Queer Localities:

a two-day international queer history conference

Birkbeck, University of London

30 November – 1 December 2017


QBLExciting recent work on LGBTQ histories beyond the metropole and capital cities has drawn attention to the distinct shape that locality gives to the nature of queer identities, communities, politics, family structures and indeed history making. This conference celebrates this work and draws it in comparative perspective.

We invite papers on all regions and all periods which address intersections of locality and queer lives (both broadly conceived), and which might touch some of the following questions:


  • How have LGBTQ people’s migration patterns between capital cities, regional centres and rural areas changed over time?
  • What can we learn about changing attitudes towards queerness at the level of the regional city, small town, or neighbourhood from such studies?
  • Are the generalisations made about increasing LGBTQ confidence and acceptance in the metropolis applicable to smaller communities and how are they distinct?
  • How do local LGBTQ communities construct their own particular histories using local resources such as oral histories and exhibition projects?
  • How can local queer histories foreground diversity of class, race, religion and disability, ensuring that lesbian, bi and trans voices are fully integrated?
  • How did the experience of anti-racist activism modulate lesbian and gay lives and queer experience, for example?

In association with the Raphael Samuel History Centre, the conference is part of a major two-year AHRC project entitled ‘Sexualities and Localities’ (or more informally ‘Queer Beyond London’) and will hopefully lead to an edited collection of papers.

Submitting a proposal:

  • We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers or presentations relating to any period or locality
  • We seek wide participation and welcome proposals from independent researchers, archivists, museum professionals, community history groups, postgraduate students, academics, and others.
  • We welcome papers submitted together, but reserve the right to organise panels as we think best.
  • Please use the following format for proposals:
    • Name, contact details.
    • Title of paper or presentation
    • 250 word paper summary (max 1 page A4).
    • Send proposals as a Word doc or PDF attachment by email to Katy Pettit (k.pettit@uel.ac.uk).
  • Deadline: Monday 20th March, 12.00pm midday.

The conference is free to attend but we do not have funding to support travel or accommodation. It is part of a week-long exploration of LGBTQ history in London, and it runs alongside other events for which separate registration is required:

  • ‘Interrogating the Legal’ (also at Birkbeck) on Wednesday 29 November (booking details to be announced)
  • Talking Back! the annual London Metropolitan Archives 15th LGBTQ History and Archives Conference on Saturday 2 December (BOOK HERE


Call for Papers: Queer Localities Conference
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