One of the most important sources for historians of queer history in the German-speaking world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been queer-oriented magazines, which offer a rich blend of written and visual media, allowing historians to gain insight into the politics, desires, and practices of gender non-conforming and sexually non-normative German speakers. However, far from providing a direct window into queer worlds and lived experiences, magazines pose a range of challenges to historians, some of which are specific to these sources and some of which are reflected in the archive more broadly.
Christopher Ewing (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Sébastien Tremblay (Freie Universität Berlin) with the support of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London and the DFG research project “Homosexual emancipation movements and legal framework in the FRG” (Adrian Lehne, Martin Lücke and Veronika Springmann, Freie Universität Berlin) are pleased to invite you to an online workshop in March 2021.With this workshop, we plan to bring together a set of international scholars and archivists from all career levels working with magazines and similar printed media (e.g. zines and DIY publications) to discuss the possibilities and challenges presented by these sources. We aim to pay particular attention to the exclusions present in magazines, particularly but not exclusively along the lines of race, while simultaneously uncovering counternarratives, either through reading against the grain or as they exist within non-commercial and/or BIPOC-led publications. Additionally, we plan to attend to the ways in which magazines and similar printed media served as spaces to express and consume diverse and sometimes competing desires through images, written narratives, and personal contacts. Debates over bisexuality, the valorization of normative gender performance, and the age of consent were often linked to sexual desire, as well as longings for intimacies and worlds that did not yet exist. These concerns, among others, will drive our conversation as we organize this workshop around three methodological concerns:
-The methodological challenges of doing queer history using queer written communication networks.
-Revealing silences built into these publications and dismantling the replication of these silences in queer histories.
-Bringing forward counternarratives and voices of contestation, while thinking critically about the dichotomy between queer magazines and queer zines.
We therefore invite abstracts from archivists and scholars at every career stage working with queer printed media in the German-speaking world. We understand printed media as broadly defined, from DIY publications to mainstream magazines to pornographic materials. By the same token, we understand the German-speaking world to include not only Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but the German diaspora, from Iowa to Namibia. Submissions from scholars working on race, as well as lesbian, bisexual, trans, and queer perspectives are especially encouraged.
Abstracts of no longer than 300 words should be emailed to [email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org ] no later than January 15th. Decisions will be made by January 30th, and the workshop itself will take place March 26-27th. Papers can be submitted in English or in German. The first day will consist of panel discussions regarding the topics mentioned above. The second day of the workshop will consist of methodological group discussions, for example, surrounding the materiality of magazines (act of reading, collecting, archiving).