The Queerness of Interwar Progressives seminar

The IMCC is very happy to publicise the first Queer London Research Forum event of 2015: a talk by the Wellcome Library’s Lesley A. Hall, entitled ‘‘‘Bearded Fruit-Juice Drinkers”: the Queerness of Interwar Progressives’. The talk will take place on 9th February at 18:30 in the Cayley Room (room 152) in the University of Westminster’s building at 309 Regent Street and will be followed by a wine reception. Attendance is free, but places must be booked; please email to confirm your place.

Abstract: “There was a significant mass of individuals and organisations in Britain between the wars, concentrated in the metropolis, who were widely perceived as ‘queer’ both in the contemporary popular sense of generally eccentric and cranky and also on account of their contravention of gender and sexual norms. This paper will look at the ways this somewhat amorphous group destabilised prevalent assumptions of the day, with particular attention to the ways in which they were felt to be violating hegemonic masculinity, whether through belief in pacifism, a dedication to vegetarianism, unconventional personal fashion style, or enjoyment of such unmanly forms of exercise as yoga and folk-dancing, alongside their liberal attitudes towards homosexuality and on other matters of sexual conduct.”

Lesley Hall, FRHistS, PhD, is Senior Archivist at the Wellcome Library and Honorary Lecturer in History of Medicine, University College London. She is the author of numerous works on gender and sexuality in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain, including Sex, Gender, and Social Change in Britain since 1880 The Life and Times of Stella Browne: Feminist and Free Spirit and Ouspoken Women: Women Writing About Sex, 1870-1969.

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