LGBT+ Histories – Reading List

by | Sep 28, 2020 | LGBT+ Project: Resources | 0 comments

LGBT+ and queer histories are vast and varied. This list gives a sense of the range and diversity, across time and space, of the LGBT+ histories already available. It represents some of the readings the members of the RHS LGBT+ working group would recommend – from short online articles for a general readership to academic monographs, and those that have been mentioned to us during our research for the report. Many others could have been included!

If you would like to recommend an addition to the reading list, please get in touch using the contact form.


Henry Abelove, Michele Aina Barale, and David M. Halperin, Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (1993)

Nan Alamilla Boyd, ‘Who is the Subject? Queer Theory meets Oral History’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, 17:2 (2008), 177-189.

Robert Aldrich (ed.), Gay Life and Culture: A World History (2006).

Anjali Arondekhar, ‘Without a Trace: Sexuality and the Colonial Archive’, Journal of the History of Sexuality 14:1-2, Special Issue: Studying the History of Sexuality: Theory, Methods, Praxis (2005), 10-27.

Anjali R. Arondekar, For the Record: On Sexuality and the Colonial Archive in India (2009).

Simon Avery and Katherine M. Graham (eds) Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London c.1850 to the Present (2016).

Chiara Beccalossi, Female Sexual Inversion: Same-Sex Desires in Italian and British Sexology, ca. 1870-1920 (2012).

Genny Beemyn, ‘A Presence in the Past: A Transgender Historiography’, Journal of Women’s History, 25:4 (2013), 113-121.

Justin Bengry, Robert Bevan, and Richard Morrice, Pride of Place: A Guide to Understanding and Protecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Heritage (2016).

John Boswell, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century (1980).

Alan Bray, Homosexuality in Renaissance England (1982).

Christine Burns, Trans Britain: Our Journey from the Shadows (2018).

M.W. Bychowski, approaches and articles about medieval trans histories.

Maurice J. Casey, ‘Radical politics and gay activism in the Republic of Ireland, 1974–1990’Irish Studies Review, 26:2 (2018), 217-236.

Howard Chiang, After Eunuchs: Science, Medicine, and the Transformation of Sex in Modern China (2018).

Susan A. Crane, ‘Historical Subjectivity: A Review Essay’, The Journal of Modern History, 78:2 (2006), 434-456.

Jonathan Culler, Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (2nd edn) (2011) esp. chap.1.

Ann Cvetkovich, An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Culture (2003).

Roger Davidson and Gayle Davis, The Sexual State: Sexuality and Scottish Governance, 1950-80 (2012).

Laura Doan, Disturbing Practices: History, Sexuality, and Women’s Experience of Modern War (2013).

Jennifer Evans, (ed.) Special Issue: ‘Queering German History’German History, 34:3 (2016), 371-528.

Lilian Faderman, Surpassing the Love of Men (1981)

Michel Foucault ‘The Subject and Power’, Critical Inquiry, 8:4 (1982), 777-795.

Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality Vol.1 (1978).

Nerissa Gailey and AD Brown, ‘Beyond Either/Or: Reading Trans* Lesbian Identities’, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 20:1 (2015), 65-86.

Jules Gill-Peterson, Histories of the Transgender Child (2018).

Jules Gill-Peterson, ‘Feeling Like a Bad Trans Object’Post45 (12 September 2019).

Lauren Jae Gutterman, Her Neighbor’s Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire Within Marriage (2019).

Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Introduction to Transgender Studies (2019).

Anna Hájková, ‘Why We Need a Queer History of the Holocaust’, Novara Media (27 January 2020).

David M. Halperin, ‘How to do the History of Male Homosexuality’, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 6: 1 (2000), 87-123.

Christina B. Hanhardt, Safe Space: History and the Politics of Violence (2013).

Dan Healey, Russian Homophobia from Stalin to Sochi (2018).

Gillian Herdy (ed.), Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History (1996).

Matt Houlbrook, Queer London: Perils and Pleasures of the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 (2005).

Jennifer Ingleheart (ed.), Ancient Rome and the Construction of Modern Homosexual Identities (2015).

Rebecca Jennings, A Lesbian History of Britain: Love and sex between Women since 1500 (2007).

Rebecca Jennings, Unnamed Desires: A Sydney Lesbian History (2015)

E. Patrick Johnson, No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies (2016).

E. Patrick Johnson and Mae G. Henderson (eds), Black Queer Studies: A Critical Anthology (2005).

Jonathan Ned Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality (1995).

Valerie Korinek, Prairie Fairies: A History of Queer Communities and People in Western Canada, 1930-1985 (2018).

Regina Kunzel, ‘The Power of Queer History’, The American Historical Review, 123:5 (2018), 1560–1582.

Anita Kurimay, Queer Budapest 1873-1961 (2020).

Daryl Leeworthy, A Little Gay History of Wales (2019).

CN Lester, Trans Like Me: A Journey for All of Us (2017).

Brian Lewis, British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives (2013).

Jill Liddington, Nature’s Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire (2003 & 2019).

Karma Lochrie, Heterosyncracies: Female Sexuality When Normal Wasn’t (2005).

Audre Lorde, Your Silence Will Not Protect You. Preface by Reni Eddo-Lodge and introduction by Sara Ahmed (2017).

Heather Love, Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (2007).

Hil Malatino, ‘Something Other Than Trancestors: Hirstory Lessons’ in Trans Care (2020). [CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0]

Jen Manion, Female Husbands: A Trans History (2020).

Sharon Marcus, Between Women. Friendship, Desire and Marriage in Victorian England (2007).

Daniel Marshall, Kevin P. Murphy, Zeb Tortorici, Special Issue: ‘Queering Archives: Historical Unravelings’, Radical History Review ,120 (Fall 2014), 1-225.

Ruth Mazo Karras, Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others (3rd edn) (2017).

Ruth Mazo Karras. & Tom Linkinen,  ‘John / Eleanor Rykener Revisited’, in Founding Feminisms in Medieval Studies: Essays in Honor of E. Jane Burns,  ed. L. E. Doggett & D.E. O’Sullivan (2016), 11–124.

Patrick McDonagh, ‘Homosexuality is not a problem – it doesn’t do you any harm and can be lots of fun’: Students and Gay Rights Activism in Irish Universities, 1970s–1980s’, Irish Economic and Social History (2019).

Richard A. McKay, Patient Zero and the Making of the AIDS Epidemic (2017).

Jeff Meek, Queer Voices in Post-War Scotland (2014).

Louis A. Montrose, ‘Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture’ in The New Historicism, ed. H. Aram Veeser (1989), 20-21.

Mo Moulton, Mutual Admiration Society: How Dorothy L. Sayers and Her Oxford Circle Remade the World for Women (2019).

Afsaneh Najmabadi, Professing Selves: Transsexuality and Same-Sex Desire in Contemporary Iran (2013).

Afsaneh Najmabadi, ‘Beyond the Americas: Are Gender and Sexuality Useful Categories of Analysis?’, Journal of Women’s History, 18:1 (2006), 11-21.

Rictor Norton, ‘Essentialism and Queer History’, Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality, ed. Kathy Peiss (2002), 10-16.

Alison Oram and Annmarie Turnbull, The Lesbian History Sourcebook. Love and Sex between Women in Britain from 1780 to 1970 (2001).

Huw Osborne (ed.), Queer Wales: The History, Culture and Politics of Queer Life in Wales (2016).

Ruth Pearce, ‘A Methodology for the Marginalised: Surviving Oppression and Traumatic Fieldwork in the Neoliberal Academy’, Sociology, 54 (2020), 806-824.

Helmut Puff, ‘Female Sodomy: The Trial of Katherina Hetzeldorfer (1477)’, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 30:1 (2000), 41-61.

Gayatri Reddy, With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India (2006).

Leon Antonio Rocha, ‘Xing: The Discourse of Sex and Human Nature in Modern China’, Gender and History 22:3 (2010), 603-628.

Michael Rocke, Forbidden Friendships: Homosexuality and Male Culture in Renaissance Florence (1996).

Don Romesburg (ed.) The Routledge History of Queer America (2018).

Leila Rupp, Sapphistries. A Global History of Love between Women (2009).

Hugh Ryan, When Brooklyn was Queer (2019).

Joanna Schmidt, ‘Translating Transgender: Using Western Discourses to Understand Samoan Fa’afāfine’, Sociology Compass, 11:5 (2017), 1-17.

James A. Schultz, ‘Heterosexuality as a Threat to Medieval Studies’, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 15: 1 (2006), 14-29.

Norena Shopland, Forbidden Lives: LGBT+ Stories from Wales (2017).

Helen Smith, Masculinity, Class and Same-Sex Desire in Industrial England, 1895-1957 (2015).

Riley Snorton, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (2017).

Susan Stryker, Transgender History (2008).

Susan Stryker,  ‘(De) Subjugated Knowledges: An Introduction to Transgender Studies’, in The Transgender Studies Reader, ed. Susan Stryker and Stephen Whittle (2006), 1-18 .

Barbara Taylor ‘Historical Subjectivity’ in History and Psyche, ed. Sally Alexander and Barbara Taylor (2012), 195-210.

Amy Tooth Murphy, Christine Wall and George Severs (eds.), ‘LGBTQ+ Lives Special Issue: History, Identity and Belonging’, Oral History 48:1 (2020).

Zeb Tortorici, Sins Against Nature. Sex and Archives in Colonial New Spain (2018).

Martha M. Umphrey, ‘The Trouble with Harry Thaw’, Radical History Review, 62 (1995), 9–23.

Emma Vickers, Queen and Country: Same Sex: Desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945 (2013).

John Vincent, LGBT People and the UK Cultural Sector: the Response of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Heritage since 1950 (2013).

Chris Waters, ‘Distance and Desire in the New British Queer History’, GLQ 14:1 (2008), 139-155.

Shannon Weber, ‘What’s Wrong with Be(com)ing Queer? Biological Determinism as Discursive Queer Hegemony’, Sexualities 15:5-6 (2012), 679-701.

Jeffrey Weeks, ‘The Social Construction of Sexuality,’ Major Problems in the History of American Sexuality, ed. Kathy Peiss (Boston, 2002), 2-9.

Angela Jane Weisl ‘How to be a Man, Though Female: Changing Sex in Mediaeval Romance’ Mediaeval Feminist Forum 45:2 (2009), 110-137.

Helena Whitbread, The Secret Diaries of Anne Lister, vols 1 & 2 (2010).


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