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HCA Tasters: Sex and sexualities in Britain, 1861-2021

Venue: Online

Sex and sexualities in Britain, 1861–2021

Dr Sean Brady, Dr Anne Hanley and Ralph Day

From nineteenth-century ideas about masculinity and same-sex desire, to racist postwar constructions of Black sexuality, to twenty-first-century debates over emergency contraception and PrEP, sex and sexuality have been infused with gendered, racialised, politicised and class-based meanings. In 2021 it will be 160 years since the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which removed the capital charge for sodomy, but at the same time reiterated the archaic buggery laws. Join us for a roundtable discussion during which we will be drawing on our research expertise to explore how and why British attitudes to sex and sexuality have changed over the intervening years. We will look at how prejudice and inequalities persist, how they have been resisted in the past and how we might look to history to help overcome them in the future.

Booking is essential so that we may send you the joining link.





This event is part of a series of six 90-minute on-line taster events exploring histories of London, of migration, of sex and sexuality and much else besides, designed to give a flavour of studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in our department.

You can join one session or the whole series; we have scheduled two evening, two Saturday and two weekday afternoon sessions so hope there will be a time and date to suit everyone. Video introductions to the topic will be available ahead of most sessions and each one will conclude with a short question and answer session about the department and opportunities for studying with us.

All are welcome – from offer holders and those thinking of applying to those simply interested in the topics.  

Taster 1: Wed 27 January 7:00 - 8:30pm Migrants in London from the Tudors to the Twentieth Century

Taster 2: Sat 27 February 2:00 - 3:30pm, Sex and sexualities in Britain, 1861–2021 

Taster 3: Wed 31 March 2:00 - 3:30pm Religious radicalism past and present: from the European reformation to the Amish in America

Taster 4: Wed 28 April 7:00 - 8.30pm Migration and Citizenship in the Mediterranean: From Ancient Times to the Present

Taster 5: Wed 26 May 2:00 - 3:30pm Everyday cosmopolitanisms and worlding the medieval Silk Road

Taster 6: Sat 27 June 2:00 - 3:30pm London: the world in a city





This taster series is part of Birkbeck's Department of History, Classics and Archaeology's Discover the Past events series, open to the public and students. To see the full list of events, visit the Discover the Past web page.

The Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck has a distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence. We are the only university department in London to include archaeologists, classicists and historians investigating every period from prehistory to the early twenty-first century. Join us to discover the past and engage with the present across continents and cultures.

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