History seminars at the IHR

History of Sexuality Seminar

Convenors: Anna Schaffner (University of Kent), Chiara Beccalossi (Oxford Brookes), Alison Oram (Leeds Metropolitan University), Craig Griffiths (Queen Mary), Christopher M. Waters (Williams University), Heike Bauer (Birkbeck), Jana Funke (University of Exeter), Julia Laite (Birkbeck), Jane Mackelworth (Queen Mary), Justin Bengry (Birkbeck/McGill), Claire Hayward (Kingston University), Matt Cook (Birkbeck), Sean Brady (Birkbeck), Sarah Toulalan (University of Exeter)

Venue: From Autumn 2014, Holden Room, 103, first floor of Senate House

Time: Tuesdays 18:00

The seminar series is convened by the Raphael Samuel History Centre. All seminars are open to all and there is no need to register in advance. If you have any questions about the seminar please contact Craig Griffiths at: c.griffiths@qmul.ac.uk

Some podcasts from this seminar are available online

Spring Term 2015
DateSeminar details
6 January 'The Continuous Thread of Revelation': Chrononormativity and the Challenge of Queer Oral History

Dr Amy Tooth Murphy (University of Roehampton)

Is oral history inherently queer? Oral history has long been held as a route to foregrounding silenced and marginalised voices. Feminist oral history in particular has maintained a commitment to hearing voices that challenge hegemonic and androcentric histories. Similarly, historians of sexuality have been keen to use oral history for the exploration of LGBT and queer histories. Such research has proposed that oral history’s unique methodological and theoretical underpinnings are ideally placed for this type of recovery history. However, this paper will argue that developments in the field of queer theory may help to shine a light on, and problematise, such assumptions. Using Elizabeth Freeman’s concept of chrononormativity, I will suggest that some established methodologies of oral history interviewing might, in fact, have the potential to inhibit, rather than facilitate, the telling of queer narratives. In particular, I will argue that the implicit use of normative narrative frameworks to structure storytelling and interview encounters can lead to the inevitable ‘failure’ of queer narrators to achieve narrative composure.

Joint seminar with the Oral History seminar


27 January The De-Naturalization of Sexuality in 21st Century Psychology

Peter Hegarty (Surrey)


17 February Sex backwards. Sexology speaks about desire in communist Czechoslovakia

KateĊ™ina Lišková (Masaryk University)


10 March Portugal on the periphery? Scenarios from the History of Sexuality, 1900-1960

Richard Cleminson (Leeds)


Summer Term 2015
DateSeminar details
5 May 'Gourmet guides to love making': Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex and the sex manual in 1970s Britain

Ben Mechen (UCL)

Reproduction, eugenics, and the fight for free love at the fin de siècle
Sarah Jones (Exeter)


26 May TBC

16 June Stopes v. Ellis: A Critically Queer Take on Normal Sex

Laura Doan (Manchester)