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Genre, Transformation, Transgression
Paulina Palmer

Palmer discusses Caeia March‘s Between The Worlds (1996) and Sarah Walter‘s Affinity (1999). Palmer argues that writers of lesbian fiction are drawn to the Gothic because it is a form which has traditionally given space to the representation of transgressive sexualities. The Gothic is also a vehicle through which the interrogation and problematising of mainstream versions of reality and so-called ‘normal’ values is made possible. Palmer argues that these novels parodically rework the grotesque portrayal of character, which is familiar from mainstream Gothic fiction and film, and in doing so they challenge and resignify the category of the abject to which lesbians and gay men are conventionally relegated.

Gothic Studies
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Relationships and the home
Rebecca Jennings

3 Lesbian domesticity: relationships and the home In September 1965, an article entitled ‘Myth – or unpalatable fact?’ appeared in the lesbian magazine, Arena Three.The author, calling themselves ‘Commutator’, cited a statistic from a recent television programme which had claimed that 93 per cent of marriages remained intact. Reflecting on whether the same could be said of lesbian relationships, ‘Commutator’ asked: Wouldn’t you say … that the ‘average’ lesbian is – if you want to compare her with the heterosexual world – most closely similar to the het

in Tomboys and bachelor girls
Lesboratories as affective spaces
Tuula Juvonen

Walking through the city of Tampere, Finland, past the Workers’ Union House or the Näsinneula sightseeing tower, there are no material traces to indicate that in the 1980s these were areas of great significance to the city’s emerging lesbian and gay community. 1 The ephemerality of the lesbian and gay scene has made its history notoriously

in Affective intimacies
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Haunted ‘history’ in The Night Watch
Natasha Alden

3927 Alden- Reading behind the lines:Layout 1 27/9/13 09:05 Page 178 4 Lesbian postmemory: haunted ‘history’ in The Night Watch In her afterword to Loss: The Politics of Mourning, Judith Butler remarks that she has recently noticed the development of an academic field concerned with ‘the loss of loss itself: somewhere, sometime, something was lost, but no story can be told about it; no memory can retrieve it; a fractured horizon looms in which to make one’s way as a spectral agency, one for whom a full “recovery” is impossible, one for whom the

in Reading behind the lines
Petra Nordqvist

supposedly lie in kin relationships. Indeed, the making of the next generation of kin might, for some, be a precarious pursuit both in terms of relationships and kin identities. I came across these suggestions in my recent UK-based study of people who conceive using donor conception (Nordqvist and Smart, 2014a ), and hence the body parts (gametes) of others, to have children of their own. It became particularly evident among the lesbian couples, and their parents, that kinship could be felt to be precarious. Indeed, lesbian couples, on becoming parents, could not presume

in Bodily interventions and intimate labour
Tina O’Toole

10 Adrienne Rich’s On Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence Tina O’Toole Introduction The 1980s are unlikely to be remembered positively by Irish feminists1 as it was a decade characterised primarily by a series of defeats such as the 1983 Pro-Life Constitutional Amendment and ensuing court cases taken by the anti-abortion movement against groups providing abortion information (Connolly, 2002: 155–84); by the death of Ann Lovett and the Joanne Hayes case;2 and by high unemployment and the concomitant re-emergence of mass emigration. Yet, despite this

in Mobilising classics
Emma Liggins

Chapter 4 The misfit lesbian heroine of inter-war fiction This chapter considers the emergence of the ‘misfit’ lesbian heroine of inter-war fiction in relation to new sexological theories of inversion and socio-medical concerns about ‘intimate friendships’ amongst women. The abnormality or queerness of the invert is both admired and attacked in a range of texts published primarily in the decade after the First World War, before the trial for obscenity of Radclyffe Hall in 1928 crystallised a particular vision of the mannish lesbian. Lesbian characters have been

in Odd women?
Rebecca Jennings

5 Arena Three and the articulation of a collective lesbian identity In the spring of 1964, the first British lesbian magazine, Arena Three, was produced and circulated to a small number of subscribers.1 A landmark event in itself, the story of Arena Three provides a valuable case history of British lesbian cultures and identities in the 1960s.The project represented a first attempt to speak as a lesbian community and as such the history of the magazine’s production, as well as the attitudes voiced within its covers, is a history of lesbian collectivism

in Tomboys and bachelor girls
Rebecca Jennings

1 Tomboys, crushes and the construction of adolescent lesbian identities Reflecting on the sexual culture at Colston’s Girls School in Bristol in the 1940s, Diana Chapman gave the following account of her own sexual awakening: And it was quite the thing there in some weird way, for all the girls to be in love with each other, at least in love with the senior girls and the staff. It wasn’t thought peculiar, and when I was twelve I think I was standing on the edge of a – or walking along the edge of a swimming pool and there was a tall dark and handsome girl

in Tomboys and bachelor girls
Rebecca Jennings

4 The Gateways club and the emergence of a post-war lesbian subculture A vibrant lesbian bar culture emerged alongside gay male subcultures in London and other British towns and cities in the years before the Second World War and played an important role in the development of collective lesbian identities in the post-war period. However, while gay male subcultures have become the focus of considerable scholarly attention in recent years, no comparable work has examined the significance of commercial subcultures in histories of female homosexuality in the UK

in Tomboys and bachelor girls