The last couple of years have witnessed a soaring interest in the situation of LGBTIQ* people in rural and smaller town settings. At the same time the metronormative bias of queer studies focusing exclusively on larger urban centres has come under criticism. In which ways can history contribute to making rural queer lives visible that have all too often fallen under the radar? How did the situation of LGBTIQ* people in non-metropolitan settings change across time? And how did the distinction between rural and urban surroundings play out in queer history?
These questions will be discussed by three historians who have researched queer lives beyond the metropolis in different countries across the globe.
Dr Rebecca Jennings teaches histories of gender and sexuality at UCL and works on modern British and Australian lesbian history, including the history of rural separatist communities.
Dr Jens Rydström is a professor of Gender Studies at Lund University, Sweden, and the author of Sinners and citizens: Bestiality and homosexuality in Sweden 1880-1950 (2003). He has also written several books in Swedish about LGBTQ history and gender history in Scandinavia.
Dr Benno Gammerl is a lecturer for queer history at Goldsmiths College and has explored the emotional lives of same-sex desiring men and women between rural and urban settings in West Germany.
The discussion will be chaired by Dr Hannah Elias, Associate Lecturer in History at Goldsmiths, Academic and Digital Engagement Officer at the Institute of Historical Research.