David Clark: What’s Love Got to Do with It? Homosocial Desire, Scholarship, and the Impossibility of Friendship
SESSION 1 : STORIES: Homosocial Narratives and Images
Amanda Hannoosh Steinberg: Female Homosociality in Medieval Arabic Epic: Dangerous Ties
Androniki Dialeti: Words of Love, Seas of Blood: Male Homosociality, War and Piety in the Construction of Lepanto as a Christian Victory (1571)
Natasha Morris: Coffee House Heroes: Images, Homosocial Space and the Articulation of Masculine Archetype in Qajar Iran
Greg Salter: Gilbert And George, Homosociality, and the Postwar Reconstruction of Home
SESSION 2: SCHOOLED: Homosocial Institutions
Robert Grout: Developing Homosociality: Inclusion, exclusion and violence in late-medieval grammar schools
Emily Rutherford: Defenders of Male Homosociality in Early-Twentieth-Century Oxbridge
Emma Lundin: Double militancy and fifth columns: Women’s homosocial organisations within political parties
James Southern: “No Homosexuals Allowed”: Homosociality in the British Diplomatic Service, 1965-1995
SESSION 3: SEX: Homosocial Sexualities
Nailya Shamgunova: Anglophone conceptualisations of sexual diversity in the Ottoman Empire, c. 1550 – 1700
Seth Stein LeJacq: Between Men, Between Decks: Homosociality, Intimacy, and Sex in the Georgian Royal Navy
Chase Gregory: Living With, Living As: Robert Reid-Pharr’s Lesbianism
Daniel Laurin: An Eroticized Homosociality: Camaraderie, Horseplay and ‘Authentic’ Pleasure in Straight-Guy Porn
ROUNDTABLE: YESTERDAY, NOW, TOMORROW: History, Homosociality and the Hereafter
Short papers by: Patricia Cullum (Celibacy, separate spheres and the troll in the basement: Continuity and change in the formation and expression of homosociality), Huw Griffiths (Male Friendship Adapted in Eighteenth-Century Drama) and Jenny Hoogewerf-McComb (Ending Rape On Campus: 1264-2017), before an open discussion on the roundtable theme.
This is an early iteration of the final programme, excluding scheduling details and of course subject to last minute title changes etc. But these are the accepted papers and you can get a sense of the shape the symposium is forming. It was a difficult decision whittling down the many abstracts I received. After a good deal of thought I decided to run four-paper sessions rather than the more typical three; this makes for a slightly more hectic day, but there was so much good scholarship on offer, it seemed silly to turn more of it down than I needed to! In terms of diversity, we have a pretty even split of male and female scholars, and for the purposes of parity I’ve chosen to exclude institutions and professional status from this draft programme so that your eye will be drawn to the titles, not to the Ivy League or professorial status. However, more than a quarter of our speakers are early career scholars; I will be doing my best to secure funding to make their presence at the symposium easier. I received far more papers on male Western homosociality post-1800 than anything else (which is a lesson to me to better extend the reach of my CFP next time), but I have tried to create a programme that represents a little more of the world and its history.
None of this is a call for praise; these efforts are the bare minimum we should expect of conference organisers, but I am making these notes public – and will continue to report on the make up of the conference and the rationale behind it – in order to encourage other organisers to do the same, and to engage in discussion about why their conferences look the way they do. This symposium is intended as the beginning of a conversation that I hope will continue in an edited collection with scope for a wider range of chapters; and I am beginning to work on ways we could continue this work in a more formalised research network. I will be reaching out to you all to help me make this ongoing work a project that represents both diverse research and diverse researchers.
Rachel Moss (@menysnoweballes)