Tag Archives: Birkbeck

Public talk on the sometimes deadly modern history of homosexuality

After a fantastic History of the Body conference at the IHR last Saturday, I’m now looking forward to discussing my research as part of the ‘Be Birkbeck‘ series on identity.

The talk is free, but you need to register to secure a place: bebirkbeck@bbk.ac.uk

‘Dead Wilde: Magnus Hirschfeld and the Violent Shaping of Modern Queer Culture’

Speaker: Heike Bauer

Venue: Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, WC1

Time: Weds, 27 May 2015. 6.30-8.30pm

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How did the death of Oscar Wilde impact on the women and men who identified with ‘the love that dare not speak its name’? This talk explores an archive of little known writings on homosexual death and suicide by the influential sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935).

Hirschfeld is best known today for his sexual rights activism, foundational studies of transvestism and opening of the world’s first Institute of Sexual Sciences in Berlin. But he was also a chronicler of the effects of hate and violence against lesbians and homosexual men. His writings contain many accounts of homophobic attack from around the world including observations on the trial and death of Oscar Wilde. These accounts suggest that such attacks had a wide-ranging impact, affecting not ‘just’ the victim but also the women and men who identified in some way with her or him.

The talk explores this unique record of queer life and death, 1900-1930. It demonstrates that violence, as well as affirmative cultural politics, shaped the emergence of modern sexual identity. The talk will also address the critical challenges of this archive: how to engage with the negative, and often violent, aspects of queer history without reinforcing pernicious stereotypes about miserable lesbian and gay existence?

Talk on Magnus Hirschfeld, Oscar Wilde and how death shaped modern queer culture

I’m looking forward to discussing some of my research on death and modern queer culture at Birkbeck this May. The talk is free and open to all. You can book your place by emailing bebirkbeck@bbk.ac.uk. Further details below.

Heike Bauer – Dead Wilde: Magnus Hirschfeld and the Violent Shaping of Modern Queer Culture
Wednesday 27 May 2015 | 6.30 – 8.30pm | Keynes Library, Room 114, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1 0PD

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This lecture is part of the Be Birkbeck lecture series.

How did the death of Oscar Wilde impact on the women and men who identified with ‘the love that dare not speak its name’? This talk explores an archive of little known writings on homosexual death and suicide by the influential sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935). Hirschfeld is best known today for his sexual rights activism, foundational studies of transvestism and opening of the world’s first Institute of Sexual Sciences in Berlin. But he was also a chronicler of the effects of hate and violence against lesbians and homosexual men. His writings contain many accounts of homophobic attack from around the world including observations on the trial and death of Oscar Wilde. These accounts suggest that such attacks had a wide-ranging impact, affecting not ‘just’ the victim but also the women and men who identified in some way with her or him.

The talk explores this unique record of queer life and death, 1900-1930. It demonstrates that violence, as well as affirmative cultural politics, shaped the emergence of modern sexual identity. The talk will also address the critical challenges of this archive: how to engage with the negative, and often violent, aspects of queer history without reinforcing pernicious stereotypes about miserable lesbian and gay existence?

Heike Bauer is a Senior Lecturer in English and Gender Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published widely on the history of sexuality, nineteenth and twentieth century literary culture, and on translation. Her books include English Literary Sexology, 1860-1930 (Palgrave, 2009), the 3-volume edited anthology Women and Cross-Dressing, 1800-1939 (Routledge, 2006), and the edited collections Queer 1950s: Rethinking Sexuality in the Postwar Years (Palgrave, 2012, with Matt Cook) and Sexology and Translation: Cultural and Scientific Encounters Across the Modern World (forthcoming with Temple University Press in 2015). She recently co-edited with Churnjeet Mahn a special issue on “Transnational Lesbian Cultures”, Journal of Lesbian Studies 18.3 (2014), and is currently completing the AHRC-funded study A Violent World of Difference: Magnus Hirschfeld and the Shaping of Queer Modernity. Click here for the project blog, or follow her on Twitter: @Heike_Bauer

This event is free and open to all, but booking is essential.

26 March 2014. Contribute NOW: Homophobia Rewritten

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The deadline for paper abstracts for ‘Homophobia Rewritten’ is coming up. I’ve already received some great submissions. If you’re interested in contributing, please get in touch by 31 March. 

Contributions from postgraduates as well as established academics welcome.

 

Call for Papers (deadline 31 March 2014)

Homophobia Rewritten: New Literary Perspectives on Violence and Sexuality

An AHRC-funded Symposium 

Date: Friday, 13 June 2014
Venue: Birkbeck, University of London

Keynote: Professor Alison Donnell (Reading)

This one-day symposium examines literary and cultural representations of, and
responses, to homophobia. It defines homophobia broadly to mean all kinds of denials
of, and attacks on, queer existence including for example heteronormative practices
as well as verbal and physical attacks.

By exploring representations of intimate lives lived with and against the threat of violence,
and by documenting anti-homophobia and other forms of resistance, the symposium
aims to gain new insights into the interlinked cultures, histories, experiences and
politics of violence and sexuality across time and place.

Papers may address, but are not limited to:

* Literary & Cultural Histories of (Anti-) Homophobia
* (Anti-) Homophobia in Fiction / Graphic Novels / Film / Popular Culture / Visual Culture
* Hate / Racism / Antisemitism/ Colonialism / Postcolonialism
* Identities / Bodies / Gender / Class / Race
* (Pre)Modernity / the Contemporary
* Medicine / Law / New Knowledge Formations
* Translation / Migration /Poverty / Wealth

Please send 300-word proposals for 20-minute papers, and a short biographical note, to the organizer,
Dr Heike Bauer (h.bauer@bbk.ac.uk) by 31 March 2014.

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24 March 2014. Mutual Friends and Queer Reading Communities

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The open access online journal, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, published by my colleagues at the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in autumn 2015. This date coincides with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend. 

To mark both occasions, the people at 19 have set up a great experiment in virtual reading community building: between May 2014 and November 2015, they will publish Our Mutual Friend online in monthly installments that follow the rhythm of the original publication. The first part has already been published here. Comments and reflections from international scholars and students will follow in due course.

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This experiment in collective reading, which builds community around a text, speaks to a particular concern of my own research: the role of literature in forging queer communities across the modern world. Magnus Hirschfeld’s writings are peppered with literary references. They show that he was particularly interested in representations of same-sex love and desire, and, especially, in those queer books whose authors were also involved in some way in major political debates of their day – for instance, Oscar Wilde and Britain’s anti-homosexuality laws, and Emile Zola and anti-Semitism in France feature prominently in Hirschfeld’s work.

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While Dickens plays no significant role in Hirschfeld’s writings – which reflects Hirschfeld’s interest in overt rather than subtle representations of queer existence – I am nevertheless intrigued by the Our Mutual Friend reading experiment. For its emphasis on reading as a collective activity is a forceful reminder that books create ‘felt experiences’ and a sense of collectivity that reaches across time and space.

Follow the Our Mutual Friend Reading Project here: http://dickensourmutualfriend.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/first-monthly-instalment-may-1864/#comments

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4 March 2014. Update: Homophobia Rewritten Symposium

Call for Papers — deadline 31 March 2014.

HOMOPHOBIA REWRITTEN:

NEW LITERARY & CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENCE AND SEXUALITY

An AHRC-funded Symposium
https://violentworldofdifference.wordpress.com/cfp-homophobia-rewritten/

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Date:    Friday, 13 June 2014
Venue:  Birkbeck, University of London

Keynote: Professor Alison Donnell (Reading)

This one-day symposium examines literary and cultural engagements with, and
responses, to homophobia. It explores representations of intimate lives
lived with and against the threat of violence, and documents anti-homophobia
and other forms of resistance, to ask new questions about the interlinked
cultures, histories, experiences and politics of violence and sexuality
across time and place.

Papers may address, but are not limited to:
Literary & Cultural Histories of (Anti-) Homophobia
(Anti-) Homophobia in Fiction /Graphic Novels/Film/Popular Culture /Music /Visual Culture/Sport
Hate / Racism / Antisemitism/ Colonialism / Postcolonialism
Identities / Bodies / Gender / Class / Race
(Pre)Modernity / the Contemporary
Medicine / Law / New Knowledge Formations
Translation / Migration / Poverty / Wealth

Please email 300-word proposals for 20-minute papers, and a short  biographical note, to the organiser, Dr Heike Bauer, h.bauer@bbk.ac.uk, by 31 March 2014.

3 Feb. 2014: LGBT History Month: NOW!

February is LGBT History Month. During this time, a diverse range of events take place throughout the UK – in schools, universities, grass root organisations and many other places – which have in common that they focus on the LGBT present and past.

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As part of my own project, I am organising a screening of Anders als die Anders/Different from the Others (dir. Richard Oswald, 1919) in the Birkbeck Cinema on Thursday, 13 February, 6pm. The film, a homosexual love story, deals with anti-gay legislation and its isolating effects.

I’m particularly looking forward to this event, for the film is a captivating, moving and sometimes surprising document of queer life in the early twentieth century. Moreover, I’m hoping that – as in previous LGBT History Month events I took part it – it will attract non-academic audiences as well as academics.

For, as Claire Hayward notes in a recent blog post, while LGBT History Month is an important initiative, it is absolutely vital that ‘LGBT histories [are] integrated into wider public and national historical discussions and narratives’ throughout the year. So let’s not confine lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer culture, lives and politics to one month in the year, but let’s take LGBT History Month as a prompt for on-going collective debate and engagement.

I’m hoping that the Different from the Others event will bring together many people with all kinds of interests in the histories of inequality and discrimination, and in forms of resistance. The event will start off with a drinks reception and conclude with a panel discussion featuring my brilliant colleagues Silke Arnold – de Simine, Justin Bengry, Daniel Monk and Chrystanthi Nigianni.

You can register here to secure a place. The event is free -come and join us.

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17 January 2014: Free Film Screening of First Homosexual Movie during LGBT History Month

More exciting project event news!

On Thursday, 13 February 2014 at 6pm there will be a screening of the film Anders als die Andern/Different from the Others (dir. Richard Oswald, 1919) in the Birbeck Cinema, 43-46 Gordon Square, WC1 0PD, London.

Featuring a guest appearance by Magnus Hirschfeld,  Anders als die Andern is the first film in the history of cinema to deal explicitly with homosexuality. It tells the story of Paul Körner (Conradt Veidt), a gay pianist who is being blackmailed because of his homosexuality. When the blackmail threatens his budding relationship with a young musician, Körner seeks legal help but finds that Paragraph 175 of the German Code – which criminalizes homosexuality – turns him into the accused.

Conrad Veidt in Anders als die Andern

Conrad Veidt in Anders als die Andern

Anders als die Andern shows the precariousness of queer life in Weimar Germany and documents first attempts at resistance. It will be shown with English intertitles.

Heldo during LGBT History Month, the event aims to remember and reassess the difficult history of homosexual persecution. The screening will be introduced by Heike Bauer and is followed by a panel discussion featuring Silke Arnold-de Simine, Justin Bengry, Daniel Monk and Chrysanthi Nigianni.

Programme:
6.00pm: Drinks Reception

6.30pm: Film Screening

7.30pm: Panel Discussion

Free. All welcome, but please register to secure your place by clicking here

This event is funded by the AHRC and BiGS.