Discovering LGBTQ+ Literature at the British Library

The British Library has announced a six-week course on 20th century LGBT+ literature.

Running on Tuesdays evenings from 2 June to 7 July, the course will explore some of the most influential works in LGBTQ+ literature in their historical context, reflecting on what life was like for LGBTQ+ individuals in the period they were produced and what these texts have to tell us about LGBTQ+ identities, politics and sexualities over the 20th century.

For much of the 20th century, social norms based on rigid gender roles and assumptions of heterosexuality made it difficult for people to discuss or express gender and sexual variance. Laws prohibiting male same-sex acts and economic and social structures which discriminated against unmarried women constrained the possibilities open to same-sex attracted individuals, while cultural notions of gender as a binary inhibited the opportunities for articulating a trans or fluid gender identity. During this course we will explore how during a relatively strict climate of censorship, literature offered an important medium through which LGBTQ+ authors could give voice to their experiences, and an invaluable source of information for isolated LGBTQ+ individuals in a pre-internet age.

The full course costs  £295.00, or £250 for students, the unemployed or 18-25 year olds. Read the full course outline on the British Library website.

Written by Caspar