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Mental nurses and their patients, 1935–74

Anecdotal evidence of the testimonies of patients who received treatments for sexual deviations and medical attitudes towards them are scattered in the recorded accounts of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intersex and queer/questioning (GLBTIQ) people. This book examines the plight of men who were institutionalised in British mental hospitals to receive 'treatment' for homosexuality and transvestism, and the perceptions and actions of the men and women who nursed them. It explores why the majority of the nurses followed orders in administering the treatment - in spite of the zero success-rate in 'straightening out' queer men - but also why a small number surreptitiously defied their superiors by engaging in fascinating subversive behaviours. The book is specifically about the treatments developed for sexual deviations in the UK. Transvestism was also treated fairly widely; however, not to the same extent as homosexuality. After an examination of the oppression and suppression of the sexual deviant, the introduction of aversion therapies for sexual deviance is considered. During the 1930s-1950s, mental health care witnessed a spirit of 'therapeutic optimism' as new somatic treatments and therapies were introduced in mental hospitals. The book also examines the impact these had on the role of mental nurses and explores how such treatments may have essentially normalised nurses to implement painful and distressing 'therapeutic' interventions . The book interprets the testimonies of these 'subversive nurses'. Finally, it explores the inception of 'nurse therapists' and discusses their role in administering aversion therapy.

Werewolves, wolves and wild children
Editors: Sam George and Bill Hughes

The book explores crucial questions concerning human social existence and its animal substrate, and the intersection between the human and the wolfishly bestial. The collection connects together innovative research on the cultural significance of wolves, wild children and werewolves from a variety of perspectives. We begin with the wolf itself as it has been interpreted as a cultural symbol and how it figures in contemporary debates about human existence, wilderness and nature. Alongside this, we consider eighteenth-century debates about wild children – often thought to have been raised by wolves and other animals – and their role in key questions about the origins of language and society. The collection continues with analyses of the modern werewolf and its cultural connotations in texts from nineteenth-century Gothic through early cinema to present-day television and Young Adult fiction, concluding with the transitions between animal and human in contemporary art, poetry and fashion.

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Fur, fashion and species transvestism

representing slippages between them’. 3 In this respect the werewolf can be read as what Marjorie Garber, in the context of transvestism, has called a ‘third term’. For Garber, women dressed as men and vice versa are usually subsumed to one sex or the other by critical discourse, when in fact they operate as a third category in their own right. She explains: The ‘third’ is that which questions binary thinking and

in In the company of wolves
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perception in relation to the use of aversion therapy to ‘cure’ homosexuality and transvestism. 1 ‘Curing queers’ In this way, it seeks to offer fresh insight into both patients’ and nurses’ perspectives on these treatments. It uses testimonies of patients and nurses to explore the subject in ways that have not been attempted before, and to texture more broadly focused histories of these treatments and this period. This echoes recent moves towards ­micro-histories particularly when looking at sexuality and nursing, as a way of framing and answering questions about

in ‘Curing queers’
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conflict with her or his gender role enters a treatment programme for transsexuals, he argues, but is also the result of a historical development. His historical analysis of this transformation was based on his reading of the secondary histories of ‘sexual inversion’, hermaphroditism and transvestism.2 Here I hope to present a more profound analysis of that very transformation based on hermaphrodite case histories. I hope to demonstrate, that what was once a social, moral and sometimes legal conflict concerning a person inscribed as male or female whose physical sex

in Doubting sex

ideal was threatened by the concept of effeminacy and transvestism. Indeed, many simply yielded to the prevailing attitude of heterosexual domesticity, which was promoted within the film. Albert Holliday recalls how the pressure of this ‘propaganda’ largely influenced his decision to get married: It seemed that every film I watched and book I read made marriage look like such an attractive option. Maybe I was brainwashed [. . .] I didn’t want to be lonely and there were a lot of questions from my family regarding me getting married [. . .] I had met a girl at art

in ‘Curing queers’

colourful clothes, the mini-skirt and bikini for women and long hair for men, defied conventional norms of behaviour and appearance. Popular music was changing as the glam rock era emerged and David Bowie appeared as the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. Peter Ackroyd argues that Bowie challenged traditional gender roles and made transvestism more broadly acceptable.42 There was also the emergence of anti-establishment thinking, including challenges to the institution of psychiatry with the emergence of the ‘counter-psychiatry’ movement.43 The ‘counter

in ‘Curing queers’
Gothic and the perverse father of queer enjoyment

‘Tale of the Spaniard’ Alonzo di Monçada in Charles Maturin’s Melmoth the Wanderer (1820). Alonzo is relating to John Melmoth, in painstaking detail, the story of his escape from the monastery into which he had been coerced by his parents. While Alonzo and his accomplice, the parricide, are concealed in an underground vault, the latter recites a story of transvestism, cross-dressing and

in Queering the Gothic

’s class. This becomes important in movies. Theatre was tenuously exempted from these laws except in the eyes of hard-line Puritans: The stage was a privileged site of transgression, in which two kinds of transvestism were permitted to players: changes of costume that violated edicts against wearing the clothing of the

in Shakespeare’s cinema of love

done. Ned’s feelings of losing his father date from the moment he discovers his father’s trunk with dresses in it (18), but the true meaning of this transvestism doesn’t become clear until Mary explains the activities of the Children of Molly or Sons of Sieve (271–3) that Hart is attempting to revive. Carey apparently got the idea for this thread of the novel from Sidney Nolan’s painting Steve Hart Dressed as a Girl 1947, which was based on historical sources for the Kelly story. 38 Anne Marsh has argued that the inclusion of transvestism is a ‘queering’ of the

in Peter Carey