Welcome to CamQueerHistory! We're a group at the University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin University putting on a series of events for LGBTQ+ History Month 2018. We'd like to thank the School of Arts & Humanities, CUSU LGBT+, Pembroke College Graduate Parlour, and Selwyn College MCR for their support in funding our events. See our event calendar below :) (events organised by other groups in grey)

Trans People in Sumer and AssyriaFebruary Friday 2nd 6pm
Cheryl MorganBateman room, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street
How far back can we trace trans history? How about 4,500 years? Come and hear how society made space for, and even celebrated, trans people at the dawn of human civilisation.

Translating the Lieutenant Nun: (Re)reading and (Re)writing an Early Modern Text and BodyFebruary Monday 5th 6pm
Emily Rose, UEABateman room, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street
Catalina de Erauso (1585-1650), aka the Lieutenant Nun, escaped a nunnery at the age of fifteen dressed as a boy. ‘She’ travelled to the Americas to fight as a soldier, duelled, gambled, stole, was imprisoned multiple times until ‘she’ eventually confessed to being a woman. Ze wrote of hir adventures and obtained dispensation from the king and the Pope to continue living as a man. In this talk, Emily Rose (UEA) will discuss Erauso’s memoir and the fact that ze uses both feminine and masculine gender markers to refer to hirself, sometimes in the same sentence. Translation is a performance which always requires creativity; through a queer reading the translator is no longer expected to give an absolutely ‘faithful’ representation of the ‘essential’ body of the source text because all bodies and texts are multiple and undecidable. Erauso demonstrates that bodies and texts are undecidable and through translation we can bring an early and significant piece of ‘transgender’ literature to a twenty-first-century audience.

Grace Petrie and an Open Mic NightFebruary Wednesday 7th 730pm
Grace PetrieThe Portland Arms, 129 Chesterton Road, CB4 3BA
Grace Petrie is a folk singer, songwriter, and activist. She first exploded on to the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered have won over audiences everywhere, and she has quietly become one of the most respected and prolific songwriters working in the UK today. She will be supported by an Open Mic night – 10 minute slots will be available on the night (please bring your own instrument / talent / enthusiasm – first come first served).

The golden age of lesbian pulp fictionFebruary Friday 9th 6pm
Dr Amy Tooth MurphyThe Diamond, Selwyn College, Cambridge
Scantily-clad women exchange smouldering glances, sexual tension simmers between butches and femmes in smoky basement bars. America turns the page... Between 1950-1965 thousands of lesbian pulp fiction titles flooded the American paperback publishing market. Filling the shelves and racks of drugstores and kiosks across the country, they topped bestseller charts. Among the millions of readers were lesbian women, learning for the first time that there were others like them. In this talk Dr Amy Tooth Murphy will explore the enticing world of lesbian pulp fiction, looking at how the morally conservative context of post-war America provided an unexpected opportunity for a group of lesbian authors to reach out to hungry lesbian readers, drawing some from the suburbs and into the city, in search of their own 'twilight world'.

Screening of Pride (2014)February Monday 12th 7pm
CUSU Lounge, 17 Mill Lane
CUSU LGBT+ are putting on a screening of Pride, the joyous 2014 film that deals with the activist work done by Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners during the 1984/5 Miners' Strike. If you enjoy the film, you might want to come to our panel discussion about LGSM and LAPC the following week!

Same-sex commitment through the agesFebruary Tuesday 13th 6pm
Nailya Shamgunova & Simon GoldhillThe Chadwick Room, Selwyn College
This event explores the history of same-sex commitment through Western European history. Short talks cover 17th century and Victorian England and more contemporary issues.

‘I don’t see nothing wrong, with a little bump and grind’: dancing and bumping with Christopher Isherwood’s ‘fag hags’February Friday 16th 6pm
Eleri WatsonNihon Room, Pembroke College, Trumpington Street
DPhil candidate at Oxford, writing on queer theory, Eleri will be discussing her research on ‘fag hags' in Christopher Isherwood’s writing, and more broadly. Followed by drinks reception.

Queer wellbeing workshopFebruary Saturday 17th 1230pm
Michael BrownNihon room, Pembroke College, Trumpington Street
Join Cambridge poet Michael Brown and local LGBT+ artists to write poetry, create crafts, make art and try mindfulness colouring. Drop in - all welcome.

Mirrors and Reflections: a creative writing workshop (Rainbow Edition)February Saturday 17th 3pm
Fox BenwellConference Room, Cambridge Central Library
Join critically acclaimed author Fox Benwell for a creative writing workshop. (14-18 year olds)
When you look in a mirror you don’t just see yourself, you see everything around you. Books are like that too – or at least, they should be. But when you’re queer, that can be harder. So how do we fix that? In Mirrors and Reflections: tRE, we’ll hold up a mirror to queer stories that we have, and the ways in which society’s hang ups are reflected or challenged within them. Tackling the stereotypes through our own character- and world-building, we’ll explore the hows of dynamic, multifaceted representation, as well as the whys. Fox Benwell is a queer, trans author, PhD candidate, creative writing tutor and wannabe knight. He holds degrees in international education and writing for young people, and believes in the power of both to change the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed The Last Leaves Falling, and Kaleidoscope Song.
Email us to secure your place, and pay on the day (£5): camqueerhistory@gmail.com

The GaYAgendaFebruary Monday 19th 7pm
Tanya Byrne, Mei Wing Kam & Fox BenwellBateman room, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street
Our panel will be a discussion on Young Adult fiction, censorship, and how much truth there is in the concept of a ‘gay agenda’. We will be joined by Tanya Byrne, an author who has been shortlisted for numerous awards including the New Writer of the Year at the National Book Awards; Wei Ming Kam, award-winning writer, publisher at Oberon Books, and founder of BAME in Publishing and Pride in Publishing; and Fox Benwell, creative writing tutor and author of the critically acclaimed The Last Leaves Falling and most recently Kaleidoscope Song.

Queer Desire: Hidden HistoriesFebruary Tuesday 20th 6pm
Nik Jov?i?-Sas & Peter KaneLloyd Room, Christ's College
To mark LGBTQ+ History Month, Christ's MCR are hosting an evening of two short lectures. All are welcome to join for what promises to be a fascinating and lively hour. Please RSVP on facebook or by emailing rsg47@cam.ac.uk.



From Pride marches ending in bloodshed, to becoming Eastern Europe's first country with an openly gay prime minister - Serbia's relationship with the LGBTQ+ rights movement is extremely complex. In this talk, Nik Jov?i?-Sas explores this conflict by discussing the Orthodox Christian tradition of "brotherhood unions" and how their demise exposes the roots of Serbia's pervasive homophobic attitudes.



Finch and Baines were two 17th Century Christ's alums. They had a life-long relationship, celebrated by the largest memorial in the College Chapel. The memorial was erected in 1684 by Finch's cousin, the second Earl of Nottingham in many respects, it is unique. John and Thomas were both medics and founder members of the Royal Society. Finch ended his career as English ambassador to Constantinople. The long inscription at the base of the memorial was written by their Christ's tutor, Henry More. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to look at the memorial before the talk.

Beyond Pride: Adding depth to our history of LGSM and LAPCFebruary Tuesday 20th 7pm
Colin Clews, Jonathan Blake & Nicola Field; chaired by Florence Sutcliffe-BraithwaiteBateman auditorium, Gonville & Caius College, Trinity Street
The movie Pride has made one version of the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners widely known, but the real story was more complex. Here, three panelists who were members of LGSM during the Strike discuss their experiences and how the real history differed from the fictionalised version:
  • Colin Clews, historian and author of Gay in the 80s (Troubador, 2017)
  • Jonathan Blake, activist and one of the first people in the UK diagnosed with HIV
  • Nicola Field, writer, activist and member of LAPC as well as LGSM
We will also watch the film All out! Dancing in Dulais (1986), a short documentary made by activists after the events of 1984/5.

The discussion will be chaired by Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, UCL, who has worked on class, gender and Thatcherism, and is currently researching women's activism during the miners' strike.

You might also be interested in coming to a screening of Pride organised by CUSU LGBT+ on Monday the 12th of February at 7pm in the CUSU building (Mill Lane).

LGBT in the Archive talkFebruary Wednesday 21st 530pm
3rd floor conference room, Cambridge Central Library
Join the Cambridge Central Library for a talk on the history of LGBT groups in Cambridge.

Section 28: The Politics of HomophobiaFebruary Thursday 22nd 730pm
Colin ClewsFriends Meeting House, Jesus Lane
2018 sees the 30th anniversary of the passage of Section 28, supposedly aimed at preventing public expenditure on promoting "the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. Yet only a year earlier the government had rejected an almost identical Private Members Bill as ‘unworkable’. There wasn’t a single prosecution during its lifetime - but it certainly hurt LGBT+ communities. So what was Section 28 really about? Colin Clews, author of the book and the blog ‘Gay in the 80s’, explores the dynamics of the period. (Copies of his book will be available at the special price of £10)

Queering Britain’s National HeritageFebruary Friday 23rd 6pm
Chris Smith, Alison Oram & Tom FreshwaterOld Library, Pembroke College, Trumpington Street
A panel with Chris Smith, Alison Oram and Tom Freshwater. Chris Smith, Master of Pembroke and former Culture Secretary, will be discussing representing and making visible our queer national heritage, with Professor Alison Oram, who led the project ‘Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage' with Historic England, the government agency responsible for national heritage, and Tom Freshwater, the National Programmes Manager for the National Trust, who led the ‘Prejudice and Pride’ project in 2017. The panel will be chaired by Dr Priyamvada Gopal, Reader at Churchill College, who specialises in colonial and post-colonial theory and writing. Followed by drinks reception.

Sisterhood, sawdust and squattingFebruary Monday 26th 530pm
Chris Wall (University of Westminster)Selwyn College, Cambridge
We're really sorry to announce that we've postponed this talk - it falls on the same day as a strike, and although the colleges are not striking, the union has asked that talks in colleges be cancelled/moved. Watch this space for news on a future date.

This talk uses personal testimonies from an oral history project aiming to record the memories of lesbian women who squatted and created a community of over a hundred women in Hackney throughout the 1970s and 1980s. As part of the wider London squatting movement, by the mid-70s estimated at over 30,000 people, the squats were all located in vacant, substandard housing owned by local authorities and earmarked either for demolition or rehabilitation. Repaired and restored by women the squats provided unusual access to housing and the freedom to set up radical experiments in collective living and alternative urban communities. For young lesbians it was an opportunity for self-determination, to live autonomously, and to imagine and create a different world. This talk reveals how this new community, which appeared in the historic houses around London Fields, engaged directly with the built environment, interacted with the local neighbourhood and statutory bodies, while at the same time being embedded within, and contributing to, the wider women's liberation movement in London.

Christine Wall is Reader in Architectural and Construction History, University of Westminster, Co-Editor of The Construction History Journal, editor of The Oral History Journal, and member of the Oral History Society LGBTQ Special Interest Group.

LGBTQ+ Trivia Night and SocialFebruary Wednesday 28th 630pm
3rd floor conference room, Cambridge Central Library
Join the Cambridge Central Library for a night of trivia to mark the end of LGBTQ History Month! Bring your own team of four or join one on the day. Badge making (50p) and refreshments available. Free but ticketed, book at the library or call: 0345 045 5225. All welcome!

Queer Antiquities TrailFebruary 1st - 28th
Museum of Classical Archaeology
We don't know what really went on between the sheets in the ancient world - but join the Museum of Classical Archaeology this LGBTQ History Month for a trail around the diverse histories of sexual identity and identification in Greece and Rome. From Greek love to Roman invective, from imperial toyboys to post-antique titillation: we explore ancient same-sex sexualities and their reception in our atmospheric Cast Gallery.

Pick up a trail from the front desk and find your way around the naked truth of sex in the ancient past.

**From Tuesday 13th February, the trail will include the work Hermaphrodite (2018) by Clare Yarrington.**

The trail and interpretation panels are available in large print versions. Please ask at the front desk.