Subtle Shifts, Sapphic Silences: Queer Approaches to Female Same-Sex Desire in the Netherlands (1912-1940) - Subtiele verschuivingen, sapfische stiltes: een queer benadering van vrouwelijke verlangens in Nederland (1912- 1940)

Cyd Sturgess

Abstract


Following a brief survey of some of the most recent analytical developments in the field of queer historiography, this article will attempt to shift the historical lens from a re-location of Dutch lesbian women ‘in the past’ to the discourses that attempted to bridge the gap between sexual ‘normals’ and ‘nonnormals’ in the Netherlands between the years 1912-1940. Drawing on a selection of materials, including Jacob Schorer’s Wat iedereen behoort te weten omtrent Uranisme (1912) and Benno Stokvis’ De homosexueelen (1939), that functioned as a way of ‘educating’ heterosexuals about the subject of homosexuality while simultaneously seeking to emancipate and engage with isolated homosexual people, this analysis will explore the extent to which the omissions and ‘silences’ that have become characteristic of Dutch lesbian history might suggest the existence of historic sexual arrangements between women in the Netherlands that are now ‘unheard of’.


Keywords


Queer; lesbian history; gay history; Magnus Hirschfeld; Jacob Schorer / queer; lesbische geschiedenis; homogeschiedenis; Magnus Hirschfeld; Jacob Schorer

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