Accueil > History of male and female homosexuality in the western world, XIXth-XXth century

DHIS 25A08 - History of homosexuality in the West, 19th-21th century

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2019-2020

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


A basic knowledge of the political, cultural and social history of France, Germany, Great-Britain and the United States between the 1800's and the 2000's is expected.

Course Description

Based on the most recent research, this class will retrace the modern history of homosexuality in European and American societies since the late 18th century, not only as an individual and collective experience, but also as a medical and theoretical concept, and a social battlefield. The progression will be roughly chronological but will also focus on specific issues such as the legal situation of homosexuals, the medical and psychological discourses on homosexuality, the common ground and differences between the history of male and female homosexuality, the role of art, literature and urban life in shaping homosexual identity and subculture. How and why did Western countries shift from condemnation to acceptation, though past prejudice and stigma still interfere with the present?


RETAILLAUD, Emmanuelle F. (Maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine// PhD in History, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary History (IUT Tours))

Course validation

1 oral presentation in class (individual or in pairs, depending on class size) 1 book report 1 written exercise in class at the end of the semester (last session) 1 grade for participation

Required reading

  • CHAUNCEY George, Gay New York, Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of a Gay Male World 1890-1940, New York, Basic Books, 1994.
  • DECECCO John & PENISTON William, Pederasts and Others : Urban Culture and Sexual Identity in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Routledge, 2004.
  • FADERMAN Lilian, Odd Girls ans Twilight Lovers, a History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth Century America, New York, Penguin et Columbia University Press, 1991.
  • TAMAGNE Florence, English History of Homosexuality in Europe : Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, Algora Pub, 2004.
  • COOK Matt, London and the Culture of Homosexuality, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Additional required reading

  • FADERMAN Lillian,The Gay Révolution : the Story of the Struggle, New York, Simon & Chuster, 2015.
  • REED Christopher, Art and Homosexuality, Oxford University Press, 2011.