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 2020-2021

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 beginning of 19th century till today, 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 book report 1 written exercise 1 grade for participation A document will be analysed in common at each session

Required reading

  • One reading mandatory, others recommended
  • 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.
  • TAMAGNE Florence, English History of Homosexuality in Europe : Berlin, London, Paris, 1919-1939, Algora Pub, 2004.
  • VICINUS Martha, Intimate Friends, Women who Loved Women, 1778-1928, The University of Chicago Press, 2004

Additional required reading

  • COOK Matt, London and the Culture of Homosexuality, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
  • FADERMAN Lillian,The Gay Révolution : the Story of the Struggle, New York, Simon & Chuster, 2015.
  • REED Christopher, Art and Homosexuality, Oxford University Press, 2011. The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 1996) Paragraph 175 (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, 2000)