Adams-Thies, Brian L (2007). Perimeters, performances and perversity: The creation and success of a gay community in Madrid, Spain. PhD Dissertation, University of Arizona. Abstract. PDF Download.
Andits, Eszter (2010). "Sore on the Nation's Body": Repression of Homosexuals Under Italian Facism. Master's of Arts Dissertation, History Department, Central European University. PDF Download.
Bialystok, Sandra (2008). The Cuckold, His Wife, and Her Lover: A Study of Infidelity in the Cent nouvelles nouvelles, the Decameron, and the Libro de buen amor. PhD Dissertation, Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto. Abstract. PDF Download.
Burns R (2007). On the limits of culture: why biology is important in the study of Victorian sexuality. PhD Dissertation. Georgia State University. PDF Download. Download Page. PDF Download.
Dennis, David Brandon (2005). Coming out into socialism: the emergence of a political Schwulsein in the German Democratic Republic. Master's Dissertation, Ohio State University. PDF Download. Download Page.
de Vries, Swaeske(2011). (Un)Natural Love: Homosexuality in Late Medieval English Literature: Langland, Chaucer, Gower, and the Gawain Poet. Master's Dissertation, Faculteit der Letteren, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Introduction / Download Page. PDF
Duder, Karen (2001). The Spreading Depths: Lesbian and Bisexual Women in English Canada, 1910-1965. PhD Dissertation, Department of History, University of Victoria. PDF
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Foote, Learned (2011). Homosexual Democracy in America: Political Ideology and Organization in the Mattachine, 1950-1954. Honors Dissertation, Columbia University. PDF
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Hanson, Justin Nicholas (2011). Inside The Body Politic: Examining the Birth of Gay Liberation. Honors Research Dissertation, English Department, Ohio State University. PDF
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Anita (2005). Ancestors of Two-Spirits: Representations Of Native American
Third-Gender Males In Historical Documentation: A Critical Discourse Analysis
in Anthropology. Graduate Dissertation, University of Jyväskylä. PDF Download. Download Page.
Knowles, Jeremy Joseph (2009). An Investigation into the Relationship Between Gay Activism and the Establishment of a Gay Community in Birmingham, 1967-97. Master's Dissertation, Department of Modern History, University of Birmingham. PDF Download.
Leung M-k (2006). Solitude and solidarity : the history of homosexuality in France, 1940s-1980s. Master's Dissertation, Hong Kong University. Download Page. Note: Must accept agreement before dissertation is accessed.
Lybeck, Marti M (2008). Gender, Sexuality, and Belonging: Female Homosexuality In Germany, 1890-1933. 2008 Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize Winner, University Of Wisconsin La Crosse. PDF
McCann, Christine A (2010). Transgressing
the Boundaries of Holiness: Sexual Deviance in the Early Medieval
Penitential Handbooks of Ireland, England and France 500-1000. Master's Dissertation, Seton Hall University. PDF
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Pastorello, Thierry (2009). Sodome
à Paris : protohistoire de l’homosexualité masculine fin
XVIIIème - milieu XIXème siècle [Sodom in Paris
: protohistory of male homosexuality end XVIIIe - mid nineteenth
century]. [Dissertation]Thèse en vue de l’obtention du Doctorat d’histoire,
Université Paris Diderot (Paris VII). PDF
Download. English Abstract. Download Page & Introduction. Translation.
Schaap, Rudy (2011). State of Emergency: An exploration of attitudes towards homosexuality in the SADF, 1969-1994. Master's Dissertation, History Department, Stellenbosch University. Abstract and Download Page.
Thompson, Jelisa (2011). You Make Me Feel: A Study of the Gay Rights Movement in New Orleans. Honors Dissertation, University of Southern Mississippi. PDF Download.
Abstract by author: A Queer Capital focuses upon the Black and white same-sex sexual communities of Washington from the 1890s, the years in which gay life in the city seems to have first been documented, through 1954, when open discrimination in public facilities began to wane following the Supreme Court's banning of segregation in the capital. Unlike most previous works on same-sex sexuality, which either ignored African Americans or assumed that their experiences were the same as whites, this study demonstrates that lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals created communities that were often structured along racial lines and that Black gay social institutions were specifically rooted in African-American culture.
Men and women who were interested in same-sex relationships in Washington created their own social networks and group institutions in the early and mid-twentieth century. Like the larger society of the nation's capital, the communities which developed were often racially segregated. But, for both Blacks and whites, the city's bars, late-night cafeterias, private parties, and other social institutions served as crucial sites of cultural formation. By establishing spaces where they could find emotional support and pursue same-sex relationships, lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals of both races were able to survive one of the worst antigay campaigns in the U.S.
The crackdown against gays, though, did mean that they had to be particularly careful about the disclosure of their sexuality, recognizing that they faced arrest under the police's 'Sexual Perversion Elimination Program' and, for those employed by the government, the loss of their jobs as part of the witch hunt launched by Congress in 1950. Because African Americans who were in the life socialized within Washington's Black neighborhoods, they often faced more obstacles than whites in acting upon their sexuality, which at times led them to take trips outside of the capital. Members of the Black elite, like writer Angelina Weld Grimke, editor and critic Alain Locke, and educators Lucy Slowe and Mary Burrill, were especially circumscribed in Washington society, but they also often had greater opportunities to escape, however briefly, from the sexual strictures of the city.
Bolze TA (1994). Female Impersonation in the United States, 1900-1970. Ph.D. Thesis, State University of New York at Buffalo, DAI Vol. 55-11A, p. 3617, 510 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation examines the chronological history of female impersonation in live theatrical settings throughout much of the twentieth century, suggesting ways in which this history reflects and reveals broader issues in American cultural history. Female impersonation was a popular staple of the vaudeville stage and remained a viable entertainment in many nightclubs after the demise of vaudeville; it was only gradually that impersonation became linked with homosexuality, and that transition was itself a complex one. In examining female impersonation’s transformation from mainstream to gay-identified entertainment, I suggest that shifting opinions about impersonation were integrally connected to broader changes occurring in American attitudes toward sex and gender. Among the most important topics illuminated by female impersonation are the early twentieth century construction of a consumerist ideal of femininity, the changing aspects of sexual identity in the United States, and the emergence of a distinct gay identity in the U.S.
The dissertation is divided into six chapters. The first two chapters discuss female impersonation’s popular appeal in the vaudeville era and the discomfort raised by this popularity. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the growing stigmatization of female impersonation from the late 1920s through the 1930s and situate the discourse surrounding female impersonation within broader debates over sex, gender, and the nature of sexual identity. Chapter 5 focuses on the nightclubs that featured female impersonators from the 1930s through the 1960s, while Chapter 6 discusses the relationship of female impersonation to the development of a conscious gay identity in the twentieth century. the body of the dissertation concludes with the Stonewall uprising, which fundamentally altered the cultural context of female impersonation.
The sources for this research include popular literature and periodicals, autobiographies, interviews conducted by both myself and others, psychological and child-rearing literature, and gay publications such as One and Mattachine Review. While the interviews are extremely important for reconstructing the milieu of the clubs in which impersonators worked, the popular and psychological literature help to locate female impersonation within a broader cultural context. The research concludes with Esther Newton’s important work Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America, which provides a powerful look at female impersonation on the eve of Stonewall.
Boyd NA (1995). San Francisco was a wide open town: charting the emergence of lesbian and gay communities through the mid-Twentieth Century. PH.D. Thesis, Brown University, DAI Vol. 56-08A, p. 3181, 295 pages.
Abstract by author: San Francisco’s unique cultural geography enabled lesbian and gay communities to grow and thrive through the mid-twentieth century despite police harassment. More interesting than the history of police persecution, however, are the various cultural and political responses San Francisco’s queer communities engineered in order to resist oppression and protect their unique cultures. Through the 1950s San Francisco’s homosexual communities articulated an agenda and pursued a number of distinct cultural and political strategies long before similar movements took shape in other large cities. Homophile movements, bar communities, and gay and lesbian entrepreneurs organized a series of coordinated efforts that brought the concerns of San Francisco’s lesbian and gay communities and the concept of homosexual civil rights into the public eye.
At the same time, internal conflicts emerged within queer communities over questions about organizational strategy and public representation. The internal conflicts that ensued enabled new levels of political organizing to emerge even while it divided communities into increasingly distinct factions. This dissertation thus documents a phase in the growth of San Francisco’s lesbian and gay communities in that it traces their evolution through the mid-century and historicizes the convergence of increasingly distinct cultural and political movements. It is primarily concerned with the disparate social, cultural, and political strategies that emerged within and among San Francisco’s lesbian and gay communities through the 1950s and early 1960s.
Brayne A (1988). The changing depiction of homosexual people in twentieth century British drama. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Warwick (United Kingdom), DAI Vol. 50:12A, p. 3795, 440 pages.
Abstract by author: This thesis studies how the image of homosexual people has evolved on the British stage during the present century. It aims to discern general trends rather than compile an exhaustive list of plays containing homosexual characters. Similarly, it is not intended to be a compendium of homosexual playwrights, but will focus on the contents of the drama rather than the biographical details of authors’ lives. It makes no attempt to analyse work that is not ostensibly homosexual which could be argued to contain latent homosexual content. Nor, finally, does it discuss phenomena of interest in this field which are tangential to the area of study—for example, cross-dressing in pantomime and music hall. At the risk of superficiality, it concentrates on plays that have tried to discuss homosexuality and depict gay characters in an open, straight-forward manner. The approach taken to the subject has been historical and sociological, linking developments in gay drama to the social and political situation facing homosexual people throughout the present century. As such, this thesis argues for the existence of seven stages in homosexual drama during this time.
While plays cannot always be fitted into a rigid chronological schema - some overlap clearly occurs - the history of homosexual drama can be briefly summarised as follows: (1) Silence. (2) The first plays depict homosexual characters, but these are generally censored heavily or closed down. (3) Plays begin to raise the subject more boldly, but only by portraying characters who are wrongly accused of homosexuality or about whose sexuality there is left some doubt. (4) Homosexual characters are depicted openly as such, but they conform to degrading stereotypes. (5) Gay people break away to create their own separatist drama, generally intending to proselytise in favour of gay rights. (6) Mainstream plays on the West End and television begin to feature gay people in an unsensationalised way. (7) AIDS arrives and dominates homosexual drama. Although this study concentrates on British drama, theatre is now an international phenomenon, and this has been especially true of gay drama. Therefore, it has often been necessary to refer to the drama of other countries, in particular America.
Buccioni EM (1996). The Path of Eros. M.A. Thesis, University of Guelph (Canada), MAI Vol. 35-03, p. 662, 103 pages, ISBN: 0-612-14371-6.
Abstract by author: This thesis critically examines the inter-connectedness of the three pederastic speeches in Plato’s Phaedrus. I argue that the intricate threads connecting the speeches must be sought within the historical context of popular Athenian morality. The approach Plato has chosen to convey his concept of eros reflects the social attitude (i.e. laws, conventions, practices and beliefs) toward homosexual relations between Athenian citizens. He leads his audience from a recognition of the most reprehensible form of pederasty to an initiation into its highest form.
I examine the first speech against the backdrop of the legal constraints on pederasty the contemporary audience was aware of. The second speech delineates the shortcomings of the popular view of morality that operate on the dichotomy between hybris and sophrosune. The third speech reveals Plato’s own view of pederasty as transcending both fear of public opinion and conformity to popular morality.
Chenier ER (1995). Tough Ladies And Troublemakers: Toronto's Public Lesbian Community, 1955-1965. Master's Thesis, Queen's University at Kingston, MAI Vol. 34:02, p. 573, 253 pages, ISBN: 0-612-00699-9
Abstract by author: None.
Chung H (1986). Paiderastia In Sophocles' 'Philoctetes'. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Southern California, DAI Vol. 47:07A, p. 2571.
Abstract by author: The Philoctetes of Sophocles is a play which deals with the theme of the spiritually ennobling homoerotic relationship between men. But classicists have largely ignored the topic of ancient Greek homoerotism because of a fierce bias against homosexuality in modern times and consequently have seldom mentioned it for the understanding of Greek tragedy. But it is of the utmost importance for an understanding both of Greek tragedy and also of fifth century Greek culture and society in general. The purpose of this dissertation is, therefore, to illuminate Sophocles' Philoctetes in light of its central homoerotic themes. In ancient Greek homoerotism we find characteristics which are quite different from those of modern homosexuality.
Greek pederasty is always the relationship of an older dominant partner and a subordinate youth. The erastes (lover) guides and instructs his younger eromenos (beloved) in aristocratic male ideals and thereby passes on everything he cherishes. He devotes himself to developing the moral and intellectual growth of his younger partner. The eromenos, on the other side, takes the older man as the guide and model whose status he emulates. The love between an older man and a younger boy was thus the chosen ground for noble aspiration.
Chapter I attempts to explain the general characteristics, positive motives and values of male pederastic relationships in ancient Greece. This provides us with the necessary background to understand the Philoctetes of Sophocles. Chapter II deals with female homoerotism in ancient Greece, which is a counterpart to the male pederastic relationship. Chapter III, the main part of this thesis, is an analysis of Philoctetes that treats the theme of homosexual eros. Sophocles is undoubtedly reflecting the social phenomena of his own time in this play.
Through the dilemma a youth faces, when he has to choose the right erastes, Sophocles explores the contemporary social issues involved in pederastic relationships - the problem of the good erastes and the bad erastes which is also discussed in the works of Plato. In this play Philoctetes, a lonely outcast, is revealed to be the right erastes for the noble son of Achilles, Neoptolemus, rather than the shrewd, crafty Odysseus. (Copies available exclusively from Micrographics Department, Doheny Library, USC, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0182.)
Craft CC (1989). Another kind of Love: sodomy, inversion, and male homosexual desire in English discourse, 1850-1897 (Tennyson, Wilde, Stoker, Ellis, and Symonds) Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, DAI Vol. 50:10A, p. 3233, 191 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation correlates two modes or strains of discourse which, until recently, have been conveniently held apart, separated by a sanitizing disjunction: (1) a historically continuous ecclesiastical/juridical/medical discourse on, variously, ‘sodomy,’ ‘sexual inversion,’ and ‘homosexuality’; and (2) literary discourse proper, herein represented by a long poem (Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s In Memoriam), a Gothic novel (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and a play (Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest).
Arguing that these distinct discursive modes are in fact deeply intervolved and interanimating, the dissertation pursues their relations in texts primarily of the Victorian period, during which time English writers produced their first sustained public discourse on the subject of homosexual desire, including, most centrally, Sexual Inversion (1896), a text originally authored jointly by Havelock Ellis and John Addington Symonds. The historical and literary analyses are structured as follows.
Chapter One, ‘Alias Sodomy,’ investigates the historical process by which modern notions of sexual inversion and homosexuality inherited the conceptual domain formerly organized under the rubric ‘sodomy,’ itself an unstable and ‘utterly confused category’ (as Foucault was once moved to call it); more than lexical, this transformation entails nothing less than a paradigm shift with large implications for gender and subjectivity.
Chapter Two, entitled "Descend, and Touch, and Enter," takes its cue from a case history in Sexual Inversion and reads Tennyson’s In Memoriam as a desiring machine which enables male homosexual desire, but enables it only as a specifically elegiac desire: as a desire for the dead which precludes the possibility of touch, embrace, connection except as these are displaced into (the fantasy of) a closural embrace with Christ.
Chapter Three, "Kiss Me With Those Red Lips," extends this investigation of eros and thanatos by reading Dracula as a Gothic displacement of the inversion paradigm, a displacement in which the gender structure of inversion is diachronically enacted as a narrative about unnatural or monstrous penetration.
Finally, Chapter Four, entitled "Alias Bunbury," reads The Importance of Being Earnest as a gay countertext in which Wilde parodically deconstructs the ontological bases of both sexual inversion and sexual essentialism. Beginning with another case history from Sexual Inversion, this chapter goes on to explore the specifically homosexual implications of Wilde’s titular pun.
Duemer LS (1993). The History of the reserve officer training corps among the Association of American Universities from 1982 to 1992: review of educational administrator responses to policy regarding homosexuals. M.A. Thesis, University of Pittsburgh, MAI 35:04, p. 935, 72 pages.
Abstract by author: A historical review of how administrators have responded to ROTC exclusion of homosexuals from 1982 to 1993, focusing on AAU institutions is provided. Background information explains the history, mission, curriculum, and policy regarding homosexuals. The thesis reviews the different responses administrators at AAU institutions have taken. These include approval of ROTC in spite of conflict with institutional policies barring discrimination, neutrality, collective action, barring military recruiters, eliminating ROTC and distancing the institution from ROTC. It also covers precipitating events which preceded administrator responses, leaks of Pentagon research reports on homosexuals in the armed forces and dismissal of several ROTC cadets for revealing homosexuality followed by ROTC requests to obtain repayment of cadet scholarship money. A bibliography is included.
Dunn LA (1998). The Evolution Of Imperial Roman Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Acts. Ph.D. Thesis, Miami University, DAI Vol 59:03A, p. 916, 362 pages.
Abstract by author: There are two purposes to this dissertation. The first is to identify the different attitudes toward same-sex acts that existed in Roman society from the late Republic until the time of Justinian and to show how those attitudes changed over time. The second purpose is to identify the agent(s) of change that brought about the transformation in Roman culture and law regarding same-sex acts. We begin, in the introduction, with some background information regarding Greek attitudes toward same-sex relationships and discuss how Hellenization affected Roman views of same-sex acts.
Part one, which forms the bulk of the dissertation, analyzes different schools of thought regarding same-sex acts. We start with the philosophical tradition which opposed all non-procreative sexual acts. Next we look at the popular tradition which accepted same-sex relationships as part of the social fabric, yet condemned those who played the passive role in a same-sex act. In the Jewish and Christian traditions, we find that same-sex acts were proscribed either because they involved gender boundary transgressions or because they were non-procreative.
Part two of the dissertation focuses on law codes that dealt with same-sex acts. We learn that the earliest laws were issued to protect the integrity of freeborn youths. Later laws (fourth-century CE) made it a capital crime to play the passive role in a same-sex act, while Justinian (sixth-century CE) condemned to death all parties in same-sex relationships, regardless of the role played. In part three, we analyze why Rome moved from accepting same-sex love as a normal part of its social fabric to classifying it as a capital crime.
We conclude that the two main reasons for this transformation in Roman thought were: (1) the aversion to gender boundary transgressions which was inherent in Roman culture, and (2) the triumph of the Christian belief that only procreative sexual acts are legitimate. We also conclude that Christianity was not solely responsible for the condemnation of same-sex relationships. Roman condemnation of same-sex acts resulted from an interplay of forces which was then carried forward by the Christian Church.
Euler CA (1995). Moving Between Worlds: Gender, Class, Politics, Sexuality And Women's Networks In The Diaries Of Anne Lister Of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, 1830-1840. Ph.D. Thesis, University of York, DAI Vol. 57:03C, p. 790, 425 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation comprises an analysis of the interconnections of gender, class, politics, sexuality and female networks as these operated within the recorded life of Anne Lister (1791-1840), a 'masculine' and lesbian member of the minor landed gentry in the West Riding of Yorkshire. A scholar, traveller and businesswoman, Lister left an enormous, approximately four million-word journal, part of which was written in a crypt of her own devising. While other studies have focused on the production of discourses and their effect in creating passively-inscribed identities, this work will focus on Lister's reception of discourses, her active manipulation of these, and her creation of an identity based partly upon class, partly upon gender, and partly upon her sexual practice. Thus, it represents a major revision of at least one of Foucault's basic premises.
Few studies have analyzed the role of women in the gentry to this extent. Lister managed a landed estate in an industrializing area. Estate business included coal-mining, quarrying, mill-building, and investments in roads and canals. A staunch Tory Anglican, she felt that her property gave her the right to dictate the votes of her tenants, and this became more possible following the Reform Act of 1832. Over the course of her life Lister had a number of affairs with women in the gentry and aristocracy, but during the period focused upon here, 1830-1840, Lister had settled into a lesbian marriage with another local heiress, Ann Walker. The gendered power dynamics of their relationship are explored, as are the languages Lister uses to record sexual practice.
Lister maintained an extensive correspondence with women in the gentry and aristocracy up to the time of her death. These networks operated both as systems of support and systems of constraint. After her death, the property arrangements she had made with her partner caused difficulties for both families. Property laws recognized only heterosexual transmission, upon which the landed gentry depended for its survival. The Lister journals represent the earliest and most detailed personal evidence of upper-class lesbian lives known to Western historians. The wealth of detail available in matters of gender, class, politics and women's networks is also unprecedented. The journals are thus a vital source in women's history. They simultaneously show how Lister and the women in her world were fundamentally shaped by the dominant discourses of their time while also demonstrating the power of women's agency to resist and shape those discourses for their own benefit.
Foley BF (1993). Significant others: gay subcultural histories and practices. M.A. Thesis, Simon Fraser University (Canada), MAI 33:02, p. 437, 226 pages, ISBN: 0-315-91109-3.
Abstract by author: Contemporary gay cultural practices affirm the identities of individual men and their communities which have evolved over the past twenty-five years in various metropolitan centres. Cultural critics and theorists, however, have not acknowledged, addressed or perhaps even recognized gay cultural activities of resistance and opposition. The failure to perceive this subculture limits contemporary criticism of film and music, for example, and perpetuates hegemonic oppression of gay men. This thesis attempts to explain what is missing from the work of cultural studies and theory. The absence of analyses of gay cultural productions in cultural theory is first identified, the consequences of which are then suggested, and a framework for introducing discussion and analyses of gay cultural productions is drafted. This framework, of necessity, demands an historical overview of Western religious, medical and legal systems because, unlike other youth and subcultural groupings which are discussed in contemporary cultural studies, homosexual oppression and resistance is perhaps systemic. After this theoretical analysis, the thesis then examines cultural productions in film and popular music, suggesting ways in which an understanding of gay subcultural practices enhances cultural theory in general and textual analysis of both film and music in particular.
Garner AC (1995). The criminalization of homosexuality: an historical and legal analysis of the sodomy statute. M.S. Thesis, Central Missouri State University, MAI Vol. 34:01, p. 137, 92 pages.
Abstract by author: Homosexual sodomy has been a crime for centuries. Although revered by the Ancient Greeks, it was an offense punishable by death under Roman, English, and Colonial Law. Statutes criminalizing consensual same-sex sexual activity are currently codified in twenty-four states and the District of Columbia; prior to 1961, all fifty states prohibited the expression of such sexual acts by way of sodomy statutes. The Supreme Court ruled on June 30, 1986, that each state may continue to legislate rules for the constraint of sexual conduct, whether such conduct takes place in public or in the privacy of one’s bedroom. Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) revealed that privacy was not a constitutional right afforded to sodomy practitioners. By using archival documentation and the case method of legal research, this thesis shall analyze the historical and legal rationalizations for the criminalization of homosexual sexuality.
Green JN (1996). Beyond Carnival: Homosexuality in twentieth-century Brazil. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, DAI Vol. 57-07A, p. 3206, 421 pages.
Abstract by author: This social and cultural history of homosexuality in twentieth-century Brazil examines the development of a subculture in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and the appropriation, use, and expansion of urban space for same-sex erotic sociability. The image of uninhibited and licentious Brazilian homosexuals, expressing sensuality, sexuality, and camp during Carnival festivities, has come to be equated with an alleged cultural and social toleration for homosexuality or bisexuality in Brazil. Apparent permissiveness during Carnival, so the stereotype goes, symbolizes a sexual and social regime that unabashedly accepts fluid sexual identity, including male-to-male sexuality. By widening the perspective beyond the gender transgressions which take place during Carnival, this study examines the broader social and cultural realities of male homosexuality. Using police and medical records, newspapers, literature, homecrafted newsletters, and oral interviews, this project recreates the lives of men coping with arrests and street violence, negotiating around family restrictions, developing alternative support networks, having sexual adventures, and maintaining relationships.
The first two chapters examine the formation of same-sex subcultures in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in the early twentieth century. This is followed by an analysis of the medicalization of homosexuality in the 1920s and ‘30s and the means by which medical and legal professionals attempted to control, contain, and cure this ‘deviant’ behavior. A fifth chapter maps the expansion of urban spaces, both public and private, in the post-World War II period. The final section explores the emergence of new gay identities in the 1960s and the first stages of politicalization of activists in the late 1970s. By this time, I argue, a new social and political situation among Brazilian gay men led to the development of a social movement that mobilized its members against discrimination, social stereotypes, and the marginal status of Brazilian homosexuals in everyday life.
This study of men who have crossed sexual boundaries, in turn, reflects back on the overall framework of Brazilian social values and rules of acceptable behavior and as such reveals much about normative definitions of masculinity and femininity.
Healy RM (1997). Homoerotic desire and narrative dilation in Elizabehtan England. PH.D. Thesis, University of Miami, DAI Vol. 58:08A, p. 3143, 219 pages.
Abstract by author: Even canonical literature - such as Spenserian pastoral and epic, Shakespearean history and comedy - registers the social constructs that shape cultural ideologies, including ideologies of sexuality. My premise is that representations of unorthodox sexuality materially affect the structure of The Shepheardes Calender, The Faerie Queene, Richard II, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Consequently, my purpose is to examine these works of various genres to demonstrate how the portrayal of homoerotic desire produces narrative dilation and resistance to closure. While narratology and homosexuality are frequently studied separately, a historically informed analysis correlating both fields of interest may yield valuable insights into early modern English literature and culture.
Hewitt TF (1983). The American Church's reaction to the homophile movement, 1948-1978. Ph.D. Thesis, DAI Vol. 45:01A, p. 211408 pages.
Abstract by author: The issue of the Church’s acceptance of persons with a homosexual orientation emerged tentively with the statistics made public in the Kinsey Report (1948) and exploded with the advent of the ‘gay rights’ movement (1969). This study documents that emerging debate in the American Church, 1948-1978, focusing on selected writers and three ecclesiastical bodies: United Methodists, Southern Baptists, and Roman Catholics. In addition to a descriptive focus, the study also examines the influence of biblical presuppositions and input from the social sciences on individual and group attitudes toward homosexuals. Specifically, the study proposes that it is the granting of authority to either the Bible or science that determines one’s place in the continuum of attitudinal categories proposed by James Nelson in 1977: rejecting-punitve, rejecting-nonpunitive, qualified acceptance, and full acceptance. Part One (Chapters I-II) constitutes a descriptive account of the reaction of Church and society to the emergence of the homophile movement in the 1948-1978 period as well as an historical review of the Church’s attitude toward homosexuals through the nineteenth century. Part Two (Chapters III-V) documents the use of both the Bible and data from the social sciences, and analyzes such use according to various writers’ place in the categories suggested by Nelson. Chapter V traces the debate over the acceptability of homosexuality in several American church bodies, with major attention given to United Methodists, Southern Baptists, and Roman Catholics; minor attention is given to the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. The Conclusion (Chapter VI) suggests that the ‘qualifies acceptance’ stance is the most feasible, defensible stance for the Church as a whole.
Hicksin A (1991). From sinful to a dangerous minority: the changing conceptualization of homosexuality in postwar Britain. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Essex, DAI Vol. 55:01C.
Abstract by author: The focus of this thesis is changing public perceptions of homosexual behavior. It is not primarily an analysis of shifting academic notions of homosexuality. Using evidence from three case studies of newspaper coverage, it argues against the view that the concept of ‘the homosexual’ emerged abruptly into common usage in the late nineteenth century. Although examples of the notion of the ‘homosexual person’ can be found at various times in history, in Britain it is not until after the 1960s that the concept becomes an accepted part of the common knowledge. The first case study demonstrates that in the 1950s homosexuality was still viewed fundamentally as a sinful aberration. It was not considered to be the cause of the perceived contemporary moral decline, but was, instead, regarded as a manifestation of the ‘underlying malaise’. It was a ‘condition’ which ‘prayed’ on the ‘decadent’ and the ‘dissolute’. The second case study, likewise, shows that even by 1967 there was little discussion at the level of popular discourse of ‘congenital homosexuality’ or of a ‘homosexual minority’. The homosexual actor of the newspaper stories was usually a ‘monstrous criminal’, a ‘beast’ or ‘animal’, whose activities defied a precise etiology. A rhetoric of danger to ‘disobedient’ youth had replaced the former sermons of church leaders and politicians, but the conceptualization of homosexual behaviour remained much the same in one respect; the homosexual was still first and foremost an ‘aberrant’ and any notion of his/her membership of a ‘minority population’ was limited to academia and the lesbian and gay subculture. It was only in the third case study, that of the newspaper discourse around the issue of AIDS in 1987, that there can be seen the clear emergence of the concept of a ‘homosexual minority’ and its antithesis - the ‘general population’. However, far from helping to reduce social prejudice, the new ideology appears to have stiffened the control of sexuality and to have heightened homophobia.
Howard J (1997). Men like that: male homosexualities in Mississippi, 1945-1985. PH.D. Thesis, Emory University, DAI Vol. 58:11A, p. 4319, 416 pages.
Abstract by author: This work examines sexual and gender non-conformity, specifically male homosexualities and male-to-female transgender sexualities, in Mississippi, 1945 to 1985. In contrast to urban-centered and identity-focused models of American lesbian and gay history, the dissertation attends to queer desire, both identity-based and not, in small-towns and rural settings of meager economic resources. Informed by queer theory and spatial theory, the work argues that notions and experiences of male-male desire are in perpetual, dialectical relationship with the spaces in which they occur, mutually shaping one another. A critical vector of spatial segregation - race - resulted in similar, parallel, black and white queer worlds that rarely intersected prior to the 1960s. Until then, queer sexualities were intricately but problematically incorporated into the institutions of everyday life—home, church, school, workplace—on either side of the color line.
The increasing linkage between queer sexuality and the civil rights movement meant that sexual and gender non-conformity were more vigorously policed and punished after the early 1960s. This work further assesses popular representations of homosexuality in Mississippi, as it complicates distinctions between high and low culture and between queer and mainstream cultural products. Mississippians did not passively receive, but actively created and engaged with those representations, interpreting and transforming them for their own needs and desires. Similarly, in an overwhelmingly Protestant region, queer Mississippians refashioned an evermore vocal, oppressive Christian tradition such that new relationships between sexuality and spirituality made possible alternative ways of living.
On the eve of the AIDS crisis, identity-based gay religious and political organizations proved threatening to the established order. High-profile political scandals reflected a backlash against a queer presence in public life, even as they evidenced and articulated that presence. Yet, just as cultural representations trafficked in racial, sexual, and gender hierarchies, political discourses reinforced and extended such societal inequalities, relegating various groups and individuals to normalized and marginalized spaces. The dissertation relies on lived experiences as recuperated through oral history interviews, organizational records, court cases, gay and mainstream periodicals, site plans, road maps, fiction, song, film, physique art, editorial cartoons, and political campaign literature.
Kapack JS (1992). Chinese male homosexuality: sexual identity formation and gay organizational development in a contemporary chinese population. Ph.D. Thesis, University Of Toronto, DAI Vol. 53: 12A, p. 4380, 507 pages. ISBN: 0-315-73726-3
Abstract by author: The thesis examines some cultural, historical and political elements in the development of homosexual identities and communal formations among contemporary Chinese men. The analysis derives in part from an anthropological exploration of various theoretical issues in the historical and social development of sexual identities, drawing upon these perspectives and upon fieldwork conducted with homosexual Chinese men in a North American setting. Various features of male gender and sexuality among contemporary Chinese populations and their relevance to an understanding of the development of a homosexual or gay consciousness among Chinese men are examined. One part of the analysis is historical in nature, examining cultural patterns of male homosexual behaviour in nineteenth-century Chinese populations. It is argued that these older patterns express a fundamentally different cultural organization of gender and sexuality than contemporary realities. These older patterns are organized through definitions of gender which show little similarity to contemporary models of sexual orientation or types of desire differentiated on the basis of biological sex. It is also proposed that the widespread development of a homosexual or gay consciousness and identity among Chinese men is a fairly recent historical development. Various aspects of this proposal are examined through life histories conducted with homosexual men of Hong Kong and Malaysian backgrounds. I argue that such men constitute a part of the 'first generation' of gay-identified Chinese men, a generation whose political and organizational activities have led in the 1980's to the emergence of a Chinese gay liberation movement in various regions. Developmental and organizational features of these social formations are also discussed.
Lankewish VA (1997). Strange nuptials: male-male desire and marriage in Victorian literature. PH.D. Thesis, Rutgers The State University of New York - New Brunswick, DAI Vol. 58:07A, p. 2669, 371 pages.
Abstract by author: Much has been written about the construction of homosexual identity in nineteenth-century English literature, yet no study has focused on the problems of genre posed by Victorian male writers who appropriate heterosexual marriage as a model for representing intimacy between men. These writers, however, do not simply imitate the social and literary conventions associated with conjugality. Their adoption of nuptial images and marriage plots represents an effort to develop a language of male love that questions the naturalness of heterosexual matrimony and that challenges conventional conceptions of genre. In Chapter One I argue that although Ruskin and Pater were deeply interested in the revival of Greek, Medieval, and Renaissance cultures, these writers embedded within their discussions of these historical periods their anxieties about and their enthusiasm for male intimacy. While Ruskin distances himself from the dangers of masculine desire inherent in Hellenism, Pater views classical culture as a means of legitimizing male love. In Chapter Two I intervene in recent debates about homosexual appropriations of heterosexual cultural practices, asserting that literary representations of same-sex marriages attempt to denaturalize relations between men and women, as well as genres. In Chapter Three I explore the erotic implications of ‘spiritual marriages’ between Christians and Christ in Victorian ‘Early Christian’ novels. These marriages represent a rejection of reproductive sexuality and an unexpected endorsement of Hellenism. In Chapter Four I argue that Tennyson and Hopkins ironically appropriate the epithalamion as a means of articulating male love. By engaging with a form whose primary conventions include a mandate that married couples procreate, these writers challenge the constraints of genre. In Chapter Five I argue that late-Victorian homosexual pornography reflects a longing to recover a more infamous site of same-sex desire than ancient Greece—the Cities of the Plain—and attempts to rewrite the narrative of these cities’ destruction by imagining the birth of a new generation of Sodomites. In the Conclusion I argue that Forster pursues this desire for homosexual perpetuity by envisioning a new Eden in which men may love one another without fear.
Leib FB (1995). The moral vision of Edward Carpenter: sacred homosexuality and the genesis of gay liberation.Ph.D. Thesis, Temple University, DAI Vol. 56-04A, p. 1392, 489 pages.
Abstract by author: More than any other historical figure, Edward Carpenter (1844-1924) deserves to be called the father and founder of the modern gay liberation movement. Others among his contemporaries called for a reconsideration of the whole phenomenon of homosexual attachments, but almost without exception, these men (for the most part, German by nationality and physicians by profession) tended to think of homosexuality as essentially a psychological or even biological anomaly, a sort of fluke of nature. They defended the homosexual life style on the grounds that it was essentially harmless, and they asked for ‘toleration’ rather than for genuine equality. Carpenter, who was English by background and who was educated as an Anglican priest, consciously rejected the ‘medical model’ for explaining homosexuality. Appealing to key Biblical texts and to such classical humanist documents as Plato’s Symposium and Michelangelo’s sonnets, Carpenter understood homosexuality, not as psychological enigma, but as a privileged spiritual estate—in theological terms, as a ‘gratuitous grace,’ or unearned gift of God. Carpenter argued that love between men was not simply a ‘harmless’ but was actually a very positive social force. He felt that it should not so much be tolerated as encouraged, not as an alternative to the traditional family but as an adjunct to it. A youthful friend (and lover) of the American poet, Walt Whitman, Carpenter spelled out the implications of the latter’s notion that male ‘comradeship’ was the basic building block of democracy. Throughout his life, Carpenter campaigned for human rights and for world peace, helping to found the British Labour Party and doing pioneer work for British feminism. More important (in his own eyes) Carpenter campaigned for a reform in traditional religious notions about the spiritual value of love between men. On the basis of his own conviction of the essentially homosexual nature of the psychology of Jesus, Carpenter advocated the institution of a ‘Sacrament of Friendship,’ which would consecrate homosexual unions and emphasize the fundamental sanctity of all human love as a vehicle for divine love.
Lofstrom JM (1994). The social construction of homosexuality in finnish society, from the late nineteenth century to the 1950's. Ph.D. Thesis, University Of Essex, DAI Vol. 56: 03C, p. 608, 700 pages.
Abstract by author: This thesis
explores how the conceptual category 'homosexuality' and the social aggregate
'homosexuals' appeared in Finnish culture and society in the period from
the 1870's to the 1950's. The focus is on the conceptualization and practice
of genital, emotional, and social same-sex intimacy. Amongst the sources
for the research, folklore and ethnographic material have a prominent place.
The conspicuous feature of the discourses on homosexuality in Finland in
this period was a very calm attitude toward homosexuality and sexual deviance
in general. They were not a taboo but the discussion was very limited.
Only in the 1950's did the homosexual category begin to become more widely
established in the vocabulary and consciousness of Finnish people. The
thesis interprets the appearance of the 'modern homosexual' in Finland
from the perspective of how the emergence of the modern homosexual category
has been accounted for in earlier, mainly Anglo-Saxon research. There have
been three approaches: those emphazising (a) the role of urbanization,
capitalism, and middle class self-promotion; (b) the rise of the bureaucratic
state and the medical profession; and (c) the role of gender relations
and challenges to the gender system. All the approaches offer some insight
into the problem as to why the issue of homosexuality was so marginal in
Finnish discourses. Urbanization and class relations in Finland appeared
different from Northwest Europe since Finland became an industrialized
and urbanized society only in the 1960's. A most important feature is,
however, that the strong nationalist sentiment among the Finnish upper
class and peasantry, and the relatively strong civic society at the turn
of the century created a configuration wherein sexuality was not likely
to be used as a weapon in symbolic politics by the upper classes. Furthermore,
the element of rurality in Finnish culture remained strong until the 1950's.
In rural culture the male and female gender were not seen as binary opposed
categories; gender transgression could not be interpreted in terms of an
overall gender inversion because such an inversion required a conception
of binary opposed genders, and hence it did not make sense in rural culture.
This thesis proposes that homosexualizing interpretations of same-sex intimacy
gained plausibility in Finland only gradually as the older, rural views
of gender gave way to a more binarist 'equality in difference' paradigm.
Meyer AM (1996). Outlaw representation: censorship and homosexuality in American art, 1934-1992. PH.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, DAI Vol. 58:02A, p. 325, 389 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation maps the relationship between censorship and male homosexuality in twentieth-century American art. It is organized as a series of close readings of historical episodes in which work by gay male artists was suppressed or censored outright, beginning with the federal confiscation of Paul Cadmus’ 1934 painting, The Fleet’s In!, and concluding with the censorship of work by the AIDS activist collective Gran Fury in 1989 and 1990.
In each chapter, a specific moment of censorship launches a larger analysis of the representation of homosexual difference and desire in American art. This analysis attends both to the constraints placed on the production of such representations and to the various modes (art-critical, mass cultural, ‘underground’) of their reception. At its core, Outlaw Representation is concerned with how specific moments of censorship throw into relief larger questions of homosexual representation and its erasure within twentieth-century American art.
Rather than offering an iconographic account of ‘homosexual imagery’ in American art, this project analyzes a series of historical episodes in which issues of artistic and sexual freedom have intersected. The censorship of Paul Cadmus in the 1930s, Andy Warhol in the 1950s and early 1960s, Robert Mapplethorpe in the late 1970s and 1980s, and David Wojnarowicz and Gran Fury (an AIDS activist art collective) in the late 1980s and early 1990s constitute the case studies around which this project is organized.
Each of these artists pursued a distinct set of professional ambitions and stylistic commitments and negotiated a different set of historical constraints and possibilities. Yet, in each case, their work was subjected to an act of attempted or actual censorship that marked a larger moment of cultural anxiety concerning homosexuality. What range of responses did these acts of censorship provoke? How was the ‘problem’ of homosexuality acknowledged—or avoided—in those responses? How did the circumstances of censorship serve both to repress and to recirculate the artworks at issue?
To address these questions, Outlaw Representation tracks the coverage of censorship in contemporary press accounts, popular cartoons, art reviews, trial transcripts, government proceedings, organizational mailings, social protests, and artists’ writings. Although this project moves in a chronological fashion, it does not propose a progressive history in which gay male artists become ever more adept at overcoming the circumstances of censorship and forced invisibility.
Instead, it looks at the specific terms under which censorship and homosexuality have intersected, and sometimes collided, within twentieth century American art.
Organ JE (1998). Sexuality is a category of historical analysis: a study of Judge Florence E. Allen, 1884-1966. PH.D. Thesis, Case Western Reserve University, DAI Vol. 58-12A, p. 4781, 286 pages.
Abstract by author: ‘Ohio girl’ and Cleveland native Judge Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884-1966), first woman elected to the Common Pleas Court in the United States, first woman to be elected as a state supreme court judge, first woman to be appointed a federal court judge, and first woman candidate for appointment to the United States Supreme Court, ‘never married.’ Because Allen’s primary relationship was not with a man, her private life—in particular her relationships with other women—has been ignored in Cleveland history, legal history, and social policy history. All are impoverished by this consistent refusal to deal with the significance of women’s relationships. Allen’s professional career certainly demonstrates her close connection between suffrage activism and later social policy activism. Her activism alone, however, inadequately accounts for her professional success. As one of a group of ‘never married’ professional women who turned their social policy concerns into professional careers, Allen demonstrates the importance of homosexual networks in facilitating women’s success. Using sexuality as a category of historical analysis begins the process of examining the interconnectedness of women’s personal lives to their professional careers and explaining the importance of homosexual networks as means for effecting social change. This is a network study of a particularly influential subset of ‘never-married women’: they used the law to significantly advance women’s rights issues. Using Florence Allen as a focal point, this work shows that Allen et al. were among the many early twentieth-century ‘never married’ women lawyers who practiced law together during the day and lived together at night. In the process, they contributed significantly to Cleveland’s reputation as a well-run city and gradually grew into a powerful regional and national network of women lawyers and activists.
Peniston WA (!997). Pederasts and others: a social hiatory of male homosexuals in the early years of the French Third Republic. PH.D. Thesis, The University of Rochester, DAI Vol 58:04A, p. 1414, 316 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation is about the male homosexual subculture of Paris in the 1870s. It was composed of a group of men, whose relationships with one another provided them with various means of financial and emotional support, and whose behavior defied cultural norms. It was not unique to Paris, nor was it new to the 1870s. It had existed in one form or another for quite some time, and it had much in common with other homosexual subcultures in other European cities. Through its contact with the police, the courts, the medical profession, and the intellectual elites, it had a profound, widespread, and lasting influence upon the development of modern sexual identities. Based upon a ledger of arrests for public offenses against decency, which was kept by the Prefecture of the Police in Paris during the early years of the French Third Republic, this dissertation will first examine the methods and attitudes of the police, which led them to instigate a policy of surveillance and harassment against the male homosexual subculture of nineteenth-century Paris. It will then attempt to analyze the subculture in terms of its composition, its relationships, its behavior, and its geographical distribution. It will demonstrate that, despite the activities of the police, which went beyond their charge of simply enforcing the law, the subculture managed to establish its own particular way of life. Most of the men involved in the subculture were in their twenties and thirties, working in unskilled, skilled, clerical, or service positions, having immigrated from the provinces. They were struggling to make a living and to form friendships and relationships in a difficult urban environment. Sometimes they resorted to prostitution and thievery in order to support themselves, but at other times they were just pursuing their own sexual pleasures.
Petit M (1997). The queer rise of the novel: new readings in the Eighteenth-Century British novel, from Defoe to Austen. PH.D. Thesis, University of Colorado at Boulder, DAI Vol. 58:07A, p. 2671, 323 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation examines the rise of the eighteenth-century British novel and the ways in which it is inflected by the contemporaneous emergence of sodomitical and sapphic identities organized around same-sex desires and activities. The novel is part of an ideological struggle that bears the traces of the dominant culture’s attempt to silence by ridicule, invisibility, or violence same-sex identities as an ‘other’ in order to reify the ‘naturalness’ of bourgeois male heterosexual subjectivity and to promote British nationalism and the colonialist project. Three discursive strategies are marked by the novel: the confusion new sexual identities wrought, the retreat of those identities into text, and the ironic silencing of identity the novel helps instantiate, even as it opens new possibilities for oppositional readings and productions of meaning. Critical of postmodern identity theory, the dissertation is organized as a series of histories and close readings intended to contribute toward the recuperation of a gay and lesbian past that has been suppressed and denied. The work examines the cultural contexts and historical background of same-sex desire in eighteenth-century England. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is discussed with reference to its role in silencing same-sex identity, even as it positions the dyadic same-sex relationship of Crusoe and Friday as central. Works of the mid-century Pamela vogue are examined as a semi-explicit acknowledgement of same-sex identities; the novels’ overdetermined use of satire is a particular literary strategy that allows yet simultaneously negates the representation of alternative sexualities, including those of known sodomites of the time. Jane Austen’s exploration of female friendship and same-sex desire is arguably the most sophisticated and open treatment of sapphic desire in the long eighteenth century; even though the novels end with traditional heterosexual marriage, they do not close the transgressive possibilities opened. Despite contemporary literary critics’ efforts to silence same-sex desires and activities, queer contributions to society are at the center of the construction of meaning, novels included. Recuperating queer identity enriches eighteenth-century scholarship and thereby the historical record linking that time to our own.
Pittenger E (1995). The traffic in pages: pedagogy, pedastry, and printing in the english renaissance. Ph.D Thesis, The John Hopkins University, DAI 56/03A, p. 946, 239 pages.
Abstract by author: 'The Traffic in Pages' traces the workings of the textual and sexual economies that depend upon the circulation of 'pages,' both letters and boys. Ideals of cultural transmission are troubled by 'aberrations' that disrupt normative expectations: pederasty disrupts the efficiency of pedagogical functioning, attraction to page boys confuses the domestic alliances between men, and errant letters disrupt the communicative functions of signs. The case of Nicholas Udall, the only pedagogue prosecuted by the Privy Council for pederasty; known as 'the best schoolmaster and the greatest beater,' the headmaster of Eton authored a Latin textbook based on Terence and his own English comedy, Ralph Roister Doister, both of which display an erotics of the letter that simultaneously registers and occludes the 'open secret' of pederastic desire.
Performed by Paul's Boys, the plays of John Lyly polish the crude parasite figure of schoolboy plays into stylish saucy pages; his Gallathea represents two 'girl pages' learning to act as boys while they seduce each other. With 'lesbian' themes in three of his plays, Lyly goes far in staging female homoerotic desire while at the same time the boy company productions insistently affirm the privileged position of boys. The relation of Lyly's 'epicene' pages to Shakespeare's is not merely a question of style, but involves the fashionings of market, print, and pedagogy—technologies of represention and subjects that are variously engendered.
Finally, I consider representations of the failure of humanist training through the problem of the 'mechanical reproduction' in and of the plays of William Shakespeare: The Merry Wives of Windsor stages a parodic pedagogical scene in which William Page attempts to reproduce his Latin letters, not accidentally Lily and Colet's grammar textbook, yet the scene produces 'errancy' instead, with the encouragement of bawdy Mistress Quickly. Textual 'errancy' and agency are at stake in the handwritten pages of The Book of Sir Thomas More, a late century representation of the early Humanist network and its investment in the political effectiveness of training in letters.
Rocke MJ (1990). Male homosexuality and its regulation in late medieval florence. (Volumes I and II) Ph.D. Thesis, State University Of New York At Binghamton, DAI 50-10A, p. 3330, 720 pages.
Abstract by author: This is a study of the social significance of male homosexuality and its control in the republic of Florence. Based on records of a special fifteenth-century magistracy that prosecuted sodomy, plus other judicial, legislative, demographic, and narrative sources, this dissertation offers new evidence and perspectives on the regulation of sex, sexuality, gender, and male bonding and sociability in late medieval urban society. The policing of sodomy, which generally meant male homosexual acts, was an abiding public concern in Florence. Its forms varied considerably, however, a reflection of the problematic place of sodomy in local life.
The most telling shift occurred in the fifteenth century when authorities moved from punishing only sodomitic rape or child-abuse cases with exemplary penalties, to penalizing widespread non-violent homosexual acts with low fines under the administration of an apposite magistracy. This pragmatic strategy allowed the state to extend its effective controls over sodomy. From 1432 to 1502, this office prosecuted some 12,000 individuals implicated in homosexuality and convicted well over 2,000, impressive proof that homosexual behavior flourished in Florence.
This study also seeks to comprehend how homosexuality functioned and what roles it played in the lives of ordinary Florentines. It finds that life stages, marital status, and notions of gender had determining influences on homosexual experience, and that homosexuality was rarely exclusive. Sexual relations normally involved an adult 'active' partner with a 'passive' adolescent. This pattern reflected and reinforced gender expectations, for receptive boys were castigated as females, while the act of sexually dominating boys helped define masculinity. It also fostered sexual violence, abuse of dependent boys, and teenage prostitution.
Adults who engaged in sodomy were mostly unmarried youths or older bachelors, so same-sex relations may have served as alternatives to marriage. This study also finds that rather than creating an autonomous subculture, homosexual relations implicated other social networks and bonds such as family, neighborhood, work, youth groups, friendship and patronage, making homosexuality an integral part of Florentine male culture.
Sang, Tze-Lan D (1996). The Emerging Lesbian: Female Same-Sex Desire In Modern Chinese Literature And Culture. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley. DAI Vol. 58:02A, p. 448, 278 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation reconstructs the process in which female homoeroticism became a significant object of discussion and contention in the Chinese public arena, paying special attention to the role artistic literature has played in the overall discursive formation. It is the first study to illuminate the transition from traditional to modern Chinese conceptions of female homoeroticism, and the investigation complements previous inquiries into the conceptual and behavioral revolution in gender and sexuality in the Republican period (1912-49).
Beginning in the 1910s and 1920s, female homoeroticism broke out of its former negligibility and insignificance in the patriarchal familial organization of traditional China, to become distinctively associated with feminism on the one hand and psycho-biological abnormality on the other. The social significance of Chinese women's same-sex relations, be it positive or negative, has increased in positive relation to Chinese women's overall social, economic and political strength.
Chapter One examines late imperial literati writing, with a focus on Pu Songling's stories of the strange. Preoccupied with segregating and stratifying the sexes, traditional Chinese patriarchy encouraged and relied for its stability on a broad range of female intimacies. However, that permission entailed serious delimitation. Female-female commitment was disallowed unless it either cooperated with male desire or supported the patriarchal cult of female chastity.
Chapter Two reconstructs the first modern Chinese taxonomic discourse of 'same-sex love' (tongxing lian'ai) with material gleaned from Republican intellectual magazines and medical pamphlets. By investigating the reinvention of the Western category 'homosexuality' in the Chinese context, I critique the blindness to gender difference in Foucault's model of discursive paradigm change, as well as suggest that the paradigm shift in discourses on homoeroticism has diverse rather than unitary effects.
Chapter Three looks at May Fourth fiction to analyze the cultural anxiety around New Women's same-sex love. Chapter Four finds in Taiwan the first overtly politicized lesbian movement in modernizing Chinese societies. I pinpoint the mutual implication between Taiwanese feminism and lesbian activism, and I read The Crocodile's Journal to illuminate the difficulties and progressive potential of lesbian autobiographical literature in a mass-mediated public sphere.
Taylor LA (1998). Veritable Hotbeds: Lesbian Scandals In The United States, 1926-1936. The University of Iowa, DAI Vol. 59:09A, p. 3513, 381 pages.
Abstract by author: As American culture struggled to understand the causes of lesbianism between 1926 and 1936, a series of scandals emerged. Scandal surrounded a sexological study of 'normal' women conducted by the Bureau of Social Hygiene; the closing of the Broadway play, The Captive; the obscenity trial of Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness; and the adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour into the film These Three. From a social hygiene organization to the theatre, to the publishing industry, to the lower courts, to the film industry, through arena after arena, many of the significant arenas of knowledge production in American culture all became veritable 'hotbeds' of lesbianism.
The scandals that surrounded the way lesbianism could and could not be represented and who should participate in such representations illustrate the ways in which the formation of sexual identity is a public event. In the process to regulate lesbian representation, the causes of lesbianism and the proper place the lesbian could figure in American culture was debated and publicized. The boundary separating the acceptable from the scandalous was dependent on the form of the representation, the particular industry that produced it, the underlying theory of sexual identity proposed in the text and the character of the audience expected to consume it.
The parameters of the scandal would prove to be dependent on the degree of self-regulation within the organization or industry itself. That factor in turn dictated the tactics proponents of lesbian representation could employ. Sometimes the scandals spilled into the lower courts, the state house and into the newspapers. Sometimes the scandals were carefully managed within the organization or industry itself. The struggles between 1926-1936 illustrate the public manner in which lesbian representations provoked conversations about the causes of sexual identity and the proper forum for those debates and in the process publicized the lesbian.
Terry JC (1992). Siting homosexuality; a history of surveillance and the production of deviant subjects (1935-1950). (Volumes I-III) University of California, Santa Cruz, MAI Vol. 33:02, p. 3961, 226 pages, ISBN: 0-315-91109-3.
Abstract by author: In the spring of 1935, the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants convened for the first time in New York City with the broad aim of determining the nature and significance of lesbianism and male homosexuality in modern urban society. In the spirit of solving social problems through scientific knowledge, it mobilized a panoply of experts from various fields whose purpose it was to gather and correlate information about homosexuality and the practices of a homosexual population believed to be growing in size and significance in the urban context of New York. Deploying modern procedures, they made use of new techniques offered by endocrinology, psychometric testing, x-ray imaging, photography, and modified psychoanalysis to study patterns of those who varied from norms of gender and heterosexuality. Through a combination of innovative methods, the Committee brought a new kind of person—the ‘sex variant’—into being through an elaborate apparatus of medical and scientific surveillance. This dissertation focuses on the extensive research of the Committee for the Study of Sex Variants, situating its construction of homosexuality in relation to several historical developments of the time: (1) eugenical concerns about racial hygiene; (2) the rise of a popular movement for mental hygiene and psychometrics; (3) anthropological studies which searched the body for signs of innate deviance; (4) the rise of statistical modes of quantifying and classifying variations in human sexual behavior; and (5) the emergence of a counter-discourse generated by those labeled as sex variants. The thesis uses these scientific understandings of homosexuality as a privileged window for understanding significant aspects of American culture in the twentieth century, especially in terms of anxieties about gender and sexuality, as well as hygiene, race management, citizenship, family life, bodily pleasures, and scientific authority.
Walker RE (1990). The Lesbian Herstory Archives of New York City: its founders and their contribution to contemporary history. M.A. Thesis, Sarah Lawrence College. MAI Vol. 29:03, p. 400. 221 pages.
Abstract by author: This essay traces the history of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA), in New York City, in the context of the growing field of Lesbian History which emerged during the early 1970s. It attempts to explain why the preservation of written documents and cultural artifacts is important to the Lesbian community, what social movements made the establishment of a Lesbian archive possible, how an archive can facilitate Lesbian historical investigation, and why the archive has chosen to remain independent as opposed to affiliating with an educational institution. Works in the field of Lesbian History and the History of Sexuality have been examined as have Archival publications, articles and the holdings of the collection. Interviews were conducted with Joan Nestle and Deborah Edel; two founders of the LHA who have remained dedicated to the collection since its inception. Judith Schwarz, the Lesbian Historian, was also interviewed.
Weiss AR (1991). A history of lesbians in the cinema. Ph.D. Thesis, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick, DAI Vol. 52:12A, p. 4462, 280 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation explores the history of lesbian representation and spectatorship in the cinema, including Hollywood products, European art cinema, b-movies, and American independent film. While providing a textual analysis of many films, this study identifies and constructs a history of representation by relating cinematic qualities and images to ideological processes, and to cultural ideas about gender and sexuality. Film reviews, censorship files, lesbian publications, and even gossip as a form of unofficial history are used as primary sources. Yet given the dearth of documented evidence about lesbian lives, this dissertation necessarily theorizes an historical spectator, and in so doing broadens the psychoanalytic framework dominating contemporary film theory to include historical and sociological investigative methods.
With the reign of the Motion Picture Production Code from the 1930s to the 1960s, which prohibited direct reference to ‘sexual perversion’ in Hollywood films, lesbian representation was often confined to subtext, or was visible only as the signs of its repression. By the 1960s, subtext and repression gave way to stereotyping and voyeuristic images aimed at male visual pleasure. Yet lesbian spectators have been able to use oppositional viewing strategies and the ideological contradictions generated by Hollywood films in order to appropriate cinematic moments and styles in the construction of lesbian sexual identity and community.
In the last two decades, women directors working in European art cinema and American independent film have attempted to re-define the terms of lesbian representation, and to subvert the ways in which the cinema historically has been constructed for the male gaze. Bringing together elements of art cinema, feminism, and avant garde traditions, women’s cinema recently has created a range of lesbian images that also include lesbian spectators in their cinematic address. It is ironic, however, that these images—and spectators—are becoming visible just as the experience of the cinema as an institution is disappearing, as newer forms such as television, video, laser disk, and other electronic technologies threaten to take its place.
White C (1992). The organization of pleasure: British homosexual and lesbian discourse, 1869-1914. (Volumes I and II). Ph.D. Thesis, University of Nottingham (United Kingdon), DAI Vol. 53:09A, 472 pages.
Abstract by author: The aim of this thesis is threefold: first, to demonstrate the variety of strategies with, and texts in which homosexuals and lesbians developed a means of talking about their sexuality and of opposing dominant versions of sin and corruption in Britain between 1869 and 1914; second, to give a critical analysis of the current orthodoxies of gay history and gay identity; third, to produce an analysis of the texts under discussion which takes account of both the real weight of dominant ideology and institutions, and also the level of developed opposition, and which can examine its shapes, directions and variability in their specificity. The thesis moves towards the analysis of the frameworks in which desire and pleasure are spoken of, beginning in Chapter 2 with the dominant ideology, or hegemony, which produces homosexuality as a mere sexual perversion without a culture, through the cultural interventions in Chapter 3 which remake the dominant’s wholly sexual version, and in Chapter 4 the work of the sexologists who use science against the scientific ideology of the dominant. Chapter 4 ends with an examination of the relationship between theories of identity and theories of power. This is developed in Chapter 5 through a critique of the work of Lillian Faderman, out of which comes the beginning of an analysis of the development of oppositional identity. Chapter 6 examines the material that represents what is usually viewed as the principle site of ‘knowledge’ about perversion in this period, ‘aestheticism’ and ‘decadence’, and interrogates the categories of that ‘knowledge’ and the shape the perversion takes in those texts. The chapter concludes that ‘decadence’ is to a large degree a thorough-going critique of hegemonic relations, a position that is complicated in the following chapter. Chapter 7 is a consideration of the material that deals explicitly with sex, perversion and fetish, culminating in a theoretical analysis of the relationship between economic relations and eroticism, and the degree to which a counter-hegemony developed to resist and take apart the organisation of hegemony and its illusory and contradictory coherence. Chapter 8 aims to draw together the analysis of the discourses on homosexuality and lesbianism with the analysis of ideological power, not into a synthetic whole, but into a dialectical relationship of power and resistance.
Williams CA (1992). Homosexuality And The Roman Man: A Study In The Cultural Construction Of Sexuality. (Volumes I And II). Ph.D. Thesis, Yale University, DAI 53:11A, p. 3894, 511 pages.
Abstract by author: This dissertation aims to reconstruct the linguistic and cultural apparatuses for the categorization and evaluation of sexual experience between males that were shared by Romans as part of their cultural heritage. Making use of sources from the classical period (approximately 200 B.C. to A.D. 200) that range from such diverse literary texts as Plautus, Catullus, Cicero, Petronius, and Martial to the graffiti scratched on the walls of Pompeii, this study seeks to describe the dominant ideology of sexual behavior qua cultural product.
A proposition that informs the entire discussion is that 'homosexuality' and 'heterosexuality' were not active categories within Roman cultural discourses on sexuality. Erotic behavior between members of the same sex was not conceived as a discrete area for the application of moral codes any more than was erotic behavior between males and females, defined as such. This dissertation thus seeks to demonstrate that its title is anachronistic.
The first two chapters are concerned with the interaction between Greek and Roman culture, especially in the second and first centuries B.C., arguing that male homoeroticism was an unremarkable feature of Roman life from the earliest of times; what Romans identified as distinctly Greek in the area of sexual experience was the peculiarly Hellenic social practice of pederasty.
The third chapter forms a pendant to this discussion, considering characteristically Roman aspects of surviving representations of erotic experience between males that can be connected with the lack of a pederastic tradition on the Greek (especially Athenian) model.
The fourth chapter examines a code regulating men's sexual behavior that is encapsulated in the word Stuprum and that categorizes sexual acts on the basis not of gender-combinations but of the status of men's partners (free as opposed to slave).
The fifth and sixth chapters examine a second code, centering on the physical and specifically phallocentric opposition between the active (insertive) and passive (receptive) roles in intercourse, that classifies sexual agents on the basis of the specific physical acts that they perform rather than on the gender of the persons with whom they perform those acts.
The last chapter considers hints in the sources at the possibility of men's sharing erotic experience in ways that circumvented or disregarded this rigid penetrative code.
Zambrano, Wa-Ki Fraser de (1996). El discurso colonial/postcolonial y el erotismo en las novelas de dos escritoras: reedicion del encuentro, conquista y colonizacion de America. PH.D. Thesis, The University of Iowa, DAI Vol. 57:05A, p. 2058, 480 pages (In Spanish).
Abstract by author: This thesis uncovers codified sexual paradigms of Christopher Columbus’s encounter with America, its conquest and colonization, and of the conquering exemplariness of the figure and character of Hernan Cortes. These models are metaphors for relationships which resemble the traditional ones of power between colonizer and colonized, and exhibit links between masculine desire and domination, subordination and violent subjugation, particularly of women.
The study applies a Foucaultian ‘genealogy’: the investigation of the categories of identity as the result of institutions, practices, and discourses with diverse and diffuse points of origin. The primary focus is gender. Using postcolonial, postmodern, feminist, psychoanalytical, lesbian and gay studies, the thesis finds specifically evaluative and anticolonial intentions in two novels.
The thesis treats Lo impenetrable, the comic epistolary novel by the Argentine Griselda Gambaro, as the parodic rewriting of erotic male fantasies and British imperialistic romances of the 19th century, fused to the erotic historical romance novel of the 20th century.
The study traces historical data from the 15th and 16th centuries, as these apply to the life and writings of Columbus and his ‘discovery’ of Paradise. The thesis also makes pivotal the 15th, 16th, 19th, and 20th centuries in the tragicomic Te tratare como a una reina by the Spaniard Rosa Montero.
It relates Columbian and Cortesian sexual paradigms to a historical and textual hybridization that condenses distinct intercultural combinations of the traditional, modern, erudite, popular and massive, in a multitemporal and multicultural amalgam. This hybridization integrates chronicles of the New World, Spanish and Latin American costumbrismo, the Age of Sex Crime, the criminological magazine, Jack the Ripper, film noir, the comic strip and graphic novel for adults, soap opera and melodrama, psychoanalysis, cabaret theatre and the bolero.
While connecting nations with a common cultural patrimony, the thesis reveals that the fictive and mythic sexual paradigms, rooted in gender difference, have contributed to the construction of masculinity, femininity, subjectivity, desire, and a culture of violence, as it is best witnessed in the colonial discursive dynamic of the couple.
Publication No. 9629740
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