The Sexual Offences Act: 50 years on / What is & How to Do LGBT History 2017

Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 12:00am

Part of the UK National Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans History
Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th March 2017 @ Blue Coat School, Liverpool, England

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised private homosexual acts in England and Wales for men over the age of 21. This year's What is and how to do LGBT History conference will consider the role that legal reform has played in the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer people. Celebrating the anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act offers us an important opportunity to reflect on the relationship between the law and (homo)sexuality, specifically:

  • Did the liberal reform of sexuality follow the pattern of other liberal law reforms, creating new disciplinary mechanisms as the price exacted for greater freedoms? What might be some of the less explored consequences of this reconfiguration of rights and responsibilities?
  • Did 1967 represent an effort to better align the law to individual behaviour or should it be understood as an attempt to control same-sex expression in public spaces?
  • Has queer history failed to properly interrogate the relationship between female same-sex desire and the law?
  • What has the control of sexuality had to do with the legal status of trans people?
  • What has been the heritage of de/criminalisation in (post)colonial contexts?
  • How has the law continued to frame LGBTIQ identities?

We welcome abstracts for papers or panels that interrogate the relationship between history, heritage, the law and LGBTIQ people. We also welcome papers that historicise the LGBTIQ past and consider how we might best incorporate LGBTIQ histories into the curricula of schools and universities. Preference will be given to those abstracts which directly address the conference theme.

Call of Papers Timetable

Abstracts should be submitted by 15 September 2016, via Individual abstracts should be between 150 and 250 words, and should include a short biography. You will be contacted about the decision by 21 September 2016 and later in the month the preliminary conference programme and registration will be available on our website. A secondary deadline of 21 October 2016 has been established for late submissions, but participants are encouraged to have their abstracts in by the initial 15 September 2016 deadline.

The conference is affiliated to Schools OUT/LGBT History Month and is convened by: The LGBT HM Academic Advisory Panel (History): Emma Vickers (Liverpool John Moores University), Helen Smith (University of Lincoln) Jana Funke (University of Exeter), Jeff Evans (Manchester Metropolitan University), Jen Grove (University of Exeter), & Mark Walmsley (University of Leeds).

The LGBT HM Distinguished Academic Patrons are: Alison Oram (Professor in Social and Cultural History, Leeds Becket University), Harry Cocks (Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, University of Nottingham), Matt Cook (Professor Matt Cook, History & Gender Studies at Birkbeck, University of London), Sheila Rowbotham (Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester), Charles Upchurch (Associate Professor of History, Florida State University), Jeffrey Weeks (Research Professor, Arts & Human Sciences/Social Sciences, London South Bank University), Stephen Whittle (Professor of Equalities Law in the School of Law, Manchester Metropolitan University).

More information:

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