The Austrian Journal of Historical Studies is preparing an issue with the working title :
Almost 20 years ago, an issue of the Austrian Journal of Historical Studies already addressed the topic of homosexualities (ÖZG, Homosexualitäten, volume 9, number 3, 1998). Franz X. Eder, one of the editors, argued in its preface that the term “homosexuality” in singular cannot live up to the complexity and diversity which historical research on homosexuality had brought forth. The topics, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches gained even more complexity and diversity since then. The main themes of studies in this field, however, remained the same : identities oscillating between ascriptions and self‐denominations, gender-‐related questions, changing scope of action, and discrimination and persecution, which by no means have become obsolete. For that reason, the Austrian Journal of Historical Studies takes up the topic of homosexualities again, hence the title : Homosexualities revisited. In view of the fact that the social parameters have changed a lot since then – whereas many European Criminal Codes still contained discriminating regulations 20 years ago, some states are even granting same-‐sex marriage nowadays – we like to focus on how the field of research has developed hitherto. Which questions faded into the background, which questions came up ? What are the top priorities ? Has the history of homosexualities become obsolete, now that many political goals – decriminalization, antidiscrimination, legal recognition of same‐sex partnerships – have been achieved ? This leads to the question : to what extent is historical research subjected to identity politics, or should/ought/may academia emancipate from the political agenda of LGBTIQ-movements ? 20 years ago, Franz X. Eder stated a “massive politicization” of the history of homosexuality by gay and lesbian emancipation movements since the 1970ies which was predominantly expressed through conflicting essentialist and constructivist positions.
What relations between historical research and political agenda can be detected today ? How do researchers and activists position themselves to one another, especially when both positions incarnate in the same person ? To what extent does historical research intervene into current disputes on identity and social politics ? What questions are raised in the academic field ? Finally, is homosexuality – in view of ever more diversifying concepts of sexuality – still a useful category of historical research ?
Possible topics and questions of research
The upcoming issue of the Austrian Journal of Historical Studies aims to present recent research on legal, historical, social, and political aspects of the persecution and the recognition of homosexuality, as well as studies on lived experiences and changing scope of action of historical subjects. We especially welcome contributions regarding legal, social, cultural, and conceptual history, history of science and history of discourse. We also look forward to historical studies on LGBTIQ movements as well as individual biographical studies.
The focus will be on the 20th century, but we are open for proposals with a different periodical focus. We are particularly interested in contributions analysing long-‐term developments, especially social and legal developments after 1945. There is no exclusive geographical focus. Regional and national studies as well as transnational comparative studies are likewise welcome. Thematic and periodical cross‐sections should align with leading questions of continuities and ruptures in dealing with homosexualities, possibilities and limitations of societal intervention, and the role of social and political movements.
Possible contributions may, for example, concentrate on discourses and arguments in legal policy debates in the run-‐up to legal reforms, or may analyse fluctuations in the intensity of persecution of homosexuality. They may also focus on international contexts and developments which influenced national (legal) policies or forms of activisms. In this regard, we are especially – but not exclusively interested in studies focusing on the period after National Socialism. Proposals may likewise examine the role of pathological concepts of homosexuality stemming from disciplines such as medicine, psychiatry, sexual science or psychoanalysis. The influence of criminal prosecution on the emancipation movement as well as on changing ascriptions and self‐denominations of groups or individuals might also be studied. With regards to politics of commemoration, the consequences of the long lasting refusal to grant former inmates of Nazi Concentration Camps confined for homosexuality the status of victims could be explored, as well as the very late interest of academia in this topic. Studies of debates on healthcare policies in the wake of the AIDS-crises in the 1980ies, could focus, for example, on the renaissance of discourses of morality which threatened to thwart a medical reaction on the crises.
Contributors are encouragede to discuss theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspects of historical research on homosexualities. Furthermore, we suggest to reflect the influence of emancipation policies on the development of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Debates on inclusion and exclusion have, after all, been very productive for the area of queer theory in recent years, challenging the world of academia.
Articles can be in German and in English. An abstract of the article (one to two pages) and a short CV including relevant publications must be sent by the end of September 2016. The abstract should outline the topic of the article, the problem(s) discussed, the research question(s), the methods
which will be applied and the sources which will be studied.
Besides comprehensive scholarly articles which may contain up to 60.000 characters, smaller contributions to the Forum – such as reports on ongoing research projects, conferences and
- End of September 2016 : Application deadline
- October 2016 : Applicants will be informed whether they are invited to contribute to the issue
- March 2017 : Submittal of the articles for peer review
Please send your proposal to :