Disturbing PracticesHistory, Sexuality, and Women’s Experience of Modern War

Disturbing PracticesHistory, Sexuality, and Women’s Experience of Modern War

Laura Doan

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226001586

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

For decades, the history of sexuality has been a multidisciplinary project serving competing agendas. Lesbian, gay, and queer scholars have produced powerful narratives by tracing the homosexual or queer subject as continuous or discontinuous. Yet organizing historical work around categories of identity as normal or abnormal often obscures how sexual matters were known or talked about in the past. Set against the backdrop of women’s work experiences, friendships, and communities during World War I, this book draws on a substantial body of new archival material to expose the roadblocks still present in current practices and imagine new alternatives. It clarifies the ethical value and political purpose of identity history—and indeed its very capacity to give rise to innovative practices borne of sustained exchange between queer studies and critical history. The book insists on taking seriously the imperative to step outside the logic of identity to address questions as yet unasked about the modern sexual past.

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Practice of Sexual History

Part 2 Practicing Sexual History

End Matter