This course will take place online.
London has played host to a vibrant array of queer experiences, from the cruising ground of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and Hampstead Heath, riotous Molly houses of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, "scandalous" displays of lesbian affection by High Society, and the birth of queer activism. Yet all of this has taken place amidst a culture of criminalisation, policing, and violence.
By telling the stories of radical queer individuals and communities, and exploring important cultures that underpin queer history, such as cruising, sex work, policing, and Aids activism, this course offers an exploration of the rich and contradictory world of pleasure and constraint.
The course will use a broad selection of archival material, drawing on oral history, interviews, pamphlets, films, and fiction. Through these resources, we will consider the constrictions of gender, race, and class in shaping the possibilities and experiences of being queer in London and the unique place London has in the development of queer cultures and communities.
Do I need any previous skills or knowledge?
This course is for anyone with an interest in LGBTQ+ history and queer British culture and archives. No prior experience or knowledge is required.
What can I expect?
The course will involve discussion of historical documents as well as cultural texts such as novels, poems and film. It will be delivered through a mix of interactive lectures, small and large group discussion and video clips, images and short texts. There will be optional reading for each session.
Joining via Zoom
This course or event will be held via Zoom. You need a computer/laptop or mobile phone to access the Zoom website, and a reliable internet connection. For further information on how to join a Zoom meeting, you can watch the joining video here.
You will need a computer or other device to connect with Zoom and a notebook/paper and pen/pencil, or digital equivalent.
We provide a number of funded bursaries to people who find it hard to pay the full or concessionary rates. Find out more information on how to apply.
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You will learn
By the end of this course, you will have:
- Tracked the development of queer cultures in London from the sixteenth century to the present day
- Gained an understanding of the history of criminalisation and discrimination against queer communities as well as their resistance
- Rare and fascinating insights from the LGBTQ+ archives
- Engaged in a queer alternative mapping of the city.
Meet the Tutors
Dr Isabell Dahms
Dr Isabell Dahms researches the intersection of the histories of philosophy, gynaecology and feminist health movements. She recently completed a PhD at Kingston University London on notions of speculation and performativity in philosophy and gender studies.
Dr Peter Ely
Dr Peter Ely recently completed a PhD at Kingston University in British fiction and notions of community. He has taught on a number of modules at Kingston University including ‘Black British Writing’ and ‘Multicultural London’ and is currently converting his research into a book.
A timeline of criminalisation, the Vagabond Act and sodomy laws
What Happens at Home
A history of gay domestic spaces
A Mapping of Public Sex
Lesbian, bi, and trans histories of London
Making a Living
Sex work, Soho and the city
A history of the AIDS crisis, ACT UP, and Pride
Need to Know
- 19:00 - 21:00
- £119/£89 concession
- Dr Isabell Dahms and Dr Peter Ely
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code