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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
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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
Daisy Payling

character's living room – and allows the (male) viewer to ‘defer the queerness of their own viewing experiences’. Weber argues that in doing so the film ‘reminds us that the limit of liberal tolerance is the displacement of queerness, often via strategies of containment’. 3 This chapter explores ‘liberal tolerance’ of lesbian and gay politics and the limits of solidarity in Sheffield's left-wing politics. Lucy Robinson argues that one of the legacies of the Gay

in Socialist Republic
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
Rustam Alexander

perversion, which did not merit scientific examination, so the project would inevitably be fraught with risks and many problems. Compared to male homosexuality, lesbianism seemed like a far more researchable topic, especially since police treated lesbianism as either a non-issue or something that doctors had to take charge of – so such research would not raise as many eyebrows as research on male homosexuality. Likewise, Sviadoshch was aware of the growing interest in the scientific expertise on lesbianism in the GULAG, where authorities tried to

in Red closet
Rustam Alexander

the Criminal Code could he find any reference to lesbianism and it appeared that the existence of homosexual relations between women did not bother Soviet authorities at all. And there was a reason for this: Soviet women who desired other women did not actively cruise streets in pursuit of partners and sex like homosexual men, remaining therefore off the police's radar. They were more discreet and secretive. Some women who had relations with other women managed to disguise their relationships as friendships. The court's archives which Daniel

in Red closet
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?