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IHR History of Sexuality Seminar: Ina Linge (University of Cambridge) & Tommy Dickinson (University of Manchester)
9th February 2016 @ 17:15 - 19:00Free
Life writings and sexual sciences: writing the queer self in early 20th-century Germany and Austria, Ina Linge (University of Cambridge)
‘Curing Queers’. Mental Nurses and their Patients, 1935-1974, Tommy Dickinson (University of Manchester)
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Life writings and sexual sciences: writing the queer self in early 20th-century Germany and AustriaIna Linge (University of Cambridge)
This paper will explore the crucial yet largely overlooked literary dimensions of sexological and psychoanalytic life writings from the first half of the twentieth century. Bringing to bear gender and queer theory to illuminate the intersection between literature and scientific discourses, it will show that queer subjects actively mobilize medico-scientific discourses in order to sustain a livable bodily and gendered identity. As such, life writings in fact offer a unique insight into the (im)possibilities for those under duress to give an adequate account of themselves.
‘Curing Queers’. Mental Nurses and their Patients, 1935-1974
Tommy Dickinson (University of Manchester)
Drawing on a rich array of source materials including previously unseen, fascinating (and often quite moving) oral histories, archival and news media sources, this paper examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive “treatment” for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It examines why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment-in spite of the zero success-rate in “straightening out” queer men-but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours.