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LGBT+ History Month: Queer Pasts and present resources

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LGBT+ History Month: Queer Pasts and present resources

To celebrate LGBTQ History Month 2024, we’re welcoming a new resource to CCCU and casting a queer eye over all the online resources you have access to, in case there’s something you might have missed.

Queer Pasts

The latest addition to the CCCU databases is Queer Pasts who produce exhibits for students and scholars of queer history and culture. It’s a database that uses the term “queer” in its broadest and most inclusive sense, to embrace topics that are gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender and to include work on sexual and gender formations that are queer but not necessarily LGBT.

Each of the document collections in the database include a critical introductory essay that helps explain the significance of the primary sources in historical terms and in relationship to previous scholarship. This database (edited by Lisa Arellano and Marc Stein) seeks to broaden the field of queer history, including projects that focus on the experiences and perspectives of under-represented historical groups, including people of colour, trans people, and people with disabilities.

This is currently a very US-centric database, with 68 American listings and two from Cuba, one from Haiti and one from the Netherlands –  however as a new source it is regularly being updated. The latest additions include documentation of 600 direct action protests in the United States from 1965 to 1973, and an exhibition looking at queer suffragists in the campaign for the 19th Amendment.

BFI Website

The BFI website has many free films listed under their Queer Britain pages, including a documentary featuring transgender pioneer April Ashley, a portrait of David Hockney and archival films from the 70s and 80s.

April Ashley holding a dog while being interviews for the BFI documentary What Am I?

Kanopy

Kanopy has an LGBT Cinema category featuring films from Tár to Rent, and is a great resource for documentaries such as Tongues Untied, Marlon Rigg’s essay film giving voice to communities of black gay men [lead image at the top of this page] and Dykes, Camera, Action! exploring the experimental cinema of the 1970s lesbian filmmakers. 

Digital Theatre Plus

A great resource for English and Drama students, or anyone with an interest in dramatic texts, poetry and performance. It features the likes of DV8, whose work fearlessly tackled many sexual issues.

Project Muse

They provide worldwide digital humanities and social science content, so if you browse their essays, you’ll find a lot of queer research going on such as Queer Chaucer, Queer Korea, Queer Country, Queer Marx…

Book cover of Shana Goldin-Perschbacher's Queer Country, featuring coutry singer Orville Peck live in concert, singing and reaching out to the audience

Rock’s Back Pages

This archive of music journalism has over 50,000 articles with 248 LGBTQ+ articles listed which you can find by searching their library by subject. We’ve found fascinating articles from classics like David Bowie, to counter-culture drag star Divine, gig reviews of Lil Nas Z, articles on disco star Sylvester and many other 80s icons including Soft Cell, Bronski Beat, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Culture Club and of course – The Village People.

SSRN

In keeping with the LGBT History Month theme of medicine, the World AIDS Day Special Topic Hub on SSRN formerly known as Social Science Research Network, is a preprint repository where authors can upload early versions of their papers before publication in a journal. Disciplines covered include social sciences, engineering sciences, humanities, life sciences, applied sciences, health and physical sciences.

A hand with one purple fingernail holds a red AIDS ribbon

A Very Short Introduction

These iconic guides of course include Sexuality and Identity. You could also take a detour into intersectional topics such as Postcolonialism, Polygamy, Art theory, Slang, Film Noir….

Book cover for A Short Introduction To Sexuality

World Advertising Research Centre

WARC provides the largest single source of intelligence for the marketing, advertising, media and research communities worldwide, drawn from more than 40 international sources – and the pink pound is in there, with case studies on Skittles, Axe deodorant, Bausch, Miller Lite: Beers & queer history and Ford’s recent clapback to a homophobic comment on social media with their “Very Gay Raptor” campaign.

A Ford truck is mid-air and painted with a rainbow and gold glitter finish

Kent Maps Online

Portraits of local queer icons Vita Sackville-West and ‘Saint Derek of Dungeness of the Order of Celluloid Knights’ aka Derek Jarman have been immortalised on the fantastic online resource of Kentish connections. Vita is ‘perhaps best known today as a gardener, for her unconventional marriage, and as the inspiration for Orlando, Virginia Woolf’s time travelling, gender fluid, eponymous character’.

A photo of Prospect Cottage in Dungeness on a summery day with bright blue sky

Qello Concerts

Using Libby you can access a 7 day pass to Qello Concerts where you can listen to LGBTQ artists such as Pet Shop Boys, Tegan and Sara, Elton Jon, Dusty Springfield, AURORA and Beth Ditto [pictured]… or pop icons such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Pink, Rhianna, Kylie and Katy Perry.

Beth Ditto live on stage in a sequin dress, singing into a microphone on a smoky stage

The National Archives (and ours!)

If you’re looking up queer histories, The National Archives have published a very handy guide for looking through their material, especially if you find yourself heading to our own special collections at Augustine House. We’re running a project called Queering The Archive if you are looking at working with historical material through a queer lens, we’ll be making our findings into a new queer zine in time for Canterbury Pride.

a cropped flyer for Queering The Archive - Zine Project, which is in a cut and paste style, including the text 'Want to explore the Christchurch Archives? We're looking for volunteers to uncover and create a queer legacy using our archival materials, challenging and recontextualising them to make a queer zine, published for Canterbury Pride 2024. Interested? Email us on library.canterbury@canterbury.ac.uk using the subject line 'Queer Zine Archive Project' to find out more...
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