Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-03-03
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

New book looks at German LGBT life during 1880-1945
by Charlsie Dewey
2016-08-09

This article shared 432 times since Tue Aug 9, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Clayton J. Whisnant's newest book, Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945, is an examination of LGBT life during a time of great scientific discovery as well as changing social and political climates.

According to the book, it explores "the emergence of various queer identities," specifically what it meant to be LGBT in Germany from 1880 to 1945, and the "political strategies pursued by early gay and lesbian activists," drawing on emerging research related to the era.

It also looks at how scientific discovery in the area of sexuality impacted tolerance—or, sometimes, intolerance—in the scientific and medical community as well as society at large during the time period.

Spanning the period between the formation of the homosexual movement and the defeat of the Nazi state the book also addresses the question of how scientific studies of homosexuality may have "opened the door to Nazi persecution" of the LGBT community and particularly gay men.

The book is a follow up to Whisnant's first book, Male Homosexuality in West Germany, 1945-1969: Between Persecution and Freedom, which is based on his dissertation.

Whisnant—a professor of history at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina—told Windy City Times he wrote the follow-up at the request of his publisher.

"A lot of new work on the 1920s and 1930s is coming out now, but mostly for a scholarly audience," Whisnant said.

He said he wanted to write a book that was more accessible to a general audience, and specifically in a way that his students would find engaging.

To accomplish that, Whisnant said the book focuses on "human stories" and some of the "more fun stories," of the time period, while also balancing emerging scholarly research.

"I tried to begin each chapter with an individual who I thought exemplified something I was going to be covering in the chapter," he said.

Whisnant said he thinks readers will be particularly interested in how queer identities emerged during the turn of the century. "The notion of identities is something researchers have been very interested in," he said.

He added there was a perception that only a couple of identities existed; however, in reality, there were several types of identities that have emerged.

"There are a lot of identities out there," he said. "Identities are flexible and are influenced by a lot of different things. So that became a major theme. I wanted to show the many identities that existed in the subculture, and it worked well with picking people to focus on."

Whisnant said the book also tackles the sometimes-romanticized vision of Germany during the early part of the 20th century as a haven for queer people.

"This idea of Germany in the '20s and '30s being a golden age," he said. "I don't want to dispel that, but it was not the rosy scene we tend to remember."

Whisnant points to the many LGBT-focused publications that were started in Germany's largest cities as an example, saying while there were a plethora of them they often didn't last long, due to censorship laws that were passed with the specific goal of shuttering them.

There were also nearly 150 gay and lesbian establishments operating by the mid-1920s in Germany, which would seemingly indicating a positive climate for queer people, but in reality doesn't tell the whole story.

Whisnant said police harassment of the patrons of these establishments was a regular occurrence during that time period as well.

Whisnant said there are parallels that can be drawn between the past and present day as well that he thinks readers will be interested in.

"It's a story of a lot of brave people working hard for this movement, but it took a lot of fortitude and gumption to stick with it," he said. "Maybe it gives a slightly different picture of the past, but it shows us there is a lot of work to be done, there will be setbacks, intolerance, but to stick with it and believe things will get better.

"On a different level, it provides a history of organizing that could be interesting for someone doing that work, to see how it began and to reflect on our own organizational work."

Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945 is published courtesy of Harrington Park Press and distributed by Columbia University Press.


This article shared 432 times since Tue Aug 9, 2016
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

The Amazon Trail, How to Write a Book 2021-04-10
- I'm not giving away any secrets here. Not saying it's simple or that anyone can do it if they send $25.00 to Post Office Box 1,2,3. Nope, it's a personal journey and every story has a story. Here's mine, about the ...


Gay News

Yvonne Zipter's historical novel 'Infraction' out June 1 2021-04-01
- The lesbian historical fiction work Infraction, by Chicagoan Yvonne Zipter, will be out June 1. The publisher is Rattling Good Yarns Press. Set in socially turbulent St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1875, the work follows Marya Zhukova, ...


Gay News

Chella Man talks media endeavors, the fashion world, upcoming book, AAPI visibility 2021-03-31
- The multi-talented 22-year-old, Deaf, genderqueer, transgender, Jewish, AAPI, artist and activist Chella Man has done more in his short life than most people achieve in their lifetimes. This includes a successful YouTube channel; TedX talk, modeling ...


Gay News

Newberry Library to honor Lonnie G. Bunch III on May 24 2021-03-26
- In a virtual event on Monday, May 24, at 6 p.m., the Newberry Library will honor Lonnie G. Bunch III for his contributions to the humanities. Bunch became secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in June 2019 ...


Gay News

Gerber/Hart celebrating Pearl Hart's birthday through April 7 2021-03-25
--From a Gerber/Hart press release - Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is celebrating the April 7 birthday of Pearl Hart, the "heart" of Gerber/Hart, and raising funds to help Gerber/Hart continue its vital mission to preserve LGBTQ history in Chicago and the Midwest. ...


Gay News

Former soccer star Lohman on 'Raising Tomorrow's Champions' 2021-03-22
- Joanna Lohman and Paul Tukey had "really ambitious" goals for their book. They were planning to celebrate the legacy of female sports legends who overcame the challenges of gender, orientation and discrimination that paved the way ...


Gay News

Poetry = Life 2021-03-08
- "Writing these poems kept me alive." That sentence was spoken decades ago by Paul Monette about his book, Love Alone, Eighteen Elegies for Rog, which was published in 1986. Rog was Roger Hurwitz, Monette's partner who ...


Gay News

WORLD Court rulings, trans kids' books, activist dies, Naomi Campbell 2021-03-07
- A Chinese court upheld a ruling that a textbook description of homosexuality as "a psychological disorder" was not a factual error but merely an "academic view," according to the South China Morning Post. The Chinese LGBT ...


Gay News

Author Rick Karlin speaks about Chicago memoir and local LGBTQ press 2021-03-04
- Author Rick Karlin was recently interviewed about his 2019 memoir, Paper Cuts, in a online discussion sponsored by Gerber-Hart Library and Archive. Karlin was interviewed by author and historian Owen Keehnen. They opened with a summary ...


Gay News

Author and educator Sarah Chadwick talks new book on female sexuality 2021-02-21
- Sarah Chadwick's debut book, The Sweetness of Venus: A History of the Clitoris, was the result of her desire to understand the status of female sexuality in the West from an historical perspective. During Chadwick's research, ...


Gay News

Pride and Less Prejudice to host panel on LGBTQ media representation March 20 2021-02-21
- On Saturday, March 20, at 1 p.m. CT, Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP)—which provides free, age-appropriate, LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K-3rd grade students in order to foster LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance—will ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Virginia items, Marriott CEO, Black LGBTQ+ icons, trans kids' book 2021-02-21
- Virginia lawmakers are about to roll back a state law that allows faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies to refuse service to LGBTQ families, VirginiaMercury.com reported. The legislation has spurred heated ...


Gay News

Writer on AIDS activism in the Black church honored 2021-02-10
--From a press release - The LGBTQ Religious Archives Network (LGBTQ-RAN) honors Dr. Dan Royles with the 2020-21 LGBTQ Religious History Award. The review jury selected Royles' "There Is a Balm in Gilead: AIDS Activism in the Black Church" from among ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: LGBTQ authors, paczki, skin-care items, Keto Mylk 2021-02-05
- —Tempest, by Ryan Meyer (NothingPeak.com): In Tempest, young LGBTQ writer Meyer departs from the horror themes in his 2018 poetry collection, Haunt. Using fictional vignettes and surreal personal accounts, he ...


Gay News

COVID Chicago promotes website that helps users find, book vaccination appointments 2021-02-03
- The city of Chicago is promoting a national website that will allow people to find and schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments, The Chicago Tribune reported. The site, ZocDoc.com/vaccine, is run by an outside provider. It will allow ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.