Can and should we queer the past?

Bengry, Justin. 2021. Can and should we queer the past? In: Helen Carr and Suzannah Lipscomb, eds. What is History, Now? How the Past and the Present Speak to Each Other. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp. 48-65. ISBN 9781474622455 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The past is a queer place. Its inhabitants are deceptive. They tease us with seemingly familiar appearances and promises of kinship. But don’t let them trick you. People in the past are not always as they seem. They are not necessarily like you and me. These are queer people indeed.

But what is queer about them and what exactly is ‘queer’? Is it an insult hurled on playgrounds or accompanying kicks and punches? Is it a term of self-description, assertively and proudly recovered from homophobic abuse and misuse? Or is it just a new way to say LGBT, an umbrella that catches all kinds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and perhaps others too? Queer is a queer word, with its own history and its own problems and possibilities. It’s also a useful way of thinking about the past.

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23 September 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Feb 2022 09:11

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28 Feb 2022 09:11


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