Public talk on exhibiting sex & launch of The Hirschfeld Archives

Starts 02 December 2017 - 16:30
Finishes 02 December 2017 - 19:00
Venue Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43-46 Gordon Square
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Event description

How do racism and gender violence shape modern queer history?

Join us for a public talk by Ashkan Sepahvand, curator of Odarodle - An imaginary their_story of naturepeoples, 1535-2017 at the Schwules Museum* Berlin. The Schwules Museum* is famous for its commitment to enable LGBTIQ visibility. In his talk, Sepahvand explores how the desire to show the manners and mores of a kind of “people” and their “nature” confronts the postcolonial challenges of the ethnographic museum as a site for "Othering". Rather than taking a didactic approach to narrating cultural histories, Odarodle embraces creative engagements with the past and considers the possibilities of a future “queer museum".

The talk is followed by the launch of Heike Bauer's book The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture (Temple University Press, 2017). It examines little known writings by Magnus Hirschfeld, the influential sexologist who is best known today for his homosexual activism, transgender work and founding of the world's first Institute of Sexual Science in 1919. Turning attention to Hirschfeld's forgotten documents of LGBTIQ life around 1900, the book reveals that homosexual rights politics were haunted from the beginning by racism, colonial brutality, and gender violence. 


  • 4.30– 5.30: Odarodle: A Postcolonial Perspective on Exhibiting Sex at the Schwules Museum* Berlin - public talk by Ashkan Sepahvand (Berlin)
  • 5.30 -7.00: Book launch of Heike Bauer's The Hirschfeld Archives: Violence, Death & Modern Queer Culture