The Academic Study of the History of Homosexuality
August 1995 to November 1995
A small exhibit of rare and special research materials for the academic study of the history of homosexuality was on view in the Special Collections Reading Room, on the fourth floor of UWM's Golda Meir Library, from August through November, 1995.
The exhibit was curated by Dr. Jeffrey Merrick, UWM associate professor of history, who gave the opening presentation in the Golda Meir Library's 1995/96 speaker series, "The Scholar and the Library." Professor Merrick discussed issues of researching the history of homosexuality. The presentation was held in Room 281, in the East Wing of the Golda Meir Library, on October 6, 1995, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The exhibition and the presentation were free and open to the public.
The exhibition of books and periodicals, covering a period from the late eighteenth century to the present, illustrated the variety of resources available for scholarly research in gay and lesbian history; the development of sexological theory from the late nineteenth century to World War II; post-war "homophile" literature; and the post-Stonewall political and literary movements.
Materials on display included Charles Thevenot de Morande's charges of sexual deviance against the French clergy and aristocracy in Le Gazetier Cuirassé (1771); John Addington Symonds's pioneering essay on same-sex relations, A Problem in Modern Ethics, Being an Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Sexual Inversion (1896); a signed presentation copy of Rita Mae Brown's The Rubyfruit Jungle (1977); selected issues from the groundbreaking lesbian journal, The Ladder, and the Milwaukee-based, statewide, LesBiGay Magazine, In Step.
Professor Merrick teaches European intellectual history and early modern European history, and introduced a course in Historical Perspectives on Homosexuality, which was offered for the first time in the 1995 Spring semester. He is co-editor of Homosexuality in Modern France, published by Oxford University Press in 1996, and is currently working on a documentary volume about homosexuality in early modern France.
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