Afterword: When Has Sexuality Ever Been About Sex? A Review of Historical Geographies of Sexualities

Eric Olund
University of Sheffield
Department of Geography

ABSTRACT: This review of historical geographies of sexualities identifies three strands of work: sexual community formation; subject production and population regulation; and processes of production, reproduction, and evolution. In all three, sexuality is situated at the nexus of the individual and the social, and it resists positive representation. It is instead examined by proxy, especially its “place” in the material rather than metaphorical sense. With a few exceptions, this small body of work is largely in conversation with presentist geographies in subdisciplines outside of historical geography. So too are the contributors to this special issue, who point historical geographies of sexualities in new directions by considering current debates over the marginalization of sexuality in accounts of more generic geographical processes, the critical opportunities of comparative approaches, the materiality of ignorance and invisibility, and the productivity of silence.

Keywords: sexuality


In 2001 historian Matt Houlbrook issued a twofold challenge for a historical geography of sexuality: “First, it must situate geographies of sexual encounter, identity, and experience within wider urban social relations. Second, it must bridge the division between discourse and practice by relating the experience of sexual subjects to their representation as marginal— and vice versa.”1 He argued that late 1990s work largely failed to bridge the gap between representation on the one hand, and material space and experience on the other. His critique was indebted to the work of historical geographer Miles Ogborn, and more generally to geographical historical materialism. If Houlbrook the historian foregrounded the need to talk about actual sex, sympathetic geographers have emphasized the need to talk about actual space.2 Michael Brown argues, for example, that sexualized spatial metaphors such as the closet “work because they themselves are always somewhere (and at some scale), and that whereness enables and constrains social relations.”3 Although all of these scholars are heavily influenced by Foucault’s well-known arguments about the discursive production of sexuality, they, like Foucault, are careful to separate history from genealogy. History is committed to a referential relationship to material desiring bodies doing things in some past time and space, however constructed that epistemological relationship and its conditions of possibility may be in genealogical terms. If the defining problematic of a historical geography of sexuality is the relations between sexuality, space, and time, this is cross-cut by two others that are far more general: the relation between representation and materiality, and between the individual and the social.

Given this complexity, the development of historical geographies of sexualities over the past decade or so has proven more diverse than disciplined even as it has remained rare. First, material “experiences” of sexuality are notoriously difficult to retrieve from the archive, and geographers are notably allergic to a simplistic “did they or didn’t they” approach.4 Second, sexuality is imbricated in every other social relation, and work on it is dispersed across subdisciplines. In such a disparate body of work, “it” is usually “about” something other than sexuality, making conversation across this literature infrequent, and generalization difficult and beside the point. Sexuality does not simply refer to erotic desire per se, but also to its production, identification, experience and regulation. And these phenomena are not simply individual, but they circulate in material, affective, and representational economies that exist in every conceivable spatialization. Finally, these phenomena are not simply static, but change over time and have multiple histories and temporalities.

In short, I argue that the actual, if not necessarily defining, problematic that drives the sheer variety of historical geographies of sexualities is in fact sexuality’s place between the individual and the social. This “place,” at once material and metaphorical, is also relational. Such geographies can be found in varying combinations in historical work on other modes of difference, and in present-oriented work on sexuality. In my reading, sexuality’s elusiveness as both an archival and empirical object fairly compels consideration of its material, discursive and relational place. It is this compulsion—due to sexuality’s particular resistance to positivist representation—that makes this problematic more than a banal restatement of the problem of the social (for presentist geographers) and its retrieval from the past (for historical geographers). In historical geographies of sexuality, sexuality’s place takes several forms I will explore below, most notably the objects of community, subjectivity, and population, as well as life processes of production, reproduction, and evolution. I will then consider the four contributions to this special issue and their points of departure from the main themes of the existing field of literature.

For purposes of this short article, I will respect the disciplinary convention of historical geography and limit my focus to sexualities that are in some sense past and leave aside much of the great deal of historical work that largely contextualizes present-day concerns. I will also focus on the work of geographers and/or others’ work in geographical outlets since the 2000s and only briefly consider here the voluminous geographically-minded work in a number of other social science and humanities disciplines, such as Houlbrook’s. Despite my adherence to disciplinary boundaries, the literature surveyed here far exceeds the subdiscipline of historical geography. Only one article cited here was published in this journal, only a handful in Journal of Historical Geography, and only a couple of books have been published within historical geography series. It appears that those least likely to cite historical geographies of sexualities are historical geographers at large. Thus historical geography is only one of many places to look for historical geographies of sexualities.

Several strands of larger literatures are worth mentioning because they are frequently cited in varying combinations. Unsurprisingly, a common touchstone is the work of Houlbrook’s historian colleagues on LGBT communities (mostly in the United States) and the regulation of prostitution (mostly in the British Empire), ranging from George Chauncey to Judith Walkowitz.5 Geographers heavily cite these authors’ agenda-setting monographs, but with a ritual disciplinary complaint that their spatializations “raise more questions than they answer.”6 They seek to show how place, networks, scale, and other spatial tropes are not simply containers and boundary markers, but are instead integral to understanding and theorizing identity and community formation, regulatory agendas and practices, and the conditions of possibility for any experience.

Even more pervasive is Michel Foucault’s middle work on the historical and spatial production of sexuality, and its rethinking of power, subjectivity, and modern government, that has so deeply shaped the field.7 Limited space precludes an in-depth discussion here, and overviews of Foucault’s work are ubiquitous.8 But, perhaps surprisingly, the most obvious candidate, The History of Sexuality vol. I, is infrequently cited. Rather, historical geographers have more often engaged a range of Foucault’s associated work on discipline, biopower, and governmentality. This has often been refracted through subsequent scholarship, such as the moral regulation literature exemplified by Alan Hunt, who has explored the specificities of Anglophone subject production through the law, and postcolonial scholarship exemplified by Ann Stoler, who has relocated metropolitan subject production to the colonies and insisted upon the inescapable racialization of sexuality.9

Finally, more present-oriented literature on sexuality and space and broader geographies of exclusion are frequently cited by historical geographers of sexuality.10 Despite different methodological necessities—the use of interviews, field observation, and contemporary cultural productions—this literature has provided influential ways of thinking about the “fluid” spatialization of sexual normativities and resistances while provoking the historical question of how those spatializations arose and persisted while others disappeared. It is not that these works are completely unconcerned with the past—indeed, it is standard practice to provide some historical context to present-day geographies. Nonetheless, their temporal framing privileges the ongoing reproduction or becoming of current sexualities and spaces.

In summary, historical geographies of sexualities are strikingly scarce. Historians have dominated this area of enquiry, and while they are engaged in terms of bringing greater spatial specificity to the history of sexuality, historical geographers often gear their work toward conversations with geographers engaged in contemporary research rather than with each other. Sometimes this is as a historical corrective to presentist literature written over the past few decades, especially in the case of sexual geographies of lesbian and gay communities. Along with adding a consideration of space to that of time, historical geographers mobilize more recent theoretical contributions such as the iterative performativity of identity, the fluidity of space and its mutually constitutive relationship to identity, and the contingency of identity and community formation. Empirical social, cultural, urban, and political geographies date quickly, yet float in the eternal present of academic discourse, and it can be all too easy to universalize themtemporally as well as geographically. Historical geographies of sexual community seek to anchor their empirical objects, and the processes that produce them, in time as well as place.

When it’s about . . .

These several approaches to the elusive object of sexuality are reflected by the main placeholders for sexuality examined by historical geographers. One distinct body of work carries on social history’s political imperative to document the emergence and change of communities of sexual minorities. Another concretizes sexuality by spatializing more abstract notions of subjectivity and population as objects of modern government. A third, smaller but important strand, looks to the ways processes rather than objects are sexualized, specifically economic production, social reproduction, and biological evolution. Through all of these strands, sexuality, qua bodily desires and acts, makes fugitive appearances as it is continually displaced by seemingly more tangible objects of inquiry.

Community formation, change, and failure

The notion of community is often popularly evoked to offer a sense of belonging. While historical narratives often depict community as a casualty of modernity, for sexual minorities of various sorts, urban capitalist modernity has been productive of community by offering space and time for non-normative experiences to be shared and to coalesce into social identities and subcultures.11 Local histories of gay or lesbian communities have explored the relative visibility of local-scale spaces such as commercial establishments, community organizations, and gay villages. Often celebrated in the mainstream and LGBT presses and depicted in earlier academic work as spaces of liberating visibility, recent work has underscored the internal contests and exclusions that have given shape to gay villages and other forms of sexual community.

Catherine Nash queries the gay village’s history in terms of its representational politics in the case of Toronto. “[F]rom the outset, Toronto’s gay and lesbian-identified spaces were a battleground for attempts to fix the meanings giventothe identity of those engaged in same sex behaviors.”12 Through archival work and interviews, she asserts a series of dominant framings of community politics while exploring their contradictions and complexities. During the 1970s, this commercialized spatial fix of sexual identity was not only contested by homophobes, but also internally by those who objected that such a gay ghetto was depoliticizing rather than enabling. She traces how public articulations of community identity saw major shifts over the 1970s due to conflicting spatializations. These included an assimilationist model of suburban domesticity, a liberationist sensibility skeptical of the growing gay ghetto due to a wish to undermine repressive identities of sexuality and gender, and a gay minority discourse that claimed the gay ghetto as a basis for community. In a closer consideration of the gay minority shift, she shows how gender was also a serious internal division as gay-male-dominated spaces and organizations came to represent gays and lesbians to the wider public despite focusing almost exclusively on male, and largely white, middle-class concerns.13

Julie Podmore also focuses on the difference gender makes to sexual community formation in the case of Montreal, and the fate of distinctly lesbian visibility over the 1980s and 1990s.14 She notes the rise of disjunctive spatial enclaves for lesbian and gay communities with quite different population mixes experiencing different fortunes in post-industrial urban restructuring. The political relations between them also varied, as did divisions of class and language. Add to this a new generation of women embracing a queer identity and eschewing a specifically lesbian- feminist identity, and the result was the disappearance of self-identified lesbian visibility in commercial establishments and other venues. Nowqueer women are visible in mixed venues in the gay village, while men still have the option of male-only spaces, albeit in reduced numbers. For Podmore, lesbian invisibility is no trans-historical fact of lesser market power as is often suggested, but in the case of Montreal, a recent and highly contingent product of gender and other social relations materialized in space through capitalist urban processes. Also, crucially, this is not simply a tale of exclusion of self-identified lesbians, though she acknowledges this does happen. Rather these processes are highly productive, and “in the 1990s the production of lesbian nightlife brought opportunities to experiment with the commodification and queering of lesbian identity.”15

Jason Prior also explores this vexed relationship between commodification and queering (not his terminology) by showing how gay male community assimilation sometimes explicitly relies upon its mainstream sexualization.16 Due to legal and planning system changes over the 1980s and 1990s, bathhouses in Sydney went from being discursively framed as neighborhood contaminants to crucial amenities for a gay community seen as increasingly integral to the wider (heteronormative) Sydney community. Furthermore, this was accomplished through a legal reframing of what counted as public and private space for sexual activity.17

However, gay and lesbian communities are not the only ones to oscillate between sexualization and desexualization through spatial means. Caroline Daley shows how nudists in New Zealand shifted location “from bush to beach” in the mid-twentieth century due to shifting sexual mores and landscape ideologies.18 She particularly shows how discursive misplacement can have material effects. Interwar naturists in New Zealand founded camps in the bush in search of prelapsarian sexual purity, while moral conservatives misrecognized nudism as a phenomenon of the beach, which was an increasingly sexualized space of shrinking bathing suits and beauty contests. “That [naturists’] critics did not accept this spatial retreat to the bush helped bring nudism to the public’s attention and legitimise nudism on beaches. Ironically, nudism’s opponents created the symbolic space for nudists to make the transition from bush to beach.”19

Community can also fail to take place. Chris Brickell’s necessarily speculative reading of a 1949 court case of two New Zealand men who cruised three sailors in a Dunedin park shows how different masculinities can come into conflict in particular places.20 One of the sailors complained tothe police, and theresult was an internationally scripted encounter between men desiring sex with men that went wrong for the locals when they were arrested for indecent assault. Situated two decades before the gay rights movement, my characterization of this as failed community may be unwisely teleological. Yet as Brickell notes, historians have shown how a transnational subculture already existed among such men, and that soon the term “homosexual” would popularly encompass both “normal” men who played the “active” role, and “poofs” and “pansies” who played a “passive” role, into one category.21 And as many others have shown, ultimately the category of the homosexual would be spatialized through rapidly shifting economies of visibility and community formation.

All of these papers, some in quite different ways, explore the spatialities of minority and subcultural sexual communities in terms of individual and collective identities, not all overtly sexual. A recurring theme is the ways internal conflict is constitutive of community. A second is the ways shifting representations of community can be materially productive, often in ways far exceeding the intentions of their authors. By showing how sites of community formation are nodal points for desiring individuals, circulating discourses and larger social processes, this body of work demonstrates, as historian Clair Potter puts it in a recent review of queer urban histories, “the insufficiency of any urban history that begins and ends at the city limits.”22 In this, historical geographers have moved in similar directions as historians in recent years in emphasizing the ever-frictional becoming of any sexual community.

Subject production and population regulation

While historical accounts of sexual communities have mostly concerned twentieth- century Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, work on subjectivity is more often situated in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century USA and British Empire. Identity and subjectivity are overlapping categories, but here I focus especially on the capacities, characteristics, and limitations of agency so crucial to defining subjectivity. These geographies are sometimes less indebted to historians, and more reliant on Foucault’s work on bodily discipline and normalization, and on feminist thought on embodiment. Furthermore, they often focus more on the spatial, material, and discursive “conditions of possibility” for agency and less on recovering specific instances of its exercise. If the fluidity of and conflict over space are constitutive of communities, the mobility of bodies consistently figures as a condition of possibility in historical geographies of subject production. The most common mobile body here is the female prostitute, would-be or actual, who traveled along the circuits of empire, emigration, and internal migration during the dislocations of Western imperialism and urbanization. Medicalized as a source of disease and thus a danger to all, she was a common object of regulation. Despite a commitment to subjectivity and agency in these historical geographies of sexualities, it is those of theregulators that come through most clearly in this body of work due to the archival traces they were able to leave behind.

Some such work offers straightforward accounts of people exercising agency, as in Richard Phillips’s critique of a common historiographical assumption that policy concerning sexuality in the British Empire was simply a top-down affair.23 For example, he demonstrates that state legislators and other local actors were quite active in shaping nineteenth-century Australian policy regarding the heterosexual age of consent and prostitution, especially a proposed adoption of Britain’s infamous Contagious Diseases (CD) Acts. These were sharply criticized by activists across the globe such as Josephine Butler for giving the full force of the law to the sexual double standard by mandating medical inspections of female prostitutes near a number of military cantonments. Similar proposals to the CD acts were also defeated in Sierra Leone, with a more localized strategy of sexual regulation emerging that involved multiple actors, ranging from colonial officials to the local Creole community. Phillips’s insistence on charting sexual regulation and resistance in postcolonial geographies not only illuminates the political agency of individual subjects, even if in the service of a “flexible imperialism,” but also scales up the argument in order to de-center Europe as the subject of history and knowledge.24

Philip Howell offers a more fine-grained “microgeography” of prostitution regulation in Liverpool, Cambridge, Gibraltar, and Hong Kong in a monograph focusing on the varied geographies of police enforcement.25 The CD acts loom large here, and he emphasizes their military function through a “politics of place” rather than the “imposition of some abstract or regulatory power.”26 He shows how war and empire have been central to sexual regulation more broadly, not least through strategies of spatial containment entailed by regulationism. Through painstaking work with police and military records, among other sources, Howell shows how various actors attempted to materialize containment on the ground in response to local conditions while in the service of defending the Empire.

Whether at home or abroad, “progress” has long underpinned British self-representations of government, including that of sexuality. Philip Howell, David Beckingham, and Francesca Moore offer an explicit warning against such Whiggishness, here in the case of Liverpool’s changing policies toward female sex workers.27 Despite framing their paper in terms of mid- 2000s policy debates, their substantive study is of Victorianpolicy in Liverpool, which also used similar policies of containment and localization to regulate prostitution. What was at stake here was not only the regulation of sexual conduct, but also Liverpool’s reputation as a city that had an enlightened approach to managing the “problem” of prostitution through spatial means. Liverpool Council has long articulated itself through policy pronouncements and police practices as a city that deals with its “problem” members according to the British state’s favorite self-image: with “fairness.”

Stephen Legg’s work on prostitution regulation in colonial India develops a number of points raised by these (post)colonial geographies of sexualities. Among other things, he identifies and theorizes alternative spatializations to place that also help constitute sexual regulation. In an exploration of the interwar debates over the League of Nations’ attempts to curb the Government of India’s toleration of brothels, he shows how the scale of state sovereignty came into question. According to Legg, scale should be “critically considered as a narrative device, a measure of distance and a technique of governmentalities (from the personal to the international), rather than a plane at which structural processes operate.”28 Furthermore, scale should be seen specifically as a product of networks and assemblages, in this case through the agency of the League’s traveling Commission of Enquiry into Traffic in Women and Children in the East as its members physically decamped to India to investigate conditions. However, sometimes agency is enabled and disabled at a more individual and affective level, as in the case of Meliscent Shephard, a British “imperial feminist” who went to India on behalf of the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene.29 She sought alliances with local reform groups, but her increasingly racialized explanations for the toleration of brothels in India undercut her efforts, and her most intimate and effective relationships over her fifteen years there continued to be with reformers on the other side of the world in England.

Sometimes sexuality was produced through networked mobility that went the other way. Samuel Hyson and Alan Lester look to official records and diaries of Indian soldiers hospitalized in southern England during World War I to show the sexual anxieties prompted by the presence of Indian men in small towns such as Brighton.30 As in the colonies, the perceived threat was to white women, but as the archive suggests, this was a fear largely experienced by military officials. Local newspapers expressed excitement at the presence of such exotic men and ran stories of various encounters between the soldiers and the locals. Nonetheless officials running the hospitals enacted strict surveillance, often limited contact between soldiers and female nurses, and in some cases even went so far as to confine the soldiers to hospital grounds behind barbed wire—a practice unsurprisingly resented by the soldiers laying down their lives for the empire.

As with historical geographies of community, in much of this work sexuality is internally contested, here as a matter of biopolitics. For example, Emine Evered and Kyle Evered examine regulationism in early republican Turkey. They detail intrastate conflicts over the regulation of prostitution and by extension, the sexualities of all women, as the Kemalist state sought to build a “modern” capacity to control the spread of syphilis and thereby ensure the health and productivity of its population.31 Doctors figured prominently in the Republic’s political class, and they were in a position to drive a policy of regulationism in the 1920s and 1930s, even as the approach fell out of favor internationally to be replaced by a prohibitionist stance toward prostitution. This was prompted in part by an internal exoticization of the rural—so-called secret prostitution that promoted the spread of syphilis was deemed characteristic of “traditional” interior Anatolia rather than modern cities. A prohibitionist stance toward regulating prostitution was on the rise internationally, but for many Kemalists it was too “modern” for Turkey, and regulationism would have to remain in place while the country modernized.

The United States, a large federal polity with high rates of industrialization and immigration but a perceived lack of administrative capacity, faced some analogous governmental challenges to both imperial Britain and republican Turkey at this time. But it was to Britain that US regulators responded as the two countries were connected by language and a transatlantic middle class that facilitated the exchange of ideas and practices. For example, in early twentieth-century Seattle, Progressive-era juvenile courts sought to normalize young subjects by disciplining their sexuality. According to Elizabeth Brown, “drawing on the technologies of the individual, the culture of expert knowledge, and the apparatus of the state, the normal and accidental delinquent, replete with white, middle-class, heterosexual sensibilities, is defined as the representative of childhood that the juvenile court is entrusted to protect.”32 As in Foucault’s famous description of sexuality as a “dense transfer point” for multiple operations of power, the space of the courtroom operated analogously as a material as well as a metaphorical site.

A truism of the governmentality approach is that geographies of regulation far exceed the state. In my own work on the Progressive-era United States, the movie theater was a new urban heterosocial leisure space contributing to a moral panic about the recruitment of young white women for prostitution.33 Social reformers sought to shape cinema’s intensely haptic visuality by regulating the moving image on screen and its space of exhibition to reinforce morally sound outcomes in an impressionable young audience as they made their way in the new mass industrial city. The desired outcome of this moral visualization was the avoidance of the “white slavery” of prostitution in favor of companionate marriage. Furthermore, sexuality’s simultaneous privatization in an increasingly egalitarian domestic space was articulated as the source of the liberal white female subject’s self-government, and thus the basis of the “success” of the Anglo- Saxon race as the agent of global progress.34

This “new woman,” whose newfound mobility and independence was exemplified by images of her riding a bicycle, was not just a figure of US cities at this time. Kate Boyer shows how young women gained economic opportunities in Montreal through the feminization of clerical work in its banking sector.35 But their position was precarious as these formerly all- male work places not only became heterosocial,but also heterosexual, due to men’s supposedly innate propensity for “distraction” in the presence of women. Women attempted to manage their embodiment through modest business attire and avoiding interactions that could be construed as flirtatious. Bank managers went so far as to segregate work areas by gender and install separate elevators and catering facilities, but they resorted to firing women deemed disruptive, even as they acknowledged its unfairness. Along these lines, I have also explored the disruptive presence of “other” bodies—but here, representationally—in D.W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation (1915) and its depiction of the aftermath of the US Civil War and its celebration of the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.36 A complex geography spanning scales from the household to the nation spatializes subjects in whom sexuality, race, class and gender are codetermining. This renders African Americans, and European Americans who desire them, inappropriate sexual subjects unfit to govern. They are thereby out of place in the state and national capitols they usurped during Reconstruction.

But it is not just the individual, embodied subject this strand of work addresses. Michael Brown and Larry Knopp ask a question central to many such geographies: “‘Sexuality,’ writes Foucault, ‘exists at the point where the body and the population meet.’ But just where is that point?”37 In the case of World War II Seattle, public health officials seeking to control sexually transmitted disease faced a dilemma common to any regulatory project. Govern bodies, spaces, or both, and through what relation? Brown and Knopp unpack two epistemological approaches used by officials to map “venereal locations” vs. “venereal places.” The first was a nomothetic, epidemiological approach mapping the abstract space of the city along with its sexualized, raced, gendered, classed and aged bodies to deduce the causes of diseases’ spread. The other was an ideographic, ethnographic approach to the neighborhoods affected, the data from which was used for policing prostitution. The answer to the authors’ question, then, is not straightforward, as the spatiality of disease could only be constituted through multiple practices of mapping and materializing different epistemologies, none of which could ever be quite adequate. Borrowing Foucault’s vocabulary, what was at stake in the “anatomo-politics” of identifying and regulating sexualized body-subjects was the “bio-politics” of protecting the health of the larger population of which they were a part. Yet these body-subjects were also a danger to the population because of that “dense transfer point” of sexuality—and other social relations such as age and race.

Brown continues thisproject into the mid-twentieth century and builds on Legg’s above- cited governmentality work by examining what he calls the “prosaic geographies of the local state.”38 He offers a detailed account of several dualisms driving local biopolitics of venereal disease governance. These were in the realms of epistemology (scientific vs. geopolitical/ military conceptualizations of venereal disease), techne (top-down vs. self-disciplinary modes of intervention), visibilities (descriptive vs. predictive), identities (at-risk vs. risky bodies) and ethos (moralizing certain identities vs. a morally “neutral” approach to regulation). Such governmental dualisms are symptomatic of sexuality’s elusiveness. As Brown notes, “What I found in the archives was evidence not so much about VD and the homosexual per se, but rather more the place in which that homosexual body would have been governed.”39

A frequent motif in this strand of work on biopolitics is the propensity in modernity to divide and govern populations through the reproductive category of race by enframing it through sexuality as an individual property. Natalie Oswin’s work on the history of sexual regulation in Singapore shows how the Singaporean state has sought to produce disciplined subjects who would productively comprise a new nation. It has actively shaped multiple aspects of Singaporean life, in the biopolitical sense of that word. These have included sodomy laws, imposed by the colonial government in part at the behest of the Straits Chinese elite who sought to demonstrate their modernity, and thus fitness to govern, through showing a commitment to monogamous heterosexual marriage. It is a finding that complicates claims by activists seeking to overturn sodomy laws by depicting them as strictly a homophobic British colonial inheritance.40 Housing has been a particularly pervasive means of government for creating a productive population by restricting approximately 80% of its availability to heterosexual nuclear families of citizens, a practice that queers not only those in same-sex relationships, but also singles, unmarried parents, migrants and others.41

Biopolitics are also geopolitics. Kolson Schlosser offers a reading of prominent Cold War neo-Malthusian texts in the United States to show how they articulated not only an internally stratified population to be governed in terms of growth and the consumption of resources, but also its relation to other national populations that may be more or less economically “developed,” and pose more or less an existential threat. While “populations (as opposed to territory) were rendered intelligible as a means for policing them,” territorialization at the international scale came to the fore through the act of comparison in asking the question of “the who of reproduction as much as the how many.”42 For the same time and place, Matthew Coleman shows how this bio-geopolitical territorialization has been effectedthrough immigration laws excluding homosexuals. But in his reading of congressional debates and court decisions regarding immigration, he points out that “the abstracted scale of geopolitical inquiry prioritized in much geography research seems at odds with the encounters that make up the geography of state power.”43 He focuses instead on how immigration law is also a means of domestic social control, most notably by distinguishing the processes of border protection and deportation.

Historical geographies of sexual subject and population production emphasize the mutually constitutive nature of individual agency and social discourses and practices. Here, sexuality cannot be separated from other modes of differentiation such as race, which Foucault noted functions as a “caesura” that divides populations into those whose lives are worth cultivating to promote the health of the social body, and those whose lives are deemed inimical to that flourishing.44 This has not been confined to more polite forms of government at a distance. As Coleman and others emphasize, this act of division involves the violence of state sovereignty at multiple scales from the bodily to the international. To rephrase Brown and Knopp’s question, asking literally where that caesura has been and how it has enabled modern government, both of selves and others, has been a central preoccupation of this body of work.

Life processes: production, reproduction, evolution

Evident in the foregoing discussion is that third reproductive category, gender. Francesca Moore, noting gender’s peculiar theoretical absence in Foucault’s governmentality work, explores how the subjectivity of the “bad mother” was produced in Lancashire a century ago in order to improve infant welfare by relocating the causes of morbidity and mortality.45 Moore shows how social reformers problematized environmental determinism by blaming working- class mothers rather than the spaces lacking sanitation provision they were forced to inhabit. This “biopolitical concern for the quality and quantity of the British race” operated through the premise that middle-class women had the capacity and responsibility to teach their “less fortunate sisters” to be good mothers. This they did within the space of the Bolton School, and through neighborhood visits.46 This paper does not address sexuality directly, but rather one of its many possible results—reproduction, both biological and social. Yet given the division of labor over who has been (and still largely is) responsible for reproduction, Moore’s work shows how gender is as much a biopolitical production as sexuality and race, and that it is indissociable from them as an indispensable division for governing populations. Implicit too in this Foucauldian formulation is class, a point made more explicit in James Tyner and Donna Houston’s work on the punishment of interracial heterosexual relations in the United States.47

The need to avoid arbitrarily separating reproduction and production in understanding social change informs Heidi Nast’s study of 500 years of spatial change in the Kano Palace of northern Nigeria. In a political economy-oriented analysis, she shows how royal concubines were powerful political actors in their control of the palace’s grain trade and indigo dyeing which materially enabled royal power.48 Nast uses a combination of present-day aerial photographs and colonial photographs, observation, and interviews with descendants of concubines and slaves to document how the social relation of sexuality (imbricated in gender relations, slavery, and royalty) was spatialized. Her case study supports the bold claim that “in agrarian-based state contexts reproduction moves history.”49

The nexus of social reproduction and economic production that sustains subjects and populations is not only highly gendered. Through sexuality it helps constitute the boundaries of the human in the most literal sense. Carl Griffin explores relationships between humans and animals in the agrarian economy of late eighteenth-century England.50 As “embodied capital,” animals mediated human-human relations, especially in the case of bestiality prosecutions which frequently involved working-class defendants and property-owning witnesses. Griffin characterizes bestiality as sexual “violence” along with more overt forms of sexual maiming. Yet Michael Brown and Claire Rasmussen query the construction of bestiality as violence in their examination of a far morerecent sex panic stemming from the US Supreme Court’s invalidation of sodomy laws in 2003.51 A number of states suddenly found themselves without valid anti- bestiality laws as they were frequently rolled into sodomy laws. In Washington State, those seeking to solve the “problem” were faced with a quandary: how to frame sex with animals as an abuse of their rights, while framing animals themselves as human property to be bought, sold, put to work, and eaten?

Shifting from animals to plants, Carla Hustak reads birth-control advocate and paleobotanist Marie Stopes’s inquiries into human and plant sex into each other.52 Stopes’s work at New Brunswick’s Fern Ledges in the early twentieth century comparatively evaluated plants’ evolved fitness for their environment in strikingly colonialist and heteronormative terms, while her later work on human sexuality explicitly naturalized a particular notion of white, metropolitan heterosexuality in terms of plant sex. “The ‘human’ could be seen as subject to the same sexual processes as plants in the making of natural environments,” Hustak notes.53 Similarly, “the non- human shaped and was shaped by racial, class and sexual hierarchies in a particular place.”54 In this eugenicist framework, harnessing sex to breed fitter plants and humans enmeshed both in the same life processes.

Most of this work overlaps with the analytical concerns of the previous section on populations. But the explicit attention to sexuality’s place in economic production, social reproduction and biological evolution as biopolitical processes (in contrast to urban processes) is noteworthy for showing how these were central concerns of Foucault, and that taking inspiration from his approaches to subjectification and governmentality need not be incompatible with political economy or feminist analyses. Furthermore, the wealth of different sources examined— some non-archival—indicates the need to avoid reducing sexual regulation to the state, even if its archive is usually the largest and most accessible. Here as in other historical geographies, sexuality’s place is everywhere.

New historical geographies of sexualities

The papers in this special issue offer distinctive answers to the question of sexuality’s place between the individual and the social. The contributions of Catherine Nash, Andrew Gorman-Murray, and Julie Podmore take the continuing problematic of community formation in directions that are unusual in historical geographies of sexualities. Francesca Moore reasserts the importance of the private sphere of the heterosexual nuclear family as a biopolitical site, a central point of feminist critique as well as Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume I that only occasionally figures in this body of literature. Marianne Blidon makes the crucial but frequently neglected methodological point that archival silences are productive, while pressing the point that war, too, is a nexus of the individual and the social.

Catherine Nash and Andrew Gorman-Murray’s comparative take on the historical geographies of gay villages in Toronto and Sydney emphasizes the need for specific, local contextualization in debates over the alleged decline of gay villages in various Western countries, and their futures. Their comparison highlights some sharp differences between two otherwise broadly similarly situated cities. The Toronto LGBT community’s early adoption of an ethnic minority model of activism combined with a more connected location and a compulsory business improvement association has led to a stabilization of its Church-Wellesley Village, not least as a tourist attraction. Sydney’s Oxford Street, on the other hand, emerged with less institutional and legal support and is now the object of perhaps belated efforts to reinvigorate its daytime economy, while the more residential district of Newtown has emerged as a more diverse (i.e. less male-identified) LGBT neighborhood in a different part of the city.

Their comparative approach is implicit in a great deal of present-oriented work, either as an assumption (e.g. the comparison implicit in diffusionist accounts of gay identity) or as an object of critique (e.g. in efforts to rethink the same by decentering the West). But here this approach usefully grounds emergent neoliberal approaches to community territorialization in historical-geographical specificities that gain critical purchase through a well-chosen comparison. But for historical geographers more specifically, it offers a way of overcoming the solipsism of the case study by, perhaps paradoxically, emphasizing the ubiquity of given urban processes through their different local materializations.

Julie Podmore seeks to reinsert the insights of historical geographies of sexual communities back into more “mainstream” narratives of urban change, an example of a more generally outward-looking approach that “talks back” to the larger discipline of geography and beyond (see also Brown’s earlier-cited Urban Geography plenary lecture). Here her continuing development of Montreal’s historical geography of sexuality shows how sexuality has been central to post- war discourses of urban decline, which have been more widely characterized as concerning race and class in North American cities. She shows how the various and shifting sexual communities of Montreal’s Lower Main, a fairly typical North American inner-city transition zone, were represented in relation to urban renewal efforts, not only in terms of the city’s internal ordering, but as it appeared on the world stage through mega-events such as Expo 67 and the 1976 Olympics. Sexuality co-constitutes urban processes as much as other social relations such as class, yet this fact has yet to substantially impact mainstream understandings, academic or otherwise, Richard Florida’s “gay index” notwithstanding.

In her contribution, Francesca Moore relocates sexuality, framed here as a biopolitical transfer point, from the neighborhood to the family home in 1920s Rochdale, England. Public health officials, noting an alarming rise in venereal disease rates, engaged in a sex education campaign to “responsibilise parents” for the sexual health of their children, and through them, the nation and the race.55 Moore emphasizes how this was an explicit problematization of the public-private divide, a spatialization health officials recognized as producing an unhealthy ignorance of sexuality inimical to a healthy moralization of (hetero)sexuality. In contrast to accounts that emphasize the continuance of maternal feminism at this time, Moore makes clear that this public-private bridging of sexual citizenship responsibilized women and men equally.56 Furthermore, her approach reasserts a point often neglected in historical geographies of liberal governmentality. This is that the problem of state knowledge is not just a generic problem o visibility, but can instead be configured by a specifically liberal spatiality—the particular public- private divide characteristic of liberal-capitalist societies. Work from a disciplinary or biopolitical perspective frequently shows how women in particular have often been denied the status of being the subjects of rights, as in the case of work on sexual regulation in imperial Britain or my own on the Progressive Era United States. But Moore also points out that the public-private divide is built into the material environment of industrial cities and reinforced by household legal protections against the state, both of which conspire to produce ignorance.

Gender is also central for Marianne Blidon, but rather than focus on discipline, she examines the constitutive role of embodied encounters for state sovereignty in the guise of war.57 In words that might have come from Coleman’s above-cited work, she argues, “Far from being a matter of intimacy, sexuality is part of geopolitics and a politics that relies on the production of a sexual world order.”58 Her reading of officers’ memoirs from the Napoleonic Wars is as much methodological as empirical. Silences in the archive are as productive as strategies of veridiction for producing a particular geopolitical division, that between virtuous French women, and foreign women who cannot be “raped” because they have no virtue to violate. In these memoirs, French soldiers’ sexual violence toward foreign women is often presented in offhandedly voluntaristic terms, or rhetorically blamed on the women themselves. The soldiers are positioned as the victims of foreign women’s immorality, even as “certain anecdotes leave little doubt as to the constraints weighing on these women.”59

Blidon calls for a more nuanced approach to reading archival material that pays due attention tothe strategies of truth-tellingrecordedtherein, which can in turn help make sense of the structured silences within the material. More common in historical geographies of sexualities is an approach that examines the production of “positive” knowledge explicitly represented in the archive. This ranges from overtly state-created discourses such as Brown and Knopp’s comparison of nomothetic and ideographic representations of venereal disease, to aesthetic representations such as my examinations of the affective power of cinematic moral narratives. But Blidon reminds us it is also imperative that historical geographers attend to silences, omissions, and ellipses in the archive, for what is not said, and how it is not said, are as important as what is said in producing the place of sexuality.


The contributors to this special issue offer several substantive and methodological points of departure from the places of sexuality that have dominated English-language historical- geographical work. I cannot claim my survey of the existing field in which they have intervened is exhaustive, but given the rarity of historical geographies of sexualities, it is close. And what prevails is a longstanding concern with historicizing the ever-moving target of community formation, an effort to write histories and genealogies of modern sexual regulation and its productive role in subject- and population-formation and government, and an examination of processes of production, reproduction, and evolution that are not only classed, gendered, and racialized, but also sexualized. These four new papers do not move beyond these objects and processes so much as rethink them.

Podmore resists sexual minoritization in mainstream explanations of generic processes such as urban change, while Nash and Gorman-Murray advocate comparativism. Moore underscores the importance of materially situating structures of ignorance and invisibility, and governmental efforts to overcome them. Blidon examines the productive role of an unlikely pairing—war and silence—in the study of past geographies of sexualities. None of these are new in and of themselves. Feminist, Marxist, post-colonial, and anti-racist geographies have long insisted upon gender, class, and race as inherent to geographies in the modern world, and to knowledge claims about them, albeit with decidedly uneven uptake. A more recent resurgence in debates over comparativism in urban geography has underscored the problems of privileging exemplary sites of widespread yet inherently variable geographical processes. The specificity of liberal spatiality was a frequent motif in postcolonial and governmentality literatures of the 1990s and early 2000s. The violence of state sovereignty is bread and butter for political geographers. And Foucault’s admonition to attend to silences is frequently cited but rarely followed. This is because sexuality usually speaks by proxy, and sexuality’s place is more legible than sexuality is itself. As historical geographers attend to the archives of this place, in whatever form it takes, they are finding, and will continue to find, that this nexus of the individual and the social is as diverse, conflictive, and productive as it is in the present-day geographies of sexualities that dominate the discipline.


1 Matt Houlbrook, “Towards a Historical Geography of Sexuality,” Journal of Urban History 2, no. 4 (2001): 501.

2 Here Houlbrook writes of urban processes, but in subsequent works concrete urban spaces come to the fore; e.g. Matt Houlbrook, Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005).

3 Michael Brown, Closet Space: Geographies of Metaphor from the Body to the Globe (New York: Routledge, 2000), 3. Here Brown has in mind Eve Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992). See also Richard Phillips, Diane Watt, and David Shuttleton, eds., De-Centering Sexualities: Politics and Representations beyond the Metropolis (London: Routledge, 2000), 1–13; Richard Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire: A Postcolonial Geography (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), 9–13.

4 Shannon Jackson, Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001), 165.

5 Examples include George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1994); Lillian Faderman, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991); Philippa Levine, Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire (New York: Routledge, 2003); Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England Since 1830 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987); Judith Walkowitz, Prostitution and Victorian Society: Women, Class, and the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980).

6 Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire: A Postcolonial Geography, 8.

7 Michel Foucault, Disipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Penguin, 1977); Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I: An Introduction (New York: Vintage Books, 1978); Michel Foucault, “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975- 1976 (New York: Picador, 2003); Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). His later work on subjectification through self-cultivation has been little taken up by historical geographers.

8 For a commentary on Foucault’s dominance in the subdiscipline, see Robert Mayhew, “Historical Geography 2007-2008: Foucault’s Avatars—Still in (the) Driver’s Seat,” Progress in Human Geography 33, no. 3 (2009): 387–397. Stephen Legg discusses Foucault’s work in depth in his historical monograph, Stephen Legg, Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi’s Urban Governmentalities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).

9 For works on the production of law, see: See Alan Hunt, Governing Morals: A Social History of Moral Regulation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999). Felix Driver, “Moral Geographies: Social Science and the Urban Environment in Mid-19th-Century England,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 13, no. 3 (1988): 275–87, remains a touchstone. For a recent collection of geographical work on scales of moral regulation, see the 2013 special issue of Journal of Historical Geography edited by Stephen Legg and Michael Brown. Philip Howell outlines some geographers’ contributions and offers a critique of Hunt’s and other historians’ spatializations in Philip Howell, “Afterword: Remapping the Terrain of Moral Regulation,” Journal of Historical Geography 42 (2013): 193-202. For works on the racialization of sexuality, see Ann Laura Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 1995). See also M. Satish Kumar, “The Evolution of Spatial Ordering in Colonial Madras,” in Postcolonial Geographies, eds. Alison Blunt and Cheryl McEwan (New York: Continuum, 2002), 85–94; Legg, Spaces of Colonialism: Delhi’s Urban Governmentalities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007).

10 For works on the sexuality of space, see David Bell and Gill Valentine, eds., Mapping Desire: Geographies of Sexualities (London: Routledge, 1995); David Bell and Jon Binnie, The Sexual Citizen: Queer Politics and beyond (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000); Philip Hubbard, “Desire/ disgust: Mapping the Moral Contours of Heterosexuality,” Progress in Human Geography 24, no. 2 (2000): 191–217. For works on broader geographies of exclusion, see David Sibley, Geographies of Exclusion: Society and Difference in the West (London: Routledge, 1995).

11 Along with geographically-minded LGBT community histories cited previously, see also Gary Atkins, Gay Seattle: Stories of Exile and Belongings (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003); Nan Boyd, Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community (London: Routledge, 1993); Kevin Murphy, Jennifer Pierce, and Larry Knopp, eds., Queer Twin Cities: Twin Cities GLBT Oral History Project (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010); Esther Newton, Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’sFirst Gay and Lesbian Town (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014); Marc Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000). Recent work countering the urban bias in much LGBT history and thus problematizing notions of gay community includes Peter Boag, Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); Nayan Shah, Stranger Intimacy: Contesting Race, Sexuality, and the Law in the North American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011). These also emphasize the spatial co-constitution of sexuality and race, which figures more systematically in geographers’ accounts of subjectivity and population discussed below; for present purposes see also Kevin Mumford, Interzones: Black/White Sex Districts in Chicago and New York in the Early Twentieth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997).

12 Catherine J. Nash, “Toronto’s Gay Village (1969-1982): Plotting the Politics of Gay Identity,” The Canadian Geographer 50, no. 1 (2006): 2.

13 Catherine J. Nash, “Contesting Identity: Politics of Gays and Lesbians in Toronto in the 1970s,” Gender, Place and Culture 12, no. 1 (2005): 113–35.

14 Julie A. Podmore, “Gone ‘Underground’? Lesbian Visibility and the Consolidation of Queer Space in Montreal,” Social and Cultural Geography 7, no. 4 (2006): 595–625.

15 Julie A. Podmore, “Lesbians as Village ‘Queers’: The Transformation of Montréal’s Lesbian Nightlife in the 1990s,” Acme 12, no. 2 (2013): 243.

16 Jason Prior, “Planning for Sex in the City: Urban Governance, Planning and the Placement of Sex Industry Premises in Inner Sydney,” Australian Geographer 39, no. 3 (2008): 339–52.

17 See also Jason Prior, Spike Boydell, and Philip Hubbard, “Nocturnal Rights to the City: Property, Propriety and Sex Premises in Inner Sydney,” Urban Studies 49, no. 8 (2012): 1837– 52. The reshaping of sexuality through reconfiguring public/private spaces is a recurring theme in Australasian sexual geographies. See Andrew Gorman-Murray and Carey-Ann Morrison, “Revisiting Geographies of Sexuality and Gender Down Under” 68, no. 2 (2012): 77–80.

18 Caroline Daley, “From Bush to Beach: Nudism in Australasia,” Journal of Historical Geography31 (2005): 149–67.

19 Ibid., 152.

20 Chris Brickell, “Queens Gardens, 1949: The Anxious Spaces of Post-War New Zealand Masculinity,” New Zealand Geographer 68 (2012): 81–91. For a more methodological examination of reading sexual encounters out of archival sources such as court records, see Chris Brickell, “Sex, Space and Scripts: Negotiating Homoeroticism in History,” Social and Cultural Geography 11, no. 6 (2010): 597–613.

21 Brickell, “Queens Gardens, 1949: The Anxious Spaces of Post-War New Zealand Masculinity,” 89.

22 Claire Potter, “A Queer Public Sphere: Urban History’s Sexual Landscape,” Journal of Urban History 40, no. 4 (2014): 813.

23 Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire: A Postcolonial Geography.

24 Richard Phillips, “Imperialism, Sexuality and Space: Purity Movements in the British Empire,” in Postcolonial Geographies, eds. Alison Blunt and Cheryl McEwan (New York: Continuum, 2002), 46–63; Phillips, Watt, and Shuttleton, De-Centring Sexualities: Politics and Representations beyond the Metropolis.

25 Philip Howell, Geographies of Regulation: Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century Britain and the Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

26 Ibid., 2.

27 Philip Howell, David Beckingham, and Francesca Moore, “Managed Zones for Sex Workers in Liverpool: Contemporary Proposals, Victorian Parallels,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 33, no. 2 (2008): 233–50.

28 Stephen Legg, “Of Scales, Networks and Assemblages: The League of Nations Apparatus and the Scalar Sovereignty of the Government of India,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34, no. 2 (2009): 235.

29 Stephen Legg, “An Intimate and Imperial Feminism: Meliscent Shephard and the Regulation of Prostitution in Colonial India,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28, no. 1 (2010): 68–94.

30 Samuel Hyson and Alan Lester, “‘British India on Trial’: Brighton Military Hospitals and the Politics of Empire in World War I,” Journal of Historical Geography 38 (2012): 18–34.

31 Emine Evered and Kyle Evered, “‘Protecting the National Body’: Regulating the Practice and the Place of Prostitution in Early Republican Turkey,” Gender, Place & Culture 20, no. 7 (2013): 839–57.

32 Elizabeth Brown, “The ‘Unchildlike Child’: Making and Marking the Child/Adult Divide in the Juvenile Court,” Children’s Geographies9, no. 3–4 (2011): 365.

33 Eric Olund, “Traffic in Souls: The ‘New Woman,’ Whiteness and Mobile Self-Possession,” Cultural Geographies 16, no. 4 (2009): 485– 504.

34 Eric Olund, “‘Disreputable Life’: Race, Sex, and Intimacy,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28, no. 1 (2010): 142– 157.

35 Kate Boyer, “‘Neither Forget Nor Remember Your Sex’: Sexual Politics in the Early Twentieth-Century Canadian Office,” Journal of Historical Geography 29, no. 2 (2003): 212–29.

36 Eric Olund, “Geography Written in Lightning: Race, Sexuality, and Regulatory Aesthetics in ‘The Birth of a Nation,’” Annals of the Association of American Geographers online preview (2012).

37 Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “Between Anatamo- and Bio-Politics: Geographies of Sexual Health in Wartime Seattle,” Political Geography 29, no. 7 (2010): 392.

38 Michael Brown, “2008 Urban Geography Plenary Lecture--Public Health as Urban Politics, Urban Geography: Venereal Biopower in Seattle, 1943-1983,” Urban Geography 30, no. 1 (2009): 3.

39 Ibid., 2.

40 Natalie Oswin, “Sexual Tensions in Modernizing Singapore: The Postcolonial and the Intimate,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28, no. 1 (2010): 128– 141.

41 Natalie Oswin, “The Modern Model Family at Home in Singapore: A Queer Geography,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 35, no. 2 (2010): 256–68.

42 Kolson Schlosser, “Malthus at Mid-Century: Neo-Malthusianism as Bio-Political Governance in the Post-WWII United States,” Cultural Geographies 16, no. 4 (2009): 466, 479.

43 Matthew Coleman, “US Immigration Law and Its Geographies of Social Control: Lessons from Homosexual Exclusion during the Cold War,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space26 (2008): 1097.

44 Foucault, “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976, 254.

45 Francesca Moore, “Governmentality and the Maternal Body: Infant Mortality in Early Twentieth-Century Lancashire,” Journal of Historical Geography 39 (2013): 54–68.

46 Ibid., 65.

47 James Tyner and Donna Houston, “Controlling Bodies: The Punishment of Multiracialized Sexual Relations,” Antipode 32, no. 4 (2000): 387–409.

48 Heidi J. Nast, Concubines and Power: Five Hundred Years in a Northern Nigerian Palace (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005).

49 Ibid., xviii.

50 Carl Griffin, “Animal Maiming, Intimacy and the Politics of Shared Life: The Bestial and the Beastly in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century England,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37 (2012): 301–16.

51 Michael Brown and Claire Rasmussen, “Bestiality and the Queering of the Human Animal,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28, no. 1 (2010): 158– 177.

52 Carla Hustak, “The Stories Rocks Can Tell: Marie Stopes’ Evolutionary Narratives of Plant Sex in New Brunswick’s Fern Ledges,” Gender, Place & Culture 21, no. 7 (2014): 888–904.

53 Ibid., 894.

54 Ibid., 893.

55 Francesca Moore, “‘A Mistaken Policy of Secretiveness’: Venereal Disease and Changing Heterosexual Morality in Lancashire, UK, 1920-1935,” this volume.

56 For an account of the responsibilization of gay men as sexual citizens and community members in terms of STD transmission in 1970s Seattle, see Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “The Birth of the (Gay) Clinic,” Health & Place 28, no. 1 (2014): 99–108.

57 Two historical works that explore the role of sexual violence in imperial projects from different analytical perspectives are Clare Anderson, “Colonization, Kidnap and Confinement in the Andamans Penal Colony, 1771-1864,” Journal of Historical Geography 37 (2011): 68–81; and Alison Blunt, “Embodying War: British Women and Domestic Defilement in the Indian ‘Mutiny,’ 1857-8,” Journal of Historical Geography 26, no. 3 (2000): 403–28. Blunt’s work in particular resonates with Blidon’s in its exploration of the unrepresentable.

58 Marianne Blidon, ”When Silence Reigns: Sexuality, Affect, and Space in Soldiers’ Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars,” this issue.

59 Ibid.
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