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Introduction to Queer Studies and Histories Webinar

Course description

This webinar is led by Dr Paul Bench and will introduce what queer studies are and how ideas developed in this field help us to understand contemporary discussions about sexuality and gender, as well as analyse queer visual culture from the past.

The webinar draws on academic research about early twentieth century queer visual cultures and networks, including attention to photographs and paintings, fashion and performance. Although this webinar focuses on historical examples, it is relevant to contemporary debates about sexuality and gender, both because it outlines important concepts that shape our understanding of what sexual and gender identities are and because the history of sexuality helps us to better understand our contemporary position.

Who should attend this session?

This webinar is aimed at anyone who wants to gain deeper understanding of the way we understand sexual and gender identities, and how these have been understood in the past. It is relevant to anyone interested in queer histories and is focused on queer men. The webinar will also appeal to those interested in British social and cultural histories. It is excellent for students of cultural studies or those engaged in creative courses with a cultural studies component, because it outlines key concepts about gender and sexuality and methods of reading queerness in visual and historic works.


After this session you will:

  • Be better equipped to ‘read’ queerness in visual culture.
  • Have an understanding of queer studies and the terms used to describe sexual minority cultures.
  • Be able to apply key concepts of queer theory and other cultural theories.
  • Be able to contextualise discussions of queerness in relation to historical moments, contexts and people.
  • Have a fresh perspective on the way we understand queer cultures and the performance of our identities.
  • Be challenged to rethink how sexuality and gender are understood, what identity means and how it is shaped.

Each webinar will feature:

  • Expert knowledge from industry professionals
  • Opportunities to meet other like-minded creatives
  • A chance to join the conversation with a live Q&A
  • Our webinar sessions are aimed for anyone looking to upskill and develop their professional practices. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion

We have other webinar sessions coming up soon. See our full webinars list.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics to be covered:

  • The Gay Liberation Movement
  • Queer Theory and Constructionism
  • Use of terms – why Queer?
  • Historical models of queer male sexual and gender identity
  • The development and key theories of early sexology
  • Queer identity and social archetypes
  • Effeminacy and Camp
  • The Open Secret of Queer Subjectivity
  • Queer Networks and Identity Performance
  • Historic Body Cultures
  • Methods of Reading Queerness


To take part in this webinar session you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

We recommend you have:

  • A notebook
  • A pen
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