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Queering recognition: Exploring ‘corrective rape’ and black lesbian sexuality in a local and transnational context, By Dr. Nadine Lake

The post-apartheid political and social landscape has provided researchers, scholars and readers with an opportunity to reconceptualise the LGBTQ+ category in public culture. My PhD titled ‘Corrective rape and black lesbian sexualities in contemporary South African cultural texts’ (2017) explored the category ‘black lesbian’ through mainstream and counter-discourses identified in South African print media (2003-2014), literature, and visual activism. ‘Corrective rape’, i.e. the rape of lesbian women by heterosexual men to ‘correct’ or ‘cure’ lesbian sexuality, emerged as a prominent concern in South Africa in 2003. The Independent on Saturday[1] newspaper reported on the staggering number of lesbians …

Blitzmädels an die Front: A Lesser Known Female War Film

‘Women, Oberführerin,belong in the kitchen and in bed.’[1]Oberleutnant Wagner’s scathing dismissal of women at war epitomises the gender challenges faced by Oberführerin Hanna Helmke and her female air signals assistants in “Blitzmädels an die Front” (‘Lightning Girls on the Front’). Released on 22 August 1958, this obscure West German war film follows a fictional group of young German women who serve alongside the Luftwaffe (German air force) during the Second World War. The real-life Blitzmädels (‘lightning girls’) they are based on – nicknamed after the lightning bolts on their uniform sleeves – received, deciphered and transmitted …

Research in Progress Postgraduate Workshop – Histories of Gender, University of Reading, 24 October 2018

A report from the post-graduates students who were awarded a grant by the WHN in 2018.

The University of Reading’s History Department hosted its inaugural postgraduate workshop under the recently launched Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster. The theme of the workshop was deliberately broad, inviting papers that were not limited by any specific historical period or global region; the premise of the workshop was to provide a platform for researchers of a variety of topics to engage with each other by a universal approach.…

‘There is a good deal of uncertainty as to how the women will vote’: The 1918 General Election in Birmingham

100 years ago, on 14 December 1918, women in Britain went to the polls to vote in a General Election for the first time. Just ten months after the Representation of the People Act had awarded the franchise to some women (those over thirty, who met a property qualification), the newly-expanded electorate cast their first ballots. As part of my doctoral research, I have been investigating how women in and around Birmingham reacted to the extension of the franchise. In this election, the city and surrounding districts saw three women stand as parliamentary candidates: Margery Corbett Ashby, Liberal candidate for …

Women in the Service Industries in Southern Africa since 1900 – Dr Andrew Cohen & Dr Rory Pilossof

Women in the Service Industries in Southern Africa since 1900.

Andrew Cohen (University of Kent) and Rory Pilossof (University of the Free State)

There is a rich and well-developed historiography on work and labour in southern Africa. The colonial occupation of the region gave rise to new forms of work and social arrangements that have been well documented. The two most notable arenas of work were on the mines and white owned commercial farms that came into being under colonial rule. These two sectors dominate the historiography on work and labour, in both colonial and post-colonial studies. In addition, there …