Gay and Lesbian History/L'histoire de l'homosexualité
Leila J. Rupp (Ohio State University, USA), the session organizer, will present a paper entitled "Toward A Global History of Same-Sex Sexuality." In this paper, she draws on the growing research on same-sex sexuality at different times and in different parts of the world. She proceeds by booking at manifestations of what we call "same-sex sexuality" (in order to get beyond the historical specificity of terms such as "queer," "gay," "lesbian," or "homosexual"). She proceeds by both exploring global patterns and considering how those patterns problematize the two parts of the term "same-sex sexuality." That is, sometimes such manifestations cannot really be considered "same-sex" because age, class, or gender differences are more important in conceptualizing them than is the fact that the people involved have genitally alike bodies. And sometimes such relations should not really be labelled "sexuality," either because they are expressions of something else or we are unsure what counts as "sex" in a particular context.

Despite these difficulties, such an exploration suggests a limited number of patterns of same-sex interactions across time and place: differentiated by age or gender or class, or not differentiated in any of these way; with spiritual or practical implications or based on desire and/or love; totally determining or determined by social roles, or not; clearly associated with specific acts, or not. A consideration of same-sex sexuality, Rupp argues, tells us a great deal about gender, class, ethnicity, nationality, bodies, emotions, social relations, religion, law, identity, community, activism, culture, and just about every other thing that is part of what we think of as history.
Following this presentation, John Howard of York University, England, will comment. Then five participants will briefly discuss their own research on discrete topics in the context of the larger themes raised by Rupp and Howard. Kanchana Natrajan, of Delhi University, India, will present "Reading Lesbian Histories from the Ancient Indian Texts." Dirk Jaap Noordam, University of Leiden, the Netherlands, will talk about "The Impact of the Enlightenment on Attitudes Toward Sodomites." Norma Mogrovejo, Centro de Documentación y Archivo Histórico, Mexico, will address "The Lesbian Movement in Latin America, 25 Years of History." From Stockholm University, Sweden, Jens Rydström will discuss "Beasts and Beauties: Bestiality and Male Homosexuality in Rural Sweden, 1880-1950." And Marie-Jo Bonnet, an independent scholar from Paris, France, will present "Les Deux Amies: Representations of Love between Women in Art Since the Renaissance."