Homosexuality in French History and Culture

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9781560232636: Homosexuality in French History and Culture

Deconstruct changing representations of homosexuality with this important new work of cultural criticism! Homosexuality in French History and Culture explores episodes, patterns, and images of same-sex attraction in France from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century, from the essays of Michel de Montaigne to pride parades in contemporary Paris. This groundbreaking book documents the ways homosexuality has been named, experienced, regulated, understood, and imagined.

During these centuries, homosexuality has been stigmatized as a sin, crime, or disease, and denounced as a threat to social order and national identity. Yet the rhetoric of condemnation has always co-existed with the reality of toleration. This groundbreaking collection analyzes the ways in which persecutions, as well as differences within minority sexual subcultures, have highlighted stereotypes and anxieties about class and age differences, gendered roles, and separatism.

Homosexuality in French History and Culture offers historical and literary studies based on a wide variety of sources, including:

  • novels, plays, and poetry
  • gossip and satires
  • police reports
  • medical texts
  • travel literature
  • newspapers and periodicals
  • memoirs

    Homosexuality in French History and Culture combines fresh, creative re-interpretation of familiar texts with exciting new explorations of neglected historical episodes and cultures. It is a landmark of meticulous scholarship and rigorous theoretical analysis, and a vital resource for scholars of queer theory, French history and culture, and literary criticism.

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Merrick, Ph.D., a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, is co-editor of Homosexuality in Early Modern France: A Documentary Collection. He has served as co-ordinator of the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, affiliated with the American Historical Association, and as co-ordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies certificate programme at UWM. Michael Sibalis, Ph.D., teaches modern European and French history at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada. He has published articles and essays on the French labour movement in the early nineteenth century, the police state of Napoleon I, and the history of French homosexuality. He is currently working on a book on the gay male community of Paris since 1700.


"Should be required reading for anybody seeking to understand the varieties of French, and especially Parisian, LGBTQ lives!" - David Higgs, Ph.D.; "An indispensable text on the history of sexuality in...France." - Robert A. Nye, Ph.D.; "A dazzling collection." - Randolph Trumbach, Ph.D.

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