Finding Queer Stories in Archives - Seminar Series 2021
By Broken Futures
Broken Futures is a community-based queer heritage project, and over the past year through our history group we've trained volunteers in archival and genealogical research to recover the lives of men charged for gross indecency and buggery between 1861-1967. This has uncovered important findings and questions, so join us for our seminar series as we talk all things queer heritage with fantastic academics and independent researchers.
The Broken Futures project is delivered by Support U, the LGBT+ wellbeing charity in the Thames Valley, and is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Introducing our final podcast of the Broken Futures 2021 Seminar Series which features a podcast recorded and produced in association with the British Association for Local History, with Dr Claire Keenan for their current podcast series: Local History Matters. Joined by Tim Allsop, project leader of the Queer Rural Connections project, and George and Amy, the Broken Futures team discuss why queer local history matters and the work of their current projects to diversify the historical records and narratives that are researched.
Links: If you'd like to visit the Local History Matters podcast series please visit: www.balh.org.uk/podcast
To read more about the Queer Rural Connections project please see here: Queer Rural Connections | TORCH | The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities
To get tickets for their shows: THE STARS ARE BRIGHTER HERE - The MERL (reading.ac.uk)
In this episode, the team talk to Prof Katherine Harloe, Professor of Classics and Intellectual History at the University of Reading, about her interests in queer classics, how classics was used to conceptualise and same-sex desire in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, her role in bringing about the Broken Futures project, and the research and recording of diverse narratives.
In this episode, the Broken Futures team talk to Mark Stevens, the Berkshire County Archivist about the Broken Futures project and how it links to the records Mark holds within the Berkshire Record Office. We talk about document conservation, access to the records, the importance of state archives in documenting queer history, Reading's new Banksy on the walls of Reading Gaol, as well as the pardoning of historical men who had sex with men.
About Mark: Mark is County Archivist for Berkshire and works at the Berkshire Record Office in Reading where, amongst other things, he looks after the archives of various Berkshire criminal courts and those of Reading jail. Mark also writes about Victorian mental health and has published two books: 'Broadmoor Revealed' and 'Life in the Victorian Asylum'.
For more information on the Berkshire Record Office, visit www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk
To view the Berkshire Record Office's Catalogue of Records: Berkshire Record Office Collections (berkshirenclosure.org.uk)
The BRO is contactable on 0118 937 5132
In this episode, the team speak to Dr Emily Rutherford (Junior Research Fellow in History at Merton College, University of Oxford) about: her interest in queer history; how men who experienced same-sex desire would have conceptualised this in Victorian and Edwardian England; the differences between elite and working-class conceptions of homosexuality, including how different sources can form our understandings of both; and her upcoming work. Follow Dr Rutherford on twitter @echomikeromeo and visit her website www.emilymrutherford.com
In this episode, the team talk to Dr Oliver Baldwin from the University of Reading's Department of Classics about: his interest in queer history; his current project Queer Tragedy; why classics is so queer; how the men in the Broken Futures project may have used their understandings of the ancient world to understand their same-sex desire; and the relevance of Oscar Wilde's famous use of 'the love that dare not speak it's name' to legitimise his relationships with other men.
This is a really accessible podcast that introduces queer classics for a first-time listener.
In this episode, we speak to Prof Aleardo Zanghellini from the University of Reading's School of Law. Aleardo tells us about: how law and legal theory interacts with queer heritage; how the law operated against men who had sex with men; his novel Spellbinders, a work of historical fiction centring on Edward II's same-sex desire; how more diverse queer stories, including those of women and trans people, can be found in criminal archives; and his latest work on how same-sex desire played a part in the government of Fiume.
In this podcast, we speak to Amy Austin, PhD student and researcher in the Gender History Cluster in the Department of History at the University of Reading. Amy tells us more about the links between gender and sexuality in history, as well as her research on reconstructing transgender identities in history.
About Amy: Amy Austin is a third year PhD student in the History department at Reading University. She did her undergraduate degree at Royal Holloway where gender history was included as part of the mainstream curriculum. Here she developed an interest in the history of marginalised groups and went on to complete an MA in Women's and Gender History which included a study of crossdressing actresses, Oscar Wilde's trial and Victorian female mental health treatments. She is now researching transgender identities in Britain, 1870-1940s, is a passionate LGBT+ ally and seeks to bring the history of marginalised groups into the mainstream curriculum.
University of Reading Gender History Cluster: https://www.reading.ac.uk/research/theme-heritage-creativity/rd-history/history-cluster-gender.aspx
In this episode, we speak to Dan Vo, a media producer and freelance museum professional, about the future of Reading Gaol, the role of archives in diversifying their record holdings, the representation of diverse communities in history, and Dan’s work in the Queer Heritage and Collections Network.
About Dan: Dan Vo is a media producer and freelance museum professional. He is co-project manager of the Queer Heritage and Collections Network supported by the Art Fund and has developed LGBTQ+ tours and programming for the V&A Museum, National Museum Wales, University of Cambridge Museums and helped on similar programmes for National Gallery, Imperial War Museum, Tate Britain and others. He is a patron of LGBT+ History Month.
GiveOut SoundOut Voices of LGBTQI Activism https://giveout.org/podcast
Queer Heritage and Collection Network https://le.ac.uk/rcmg/research-archive/the-queer-heritage-and-collections-network
V&A Out In The Museum https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/va-trail-out-in-the-museum
Queer Britain https://queerbritain.org.uk/
In this episode, we ask Prof. Stoneley about the ordinary people he found serving time in Reading Gaol, how the building can seen as a site of queer heritage, the importance of queer representation in the archives, and the future of Gaol (which became unexpectedly relevant with the addition of a new Banksy on the prison's walls!).
About Peter: Peter is Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Reading. He has published books and essays on US literature, queer studies, Oscar Wilde, and dance. He was co-lead on the HLF-funded project, "Oscar Wilde and Reading Gaol."
Department of English Literature at the University of Reading: www.reading.ac.uk/new-home/literature-homepage.aspx
Berkshire Record Office: www.berkshirerecordoffice.org.uk
Join us for the first seminar of the series, and listen in to the Broken Futures team, Amy and George as they introduce the Broken Futures project and the upcoming launch of our museum exhibitions, walking tours, toolkit and this seminar series! Find out about the archival research, history group and more.
The Broken Futures Project was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2019 and seeks to explore the history of ‘ordinary’ men* in Berkshire who were charged with buggery/indecent assault/gross indecency 1861-1967 by training community volunteers in archival and genealogical research. The project is managed and delivered by Support U, the LGBT+ support and wellbeing charity in the Thames Valley. The project is supported by our fantastic partners, Berkshire Record Office, the Museum of English Rural Life, the University of Reading and Reading Museum. Find out more by visiting www.brokenfutures.co.uk