From "woman-loving woman" to "queer"

historiographical perspectives on twentieth-century British lesbian history

Rebecca Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Historiographical approaches to 20th-century British lesbian history have been shaped by a range of political perspectives. Lesbian feminist historians writing in the 1980s and 1990s emphasised the role of female friendships and lesbian relationships in supporting the lives and work of key figures such as Radclyffe Hall, as well as the negative impact of patriarchal oppression. In the 1990s, definitions of 'the lesbian' and the notion of the interwar period as a defining moment in modern lesbian history were challenged by queer and post-structural approaches, which encouraged an interpretation of categories of sexual identity as unstable. The recent historical concern with geographies of sexuality has prompted lesbian historians to explore the impact of space and the material world on the construction of lesbian identity and experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1920
Number of pages20
JournalHistory compass
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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