‘“It’s All Incest and Buggery Up There”: Same-sex Desire, Northernness, and a Different Way of Living?’
|Starts:||16:00 10 May 2016|
|Ends:||17:00 10 May 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Faculty of Life Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Alumni, Current University students|
This seminar is part of the CHSTM Seminar Series Feb-May 2016.
CHSTM seminars will be held fortnightly on Tuesdays at 4pm in Room 2.57 Simon Building, Brunswick Street, Manchester, M13 9PL https://goo.gl/maps/RTFk4 with tea and biscuits from 3.30pm.
All are welcome and please feel free pass this list on to interested colleagues.
“It's all incest and buggery up there”: Same-sex Desire, Northernness, and a Different Way of Living?'
This paper will explore region as a category of analysis for understanding sexual cultures and the expression of same-sex desire. For the most part, historians of sexuality have ignored non-Metropolitan men, assuming that such men did not have the same freedom of opportunity to be found in the capital and that they have left behind few traces of their experiences. The fact that, for the first half of the 20th century, most northern men did not have access to the types of commercial and cultural venues as their metropolitan counterparts has been seen as evidence of repression and of a certain kind of provincial ‘backwardness’. However, this kind of reading obscures the fact that, for many men in the north, same-sex desire was an acceptable way to find sexual and emotional release.
While well-documented lives were being led in London, thousands of working-class men were having sex with each other in the north without challenging their ideas of sexual ‘normality’. Laura Doan has written on how ideas of normality can be challenged and reconfigured and, in terms of sexual experience, a study of the north can add to this scholarship. By reworking an analysis of sexuality in the 20th century to include region specific research, the picture of how ordinary men fulfilled their desires becomes more both nuanced and more grounded in other forms of life experience such as work, class-culture and family life. This paper will examine these intersections between sexuality, region, class and masculinity to offer up the beginnings of a new normal and a new way to interpret 20th British history more broadly.
Organisation: University of Lincoln
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