Why (Queer) History Matters: The Politics of History
Neglect and erasure of queer history has been the norm in all national histories until quite recently. In this conference we address how this highly problematic practice of history can also enable the eradication of LGBT+ rights in contemporary societies. For, in some places LGBT communities are seen as a national threat while in others, homo-tolerance is instrumentalized to build national self-identity. In both cases, interest in and knowledge of queer history is usually absent. In this conference we therefore ask: How are national histories cleansed of unwanted elements? What role does ignorance and censorship play? Can the lack of knowledge of queer history be fundamental to contemporary oppression of queers? If so, what can be done to preserve and disseminate queer histories?
In this conference we hear reflections and examples on how and why queer history matters in different contexts. Norway officially opened its national queer archive here in Bergen in 2015, and queer history is slowly starting to appear as a legitimate academic field in line with other academic fields of research also in Norway.
Registration. Possibility of guided tour in the queer history exhibition at the University Museum of Bergen
Norway & the queer history context – the Norwegian Queer archive by Tone Hellesund, Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Bergen
The roots of Russian homophobia, and why historical research matters by Dan Healey, Professor of Russian History, University of Oxford
Queer history and neoliberal Islam by Evren Savci, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University
Postsocialist homophobia and the lesson of histories past, present, and future by Hadley Z. Renkin, Assistant Professor in Gender Studies, Central European University
How to document and tell queer history?
Public event at Litteraturhuset (not streamed). Screening of Susan Stryker’s film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria (57 minutes) followed by a roundtable discussion involving Susan Stryker, Hadley Renkin, C. Anzio Jacobs, Dan Healey, Svati Shah.
Queer archives and activism in India by Jayna Kothari, Executive Director at Centre for Law & Policy Research and Akkai Padmashali, Indian transgender activist
White words & violence: A queer African herstory by C. Anzio Jacobs, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Scope Non-Profit Organisation, South Africa
Queer history in the USA. The development of trans history and the uses of transgender history for the present by Susan Stryker, Professor, Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women's Leadership, Mills College
The politics of sexuality in Latin America by Javier Corrales, Professor of Political Science at Amherst College
Sexualities and the uses of history in different African contexts by Sylvia Tamale, Professor of Law, Makerere University
Mapping queerness in postcolonial South Asian worlds by Svati Shah, Associate Professor, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Roundtable: The promise and future of queer history making. All speakers are welcome to attend this roundtable
Queer history exhibition at the University Museum of Bergen. Possibility of guided tour.
The conference will take place in the University Aula in Bergen. It will be possible to participate both physical and digital.
Price: 200 NOK for physical participation (includes lunch)
Registration opens in April 2022.
Conference organizing committee
- Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Professor of Social Anthropology at UiB and Executive Director of Global Research Programme on Inequality
- Siri Gloppen, Professor of Comparative Politics at UiB and Director of Centre on Law and Social Transformation
- Kari Jegerstedt, Associate Professor of Humanistic gender studies at UiB and Interim Head of Centre for Women's and Gender Research
- Heidi Rohde Rafto, Academic Librarian at UiB and The National Norwegian Archive for Queer History
- Tone Hellesund, Professor of Cultural Studies at UiB and project manager of the research project QUEERDOM