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Michael Sibalis

Frédéric Martel, The Pink and the Black: Homosexuals in France since 1968, trans. Jane Marie Todd (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999); Le Rose et le noir: les homosexuels en France depuis 1968, 2nd edition, revised and enlarged (Paris: Seuil, 2000).

Florence Tamagne, Histoire de l’homosexualité en Europe: Berlin, Londres, Paris 1919-1939 (Paris: Seuil, 2000).

Carolyn J. Dean, The Frail Social Body: Pornography, Homosexuality, and Other Fantasies in Interwar France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).

Daniel Borrillo, Eric Fassin, and Marcela Iacub, eds., Au-delà du PaCS: l’expertise familiale à l’épreuve de l’homosexualité, (Paris: Presses Universitaire de France, 1999).

Louis-Georges Tin and Geneviève Pastre, eds., Homosexualités: expression/répression, (Paris: Stock, 2000).

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Sexology, Homosexual History, and Walt Whitman

The 'Uranian' Identity in Imre: A Memorandum

James Wilper

Historical surveys of the homosexual novel in the English language often take Imre: A Memorandum (1906) by Edward Prime-Stevenson as a starting point since this work of fiction is one of the first by a gay writer to deal openly with love between men and to end happily for the lovers; yet despite this attention an in-depth scholarly treatment of the themes of this novel has been lacking. This essay seeks to address this dearth by considering the role played by late nineteenth-century sexology, its concepts, its naming systems, and its mode of self-narration, and by giving special notice to the ways in which the text exceeds the boundaries of this continent of knowledge. Fin-de-siècle sexual science, especially liberationist third- or intermediate-sex sexology, triggers awareness which is essential to the central characters' subjectivities. But, as a means for constructing affirmative identities and mapping out relations between men, sexology proves to be insufficient. They turn to history and the arts, fashioning a cultural legacy of homosexuality, not in the mode of apologetics, but in order to self confidently historicise love between men, argue its cultural legitimacy, and thus the authenticity of this love in the modern era. This essay does not attempt to make the claim that the cultural-historical discourses are more important than the scientific, or vice versa, rather both are central to the characters' development and their 'coming out'.

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The Kids Are All Right But the Lesbians Aren't

The Illusion of Progress in Popular Film

Vicki L. Eaklor

The film The Kids Are All Right, centered on a lesbian couple and their two teenage children, was released in 2010 following a media blitz selling it as a groundbreaking film. Many queer viewers (like this author) eagerly awaited this supposed step forward in lesbian representation, only to be disappointed once again by mainstream stereotypes and tropes. This article takes a close look at the film against the backdrop of lesbian images and themes in “Hollywood“ films, particularly in the last twenty years, and argues that continuities, while sometimes more subtle, override the illusion of progress in portraying lesbians. Finally, there is speculation about why genuine change in mainstream film may be impossible under current societal and economic systems.

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Jeremy Rich

In April 1884, a scandal erupted among colonial officials stationed in the French Central African colony of Gabon. Alexis d'Alexis, a customs officer, and Faucher, a member of Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza's third expedition into the Gabonese interior, accused one another of abuses against Africans. D'Alexis declared that Faucher had tortured a Senegalese sailor, and Faucher accused D'Alexis of engaging in sexual relationships with six African boys and men on the island. Although the charges never went beyond the colonial administration's internal correspondence, the allegations of aberrant conduct and the inquiry that resulted offer a fascinating glimpse of understandings of masculinity, internal friction, and the monitoring of intimate behavior within the French colonial administration in the Scramble for Africa. This case points to the fractured nature of state regulation of sexuality in the French empire, as well as the ways different officials defined and deployed constructions of abnormal masculinity as weapons in disputes.

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Loren Ringer

Alain Finkelkraut has interrogated contemporary Jewish identity in terms of how a Jew reckons with the heavy impact of the Holocaust and in fact with the entire history of the Jewish people. Finkelkraut takes issue with Sartre’s 1947 essay, Anti-Semite and Jew, not for its content but the effect that it has had on him. “Let there be no misunderstanding: I am not attacking the book that Sartre wrote on the Jewish problem,” asserts the author in a footnote (JI 17, my translation). Instead, he shows how the philosopher aids in the creation of what Finkelkraut terms “the imaginary Jew.”

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Off the Beaten Path

Non-Metropolitan Representations of Homosexuality in Three French Films

Romain Chareyron

This article offers a reflection on the ways in which the representation of gays and lesbians in contemporary French cinema has mostly focused on specific and limiting traits. With their choice of locales (Paris and other cities) and bodily characteristics (young, fit), these films convey a restrictive view of homosexuality. Such portrayals have gained traction due to their numerous iterations in films and in the media. By focusing on the works of three directors who have adopted a radically different perspective in their portrayals of homosexuality, this article will highlight the close ties that exist between sexuality and topography. Providing a more true-to-life account of homosexuality, the films move away from cities to investigate the geographical margins. In so doing, they question the tenets of France’s republican ideals, where differences tend to be smoothed out in favor of unity and homogeneity. These films reinstate diversity and individuality at the heart of their narratives.

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Giulia Maria Cavaletto

In May 2016, the Italian Parliament passed Law No. 76/2016 titled “Regulations of Civil Unions between Persons of the Same Sex and Discipline of Cohabitation.” The law provides for same-sex marriages and also introduces rights and protections to unmarried cohabitants. It followed on from a decision of the European Court of Human Rights, which in July 2015 condemned Italy for its legislative gap with respect to homosexual unions. Civil unions have since become a new public institution that regulates the rights and obligations of all couples living together without marriage, whether homosexual or any other type of couple. The legislation contains some gray areas: it excludes the possibility of stepchild adoption by homosexual couples and does not allow the adoption of children by unmarried heterosexual couples. Nonetheless, the civil union represents a key step toward the achievement of equality by recognizing new ways of being a family.

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Hannah Mueller

The representation of adolescent same-sex love in Daniel Ribeiro’s Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (2014) and Aluizio Abranches’s Do Começo ao Fim (2009) stands out from other treatments of adolescence and homosexuality in Brazilian/LatinAmerican cinema. The movies’ setting within an urban upper-class environment allows for a conception of adolescence as a prolonged period of carefree exploration. By intertwining the experience of adolescence with the discovery of emergent sexuality, the movies develop a model of sensual, gentle masculinity and a reciprocal concept of homosexual love, thus undermining the paradigmatic juxtaposition of active masculinity and passive femininity that has dominated cinematic representations of homosexual characters and same sex-encounters in Latin-American cinema.

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Heike Bauer

Psychopathia Sexualis (first published in German in 1886, in English in 1892) by the German sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing (1840–1903) was amongst the first works in the new discipline to argue that homosexuality was part of nature and could thus not be condemned. Here the voices of real-life homosexuals were for the first time recorded, and these case studies led Krafft-Ebing to the belief that homosexuality was not an acquired vice. The idea of the ‘naturalness’ of homosexuality was at its time radical. Accordingly, the sexual knowledge was disseminated in a somewhat conspiratorial manner, as it was ostensibly directed solely at medical and legal practitioners ‘to exclude the lay reader’. The work nevertheless gained publicity far beyond the specialist realm. I argue that this was partly due to the fact that Krafft-Ebing’s medical book provided an exciting erotic stimulus. The real interest of many of its lay readers derived from its sexually explicit content, in other words Psychopathia Sexualis was a source for sexual kicks. This notion can be traced in Radclyffe Hall’s classic lesbian novel The Well of Loneliness (1928), where it shines a new light on the construction of the novel’s ‘sexually inverted’ protagonist.

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Boys, Inclusive Masculinities and Injury

Some Research Perspectives

Adam White and Stefan Robinson

The social function of sport has traditionally been to develop an economically efficient workforce and to prevent young men from becoming effeminate, and by extension homosexual. However, since the 1980s both the social positioning of homosexuality has changed, as has the economic requirements of the Anglo-American workforce. As such, the social function of contemporary sport is negated. With modern athletes now opting for softer masculine presentations, we start the debate on the intersection of sport, health, and inclusive masculinities, an area lacking scholarly attention so far. Through exploring masculinity-challenging discourses, participation rates and athletes’ self-withdrawal from sport when injured, we begin to theorize how modern athletes may view potentially risky and injurious sporting activities, showing that boys today are less inclined to engage in injurious activities, and, when they do, opting for softer and safer strategies.