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SAMKUL-Samfunnsutviklingens kulturell

Ordinary lives and marginal intimacies in rural regions. Contrasting cultural histories of queer domesticities in Norway, ca 1842-1972

Alternative title: Vanlige liv og marginale intimiteter. Skeivhet, hjemmeliv og kulturelle forståelser 1842-1972

Awarded: NOK 11.9 mill.

How was queerness understood and lived in the period between 1842 and 1972 in Norway? 1842 was the year when death penalty for ?interaction against nature? was abolished, and 1972 was the year when homosexuality was decriminalized through the removal of §213. While the judicial conceptualizations are an important part of the picture, QUEERDOM will investigate the variety of conceptualizations and understandings also found other places. QUEERDOM will shift the focus of queer historical research firmly from the global metropolises to rural regions of Europe, from the cities to the rural districts, from the courtrooms and asylums to the mundane and everyday, and from activism to domesticity and intimacy. The project will highlight the changing dynamics of societal norms and expectations, change and stability, processes of exclusion as well as of inclusion through the period. QUEERDOM will investigate how women and men with same-sex desires lived and organized their everyday lives across a complex domestic terrain in ways that unsettles customary understandings of private life and family organization in modern Norway. These ?queer domesticities? will be investigated through the intersecting lenses of time, space, class, and gender. Sources for this project will be newspapers, fiction and non-fiction and art as well as traditional archive material. The collections of both Skeivt arkiv and Nasjonalbiblioteket will be particularly well researched. QUEERDOM will offer new knowledge of non-conformable sexual lives and marginal intimacies, and will broaden and complicate our understanding of Norwegian modern history.

QUEERDOM is a timely collaborative effort to investigate how women and men with same-sex desires – about whom we use the term ‘queer’ – lived and organized their everyday lives across a complex domestic terrain in ways that unsettles customary understandings of private life and family organization in modern Norway (1842-1972). These ‘queer domesticities’ will be investigated through the intersecting lenses of time, space, class, and gender. QUEERDOM shifts the focus of queer historical research firmly from the global metropolises to rural regions of Europe, from the cities to the rural districts, from the courtrooms and asylums to the mundane and everyday, and from activism to domesticity and intimacy. The project will highlight the changing dynamics of societal norms and expectations, change and stability, processes of exclusion as well as of inclusion through the ages. QUEERDOM will gather leading national and international scholars as well as the major national institutions of cultural heritage in an innovative effort to explore queer domesticities mainly in Norway but also in our collaborating countries. Importantly, the national case of Norway aims to challenge the existing international research front, and produce a wealth of new, and critically needed, knowledge. QUEERDOM will be the first collaborative and international project to make use of Skeivt Arkiv (SkA) at the University Library of Bergen, and also the first project to use the National Library’s vast collections and methods from digital humanities, to map and track traces of queer history.

Activity:

SAMKUL-Samfunnsutviklingens kulturell