Bisi Alimi, Executive Director of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, will speak at the launch event for this year’s SEXing the Past conference on Friday March 3rd. The theme of this year’s conference focuses particular attention on the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967. His comments on LGBT advocacy and acceptance in Nigeria will serve to highlight the legacy of de/criminalisation in Commonwealth countries. This aspect of LGBT history will also feature in a panel discussion scheduled as part of the conference programme, at which he will take part as a panelist.
Now residing in London, Bisi Alimi was forced to flee Nigeria in 2007 after publicly outing himself. As an activist he remains committed to LGBT advocacy and rights in Nigeria as well as migrant African communities. His foundation recently released a report on the impact of homo-, bi- and transphobia in Nigeria.
Joining Bisi Alimi at the conference launch event is the author Diana Souhami, who will deliver the 3rd Allan Horsfall Lecture. The lecture is sponsored by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and DLA Piper.
A limited number of free tickets for the launch event and Horsfall Lecture are available to the public. To secure one, please follow this link and click on ‘Tickets’.
Presenters have been asked to comment on the motivations, perspectives and sources that inform their work in LGBT history as well as their thoughts regarding the upcoming conference. Jonah Coman, a PhD student in Medieval Studies at the University of St. Andrews, offers the following reflections:
The personal is political. I don’t want to pretend it is not, and I don’t want to pretend I don’t have the privilege of being able to research my community’s past. My work reconciling a secular modern gender diversity with a medieval Christian gender fluidity gives believers and non-believers alike a past to see themselves into.
I would say my endeavour is metaphysical or philosophical in part – I use medieval Christian paradoxes to reveal a history less blighted by violence, while transforming these religious ideas into a temporal philosophy.
Medieval images of crucifixion are the most striking of my sources, but poetry and theology is also a very important part of my material.
LGBT history is usually mapped in mainstream discourse as ‘the Greeks’ [and then] ‘Stonewall’. I’m excited to see this gap in history filled in, and to share my own expertise in medieval ideas about gender and sexuality.
In a present so full of violence, hate and plights, the the historian of queerness finds love across time and space. Join us and discover lovers and foremothers.
This year marks 40 years since the publication of the groundbreaking work ‘Coming Out: The Emergence of LGBT Identities in Britain from the 19th Century to the Present’, by Jeffrey Weeks.
SEXing the Past 2017 will commemorate this important anniversary by devoting a special session to a conversation with Jeffrey Weeks, which will provide an opportunity for reflections and questions on the development and future of LGBT history.
In addition to the revised and updated edition of ‘Coming Out’ published in 2016, his many and highly influential works in the history of sexuality include ‘Sex, Politics and Society: The Regulation of Sexuality since 1800’ (1981), ‘Making Sexual History’ (2000) and ‘The World We Have Won’ (2007), ‘The Languages of Sexuality’ (2012) and ‘What is Sexual History?’ (2016). He is Emeritus Professor of Sociology, London South Bank University.
SEXing the Past marks the end of LGBT History Month and takes place in Liverpool March 3rd – 5th 2017. Visit https://sexingthepast.com for conference information and registration.
Presenters have been asked to comment on the motivations, perspectives and sources that inform their work in LGBT history as well as their thoughts regarding the upcoming conference. Lois Stone, a PhD student in Archaeology at the University of Manchester, offers the following reflections:
I became interested in studying gender and sexuality in the past as a way of trying to find myself, or people like me, in history.
I try to do all of my research with the idea that people with gender identities and sexualities that do not conform with society’s expectations have always existed. These people may have been little recorded or actively excluded, but they existed. The task now is making sure that they are remembered.
I am an archaeologist, so a lot of my work comes from site reports and archaeological ‘grey’ literature, but I also draw heavily from trans autobiographies and academic writings.
I am most looking forward to meeting other academics in the field. We can be so spread out, and it is an incredibly gratifying feeling to be surrounded by people who are invested in the same sort of research that I am.
This conference is a wonderful way to feel a part of the academic community, and specifically a part of the LGBTQ academic community. It is always worth coming.