Australia’s Homosexual Histories Conference 2013

10 September 2013

The Australian Homosexual Histories Conference brings together members of the GLBTIQ community, academics, professional and independent scholars, researchers and students within the broad field of sexuality and gender studies. It has been running annually since about 2000 and has generated some pioneering and innovative work on the histories of GLBTIQ life, politics and culture in Australia. Some of that work has been published in the Gay and Lesbian Perspectives volumes.

In 2013 the Conference was held at the 1888 Building, University of Melbourne, on 15–16 November. 



9.30-10.30       Shane Carmody, Out of the Closet and into the Archive: The Public Purpose of Private Lives

10.30-11          Tea Break      

11-12.30          Sessions A1 and A2

Session A1

  • Ian Purcell, Justice Served
  • Timothy Roberts, The Not-So-Private Life of Donald Friend
  • Jeremy Fisher, The Writing and Publishing of Australia’s first gay novel

Session A2

  • Sujay Kentlyn, ‘Living History’: The impact of LGBTI historical developments on ageing LGBTI Australians.
  • Warwick Abrahams, The Factualising of Stereotypes for Convenient Histories: Disability, Exclusion, and Misty Glimpses in Homosexual Histories.
  • Joel Anderson, Understanding the Implications of the Medical Legacy of Homosexuality

12.30-1.30       Lunch

1.30-3              Sessions B1 and B2

Session B1

  • Kenton Penley Miller, Coming out as a cartoonist in the age of AIDS
  • Paul van Reyk, Life During Wartime
  • Geoff Allshorn,‘The Most Political of Diseases’: Diversity and Empowerment in HIV/AIDS Narratives

Session B2

  • Timothy W. Jones, A Queer Conversion: Becoming ‘ex- gay’ in Australia
  • Daniel Marshall, The Struggle Against Sex Education: An historical case
  • Graham Carbery, Homophobia in Australian Rules football: Reflections of a gay umpire

3-3.30              Tea Break

3.30-5              Sessions C1 and C2

Session C1

  • Jim Vale, The Hamer Government
  • Clare Parker, ‘Which Way Are We Leaning On This Conscience Thingy?’ A History of Free Votes on Same-Sex Reforms in Australia
  • Thomas Crofts, The legal regulation of male sex work

Session C2

  • Bill Calder, Gay Magazines That Built the Bar Scene
  • Mannie de Saxe, Oh what a tangled web…! A Web History – Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, HIV/AIDS (GLTH)
  • Jean Taylor, Diversity in the Lesbian Community as Reported in the Pages of Labrys Newspaper, November 1990 – February 1992


9.30-10.30       Raewyn Connell, Gender, Time, Equality: The Revolutionary Promise and Difficulty of Historical Thinking

10.30-11          Tea break      

11-12.30          Sessions D1 and D2

Session D1

  • Peter Robinson, Social/sexual lives of gay men living single lives
  • Robert Reynolds and Shirleene Robinson, Australian Lesbian and Gay Life Stories and Generational Change: The Challenges and Benefits of a National Oral History Project
  • Gary Schliemann, Growing Up Absurd: Some snapshots. My inglorious attempts to find/make meaning

Session D2

  • Ian Gray, Babies, Blood & Bombs: Homosexual Panic in Lismore, NSW in the 80’s.
  • Graham Willett, Camp-berra: Towards a Homosexual History
  • Hande N, The Elliott Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

12.30-1.30       Lunch

1.30-3              Sessions E1 and E2

Session E1

  • Alison Thorne, Queer liberation and the feminist connection: 30 years of Marxist feminist organising in Australia
  • Joseph Chetcuti, Historical Revisionism? Positioning the Melbourne chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis within Australia’s gay and lesbian history.

Session E2

  • Dino Hodge, Homosexuality: The Makings of a Cold War Threat to State Security
  • Yorick Smaal, Homosexuality, VD and WWII
  • Richard Capuano and Maurice Farrell, And the beats go on…

3-3.30              Tea break

3.30-5             Sessions F1 and F2

Session F1

  • John Waugh, From the Vortex of Oblivion: The Prison Letters of George Bateson
  • Dale Dominey-Howes, Andrew Gorman-Murray and Scott McKinnon, Invisible histories: on the need to explore LGBTI experiences of natural disasters in Australia
  • Vu Tuan Nguyen, Considerations for a Queer Museum in Australia

Session F2

  • Loretta Smith, A Spanner in the Works: The Story of Alice Anderson, Australia’s First Woman Garage Proprietor
  • Wayne Murdoch, Identifying the Subculture: Male Homosexuals, Clothes, Hair, Makeup and Manners in 1920s and 30s Melbourne
  • Alan Petersen, Masculine subcultures and the Melbourne queer bar scene in the seventies and eighties