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LGBT History Month at Birkbeck

Events throughout February will look at various aspects of queer history.

February is LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month. Events considering various aspects of queer history will be held at Birkbeck throughout the month. Dr Matt Cook, a cultural historian specializing in the history of sexuality and the history of London in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and Co-Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, is involved in several of the events. He said: “LGBT History month is a fantastic opportunity for us to think afresh about the ways in which sexuality has been configured in the past. This year's events include consideration of some queer icons like playwright Joe Orton and the infamous 'naked civil servant' Quentin Crisp (in the film 'Uncle Denis').”

The first LGBT History month event is the launch of the book Queer 1950s: Rethinking Sexuality in the Postwar Years, edited by Dr Cook and Dr Heike Bauer (Birkbeck’s Department of English and Humanities), on Tuesday 4 February. There will also be film screenings and a talk about Kenneth Halliwell and Joe Orton, who were arrested in 1962 for stealing and defacing library books from Islington Library.

The events bring together Birkbeck academics from across the College, including the departments of History, Classics and Archaeology, and English and Humanities; the School of Law; and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and Birkbeck Institute for Gender Studies.

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