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Birkbeck's Big Ideas: The early years of the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard | LGBT+ History Month 2020

When:
Venue: External, Stratford Library, 3 The Grove, E15 1EL

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This free lecture for LGBT+ History Month in Newham will explore the early years of the London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, and what this can tell us about queer sexualities.

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Ralph Day will explore how British and American historians, sociologists, and anthropologists have gone about researching queer sexualities since the 1960s: their methods; their sources; and some of the challenges they have faced. Ralph then turns his attention to his current research into queer sexualities and the telephone in Britain from the 1970s to the 1990s, which focuses on the early years of the telephone information and support service London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. This lecture concludes with a guide to some archives and special collections in London that house valuable sources for LGBTQ+ historical research.

Who is Ralph Day?

Ralph Day is a doctoral researcher and tutor in contemporary history at Birkbeck. His current research focuses on queer sexualities and the telephone in Britain from the 1970s to the 1990s through a study of the telephone information and support service London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard. He has previously researched objects that were designed for gay men and sold through gay shops and mail-order businesses in Britain during the 1970s and 1980s. He has given public presentations about LGBTQ+ history at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Archives, and the London Metropolitan Archives.

If you like the sound of this, why not join us for another celebration of LGBT+ History, as Birkbeck's Stratford campus plays host to Eastside Community Heritage's Changing Minds exhibition on LGBT+ Mental Health from Monday 10th February to Friday 14th February. 

What is Birkbeck's Big Ideas?

Birkbeck's Big Ideas is a series of thought-provoking free public lectures on a wide range of subject areas, delivered in the local community by researchers from Birkbeck, University of London. Everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of previous educational experience.

The event is FREE and open to all, but please note that seating is allocated on a first come first served basis. Registration and refreshments are available from 5.45pm and the talk will commence at 6pm promptly. We look forward to welcoming you to this Birkbeck's Big Idea event!

Join the conversation on Twitter: #BBKBigIdeas

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