College of Art; and her essay ‘Transfeminine Brokenness, Radical Transfeminism’ is due for publication in the South Atlantic Quarterly this spring.

Free and open to all 

If you have any queries please contact Chrysi Papaioannou (papaioannou.chrysi@gmail.com).

Website: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/seminar/marxism-culture

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/176590486339/

Twitter: #MICseminar

Some earlier seminars are now available as Podcasts.

MIC Seminar organisers: Matthew Beaumont, Dave Beech, Alan Bradshaw, Warren Carter, Luisa Lorenza Corna, Gail Day, Steve Edwards, Larne Abse Gogarty, Esther Leslie, David Mabb, Antigoni Memou, Chrysi Papaioannou, Nina Power, Dominic Rahtz, Pete Smith, Peter Thomas, Alberto Toscano & Marina Vishmidt.