Friday, 16 November 2012

New Mailing list for LGBT(Q) History set up

As we discussed on the Thursday morning of the conference last week, the conference highlighted a real need for greater communication and networking for those engaged or interested in any aspect of lesbian, bisexual, gay, trans and/or queer historical research.

As one means of keeping the momentum of the conference going forward, we now have a mailing list, facilitated by jiscmail. You can subscribe to the list here:

The list is intended to facilitate discussion and debate and will also offer a platform for subcribers to share related events and oppourtunities that may be of interest.

Unlike the conference presentations, the list is not restricted to postgraduate or early-career historians. Additionally, you do not need to be based in a history department or indeed attached to any academic institution.

Hope to hear from some of you on the list!

Monday, 12 November 2012

The scandalous case of John Vassall: sexuality, spying and the Civil Service

If you're not going to LGBT History Month's pre-launch event (further info here), but have a hour free in London, you may be interested in this event at The National Archives held as part of their Diversity Week.

Thursday 15th November, 2pm

The scandalous case of John Vassall: sexuality, spying and the Civil Service

Fifty years ago civil servant John Vassall was sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment for espionage. Vassall was homosexual, and whilst working at the British Embassy in Moscow, was caught in a Soviet Secret Service 'honeytrap', and blackmailed into passing secrets to the Soviet Union, receiving payments for his efforts. This was one of a series of security scandals which rocked the Macmillan government in the early 1960s, feeding into a national obsession with spy culture at the time. 
Mark Dunton sifts through the historical evidence to address questions such as was Vassall a traitor or a victim? Was he 'vain and greedy' or 'vulnerable and needy'? He places the Vassall affair in the wider context of negative attitudes towards homosexuality in post-war Britain, exacerbated by the popular press. Mark also addresses the long-term repercussions which followed Vassall's trial for equal treatment of gay people working in the Civil Service.

Mark Dunton who is a Contemporary Specialist joined The National Archives in 1983 and has specialises in post-1945 Britain. Mark has given numerous public talks, available to download as podcasts, and has been the lead media spokesperson on the annual release of government files under the 30-year rule since 2006. His research interests include post-1945 British political, social and economic history and the policies of the Heath government in the early 1970s.

For more info, please see

Call for papers: Queer Senses (deadline 14/01/13)

CfP: Queer Senses: A One-Day Symposium at Royal Holloway, University of London (11 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3RF)

Tuesday 26th March, 2013, 10.00-17.00

Organizers: Dr Emily Jeremiah and Prof James Williams (SMLLC, RHUL)
And ‘Queer, The Space’ (

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers to be given at this event, which will ask: what makes queer sense? How can we think the senses queerly? Recent work in and on queer phenomenology, especially by Sara Ahmed, has drawn attention to the productiveness of seeing agency, spatiality, and orientation as embodied, as experienced sensorily and affectively. Following on from ‘Queer, The Space’, an interdisciplinary, artistic-academic exploration of space and identity that ran between September 2011 and May 2012 at the c4cc in King’s Cross, the project’s organizers/participants would like to invite theoretical considerations on the related subject of the senses. Topics for discussion might include, among others:

The senses as queer
Queering sense/rationality
Embodied perception and queer touch
Disorientation and orientation
Desire and the senses
Alignment and divergence
Spatiality and agency

Proposals should be 200-250 words in length, and be sent by email to and by midday Monday 14th January, 2013. We look forward to hearing from interested parties. Please do contact us if you have any questions in the meantime.

Best wishes,
Emily Jeremiah and James Williams

Friday, 2 November 2012

Final Reminder: Conference this coming Wednesday & Thursday

With just a few days to go until What is LGBT(Q) History and where do we stand? History Postgraduates and LGBT History Month, here are some final details/reminders.

The conference will take place at Queen Mary, University of London (Mile End Campus). For directions, please see the tab at the top of this page. 

The daytime panels take place on Wednesday 7th (1030-1700) & Thursday 8th November (0930-1700). The venue is GO Jones 6.02.

The evening panel event on Wednesday 7th begins at 6pm. The venue is Francis Bancroft 2.40.

There will be wine and soft drinks after the evening event; during the day Wednesday & Thursday teas & coffees will be provided but lunch is not included.

Take a look at our final programme (also accessible via the tab at the top of this page) - printed copies will be provided on the day.

We look forward to meeting you next week!

Further details on the evening panel event:

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The Historical Association's podcasts on British LGBT History

Take a look at this excellent resource provided by The Historical Association. This series of podcasts is part four of the series Social and Political Change in the UK, 1800-present and pertains to "British LGBT History" - featuring Dr Matt Cook, Dr Sean Brady, Professor Sall Munt & Dr Emma Vickers.

For more on The Historical Association: The Voice for History, please see here.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

New networking event for LGBTQ postgrads and postdocs

Just forwarding details of an event taking place next Thursday, 25th October (details below) that those in London may be interested in. Please email pgmixlondon[at] for further information.
Next week we're holding an inter-university networking event for LGBTQ postgrads and postdocs (early career researchers) studying or working in and around London. PG MIX is a great opportunity for current and recent postgraduates and early-career researchers from a host of unis to socialise and network in an informal, central London location.

Key info
Date: Thursday, 25 October
Time: 17.00 - 18.45
Venue: 1st floor Retro Bar (2 George Court, London WC2N 6HH)
Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Embankment

We'd love to make this a regular fixture, so it would be great to hear your suggestions and feedback before, during and after the event. If you'd like more info about PG Mix or if you have any comments or queries, feel free to let us know via email (pgmixlondon[at] or Twitter (@pgmixlondon).

The event is completely free, but please email us if you're thinking of coming so that we have an idea of numbers.

Please cascade through your networks and I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Best wishes

PG Mix London
LGBTQ Postgrad/Postdoc Networking

Twitter: @pgmixlondon

Queer London Conference: Call for Papers

Queer London Conference: Call for Papers

Saturday 23rd March, 2013
Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies, University of Westminster

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Matt Cook (Birkbeck College, University of London)

This one-day conference is dedicated to a consideration of London and its role in creating, housing, reflecting and facilitating queer life. It aims to bring together scholars from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds to consider representations of queer London and how London itself represents queers.

That London is a focus and centre for queer life and culture can be seen on its stages; in its bar and club scenes; in its film festivals and its representations in film; in its performance art; in its political life; in its gyms; in its history; in its book groups and book shops; and in its representations in the contemporary queer fiction of writers like Alan Hollinghurst and Sarah Waters. That London is a hub and an axis goes without saying. What the ‘Queer London’ conference aims to do then is to offer an opportunity for further analysis and investigation of these representations/representational platforms and to consider the socio-cultural role that London plays in queer life.

The conference will focus on the period 1885 to the present and welcomes interdisciplinary proposals and those from a wide range of disciplines, including: Literature, History, Art, Cultural Studies, Theatre and Performance Studies. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Mapping queer London
  • Lesbian Londons
  • Queers of colour and London
  • Queer modernisms
  • Queer institutions and structures
  • Literary representations of queer London
  • Films of queer London
  • Queer drama and performance in/on London
  • Queer histories of London
  • London’s queer temporalities
  • Queer flâneurie
  • London’s AIDS narratives
  • Queer urban subcultures
  • London’s queer festivals
  • Queer sex workers
  • London’s queer activism
  • Heterosexual and homosexual London, meeting points and overlaps

Please send abstracts of 500 words, or proposals for panels of three linked papers, by Friday 30th November 2012 to Dr. Simon Avery and Dr. Katherine M. Graham at the University of Westminster. Abstracts should be sent as Word attachments to s.avery[at] and k.graham1[at], and should include details of your current affiliation and a very short author bio.