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CfP: Stonewall 50 years on: Gay Liberation and Lesbian Feminism in its European Context (Event, 12/2019, Manchester); by: 06.09.2019 [REMINDERIN]

Craig Griffiths, Rebecca Jennings and Dan Callwood; Manchester Metropolitan University

Venue: Manchester
Time: 06.12.2019
Proposals by: 06.09.2019

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York, which began in the early hours of Saturday, 28 June 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street defended themselves against police oppression. The Stonewall riots are often credited as the spark that set the gay liberation movement alight, not just in the United States, but around the Western world. In the years since, the words ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Christopher Street’ have become a recognisable shorthand for gay activism across Europe, inspiring the names of organisations, events, bars and publications.

With this one-day conference, we want to rethink the movements that the riots supposedly spawned in a European context. Gay liberation was never a one-way flow from across the Atlantic. While the Gay Liberation Front, set up in late 1969 in New York, was an important catalyst for similar groups in Europe, activist innovations crossed the Atlantic in the other direction too. Rather than walking fully formed off New York’s Christopher Street, the European gay liberation movements that sprang up in the early 1970s were influenced by national events, or groups elsewhere on the continent. In particular, gay liberation was enabled by the upheavals associated with “1968”, even as activists struggled with the sexual politics of the New Left. Although Anglophone activists such as Carl Wittman or Dennis Altman were influential in Britain, the likes of Guy Hocquenghem and Mario Mieli, writing in French and Italian respectively, were the most important theorists of gay liberation in its European context. For lesbian feminists across Europe, it was the literature, activism and networks of post-1968 feminism which fostered the emergence of a lesbian movement. All the while, activists moved around the … read more and source (Web).

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