Outing Octavia: Transforming Queer Heritage in Britain

Where: Ian Gulland Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London. Click here for a map of Goldsmiths.

When: Thursday 2 November, 6 – 8 pm with reception to follow.

How to book: This event is free and open to the public but registration is necessary. Reserve your place here.

How should we publicise and represent queer heritage? The places and buildings all around us are full of amazing, but often under-recognised, stories of same-sex love and gender non-conformity. Just in the past few years, queer heritage has become increasingly visible. One of the three Victorian founders of the National Trust, Octavia Hill, was included in the Trust’s 2017 initiative on LGBTQ history, Prejudice and Pride, while a film about the homosexuality of Robert Ketton-Cremer, a Norfolk country squire, caused controversy.

Alison Oram’s lecture will discuss the recent initiatives by Historic England and the National Trust to promote LGBTQ heritage. How have equality policies and a political shift towards ‘homonormativity’ facilitated this increased recognition of queer heritage? What has been the response of heritage professionals and visitors to historic places? Which queer histories are still missing from or side-stepped in heritage representation?

Professor Alison Oram

Alison Oram is Professor of Social and Cultural History at Leeds Beckett University and a leading scholar of gender and sexuality, popular culture, public history and intersections of these with LGBTQ heritage. She is author of numerous articles and two books on LGBTQ history: The Lesbian History Sourcebook(2001) and most recently ‘Her Husband Was a Woman!’ Women’s Gender-Crossing and Modern British Popular Culture (2007). Professor Oram led the project ‘Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage’, an initiative funded by Historic England, the government agency responsible for protecting England’s historic buildings and landscapes.

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