Introduction to the Special Issue

Introduction to the Special Issue: Historical Geographies of Sexualities?

Julie Podmore
Geosciences Department
John Abbott College
Michael Brown
Department of Geography
University of Washington

ABSTRACT: In this introduction to the special issue, we evaluate the potential of a strengthened relationship between historical geography and geographies of sexualities. We begin by providing a brief review of the ways in which sexuality has been integrated into spatialized histories. Next, we turn to the historical geography literature to provide an overview of existing work and to investigate the absence of sexualities in historical geography research. Then, we turn our attention to the missing “pasts” in geographies of sexualities. Here, we discuss the limited integration of time and the ways in which time is used in the articulation of geographies of sexualities. Finally, to introduce this collection, we describe the process of collecting these works and discuss how it might contribute to the project of regenerating historical geographies of sexualities.

Keywords: geographies of sexualities, historical geographies, histories of sexualities


Using most academic search engines, a search for the term “historical geographies of sexualities” will yield few relevant results. There will be references to the plethora of publications on geographies of sexualities, some on “the body” in geography, and perhaps the odd historical geography work that has geographies of sexualities references embedded in its endnotes. Moreover,to even find the one expresslyrelevanttitle, Matt Houlbrook’s “Toward a Historical Geography of Sexuality,” it is necessary to use the singular form for the terms “geography” and “sexuality.”1 Given the difficulties in locating historical geographies of sexualities, it might be tempting to conclude that there has not been any such work within Anglo-American geography. Such a conclusion would indeed be a significant oversight. There are historical geographers who research sexualities as well as geographers of sexuality who occasionally turn to the past to inform their more presentist works. In addition, since the 1990s, historians have dramatically expanded research on sexualities, some of which has specifically asked spatial questions. During this decade, some work by feminist historical geographers also began to examine sexuality as it intersected with gender in shaping spaces in the past. However, these various strains of inquiry have rarely come together and have not been expressly thought of as a thematic area of study within either historical geography or geographies of sexualities.

The collection presented in this special issue of Historical Geography is an attempt to draw together the multiple and fragmented strains of what might be defined as historical geographies of sexualities, and to reflect on the possibilities of making thematic connections between historical geographers working on sexuality and geographers of sexualities who research past spaces. It is the outcome of a special session of the same title organized for the 2013 AAG conference in Los Angeles, where we realized that several sexuality-and-space scholars (especially those with an urban focus) were increasingly asking historical questions. While this collection is quite a departure from what was actually presented in the session, it represents what we could generate as we open up this discussion. In order to frame the collection, we provide an overview of three literatures that are central to the project. We begin by providing a brief overview of spatialized histories from a variety of sources that speak to this literature. We then discuss the “present absences” of sexualities within historical geography. Next, we turn to the more presentist geographies of sexualities to consider the uses of sexual pasts for this literature. Finally, we describe the process of building this collection and discuss its unique contributions. An additional framing and critical review of historical geographies of sexualities is provided in Eric Olund’s afterword, which examines when and how historical geographies have ever been about sexualities.

Spatial “histories” of sexuality

In the 1990s, interest in the mutually constituting relationships between spaces and sexualities in history seems to have emerged due to three intersecting processes. First, the translation of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality into English in the late 1970s and 1980s gave writers a language through which to discuss the past regulation of sexualities and their spaces.2 Exemplary in this sense is Judith Walkowitz’s investigation of the spatialized narratives surrounding prostitution in her City of Dreadful Delight.3 Secondly, building on feminist history, a new generation of historians began researching the experience of sexual “difference” by considering how gay populations navigated the sexual normativities of modernity, especially the social order of urban spaces. The serious consideration of how gay men carved out public places for themselves found in George Chauncey’s Gay New York is a mainstay of this work.4 Thirdly, and more broadly, Foucault’s reflections on the spatial, in conjunction with the translation and discussion of the works of Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre, generated a “spatial turn” in the social sciences and a much greater emphasis on the spatial within geography and historical geography.

The spatial turn even led some historians to begin to ask if there could be an “historical geography of sexualities” and if so, to begin to consider what it might look like. Perhaps the earliest of these came from Frank Mort and Lynda Nead’s reflections in the introduction to a special historical collection of New Formations titled “Sexual Geographies.”5 Here, they proposed that Foucault’s attention to spaces of regulation be placed in tension with de Certeau’s spaces of resistance, a framework that highlighted the interplay between space as discourse and space as experience. Along similar lines, in an article in that collection, historical geographer Ogborn argued that an historical geography of sexuality could focus on, 1) “relating sites of sexual encounter and identity to geographies of leisure, sociability, work and state regulation” and 2) “ the analysis of the production and regulation of sexualities through established relations of power.”6 While such an agenda seems to slightly overemphasize the regulatory and clearly focus on “public sexualities,” it is this interplay between space, experience, and regulation that would come to dominate the agenda of what might be the first iteration of “historical geographies of sexualities.” Notably, Houlbrook’s own review “Towards an Historical Geography of Sexuality” highlights the importance of holding in tension regulation and experience, an approach which came alive in his analysis of the interplay between policing, resistances, experience, and spaces in Queer London.7 Over the last decade, however, with the exception of Richard Phillips and his work on imperial sexualities, few historians or historical geographers have given much thought to the question of what an historical geography of sexualities might look like.8

However, for many historians studying gay, lesbian, and trans sexualities, the more perhaps detached academic desire to understand sexuality through spaces of regulation needed to also be held in tension with the search for something more embodied: a desire to understand how those who inhabited “deviant” locations in the past experienced such spaces and created social worlds for themselves. Moreover, how these experiences could be “uncovered” became an important methodological concern. Work on “revealing” what had been “hidden from history” led to a plethora of local, regional and national histories of lesbian and gay experiences.9 Local case studies such as Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis’s Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold lesbian oral history project on Buffalo, New York, for example, demonstrated the importance of spaces of resistance for working-class lesbians in the 1950s and 1960s.10 Collections such as Stephen Whittle’s Margins of the City or Higgs’s Queer Sites were organized so as to enable readers to compare the gay histories of a variety of different cities located primarily in the urban West.11 And, in many Western contexts by the 1980s and 1990s, the past and its spaces had become useful, important, and even urgent for sexuality politics, especially for lesbian and gay politics. Generational changes, and the potential erasure of gay memories of the “liberation” era brought by HIV-AIDS, meant that collecting and archiving lesbian and gay experiences of the local (mostly urban) histories seemed all the more urgent by the end of the 1980s. An historical geographic project of telling the story of a particular city and, at this time, its gay and lesbian history, straddled the academy and the “community.”

As a result, there is now a large and growing collection of monographs detailing the local history of sexual minorities and dissidents in cities across North America and elsewhere. Written largely by historians, local activists, and those who lived the experience, these works have recorded and preserved an often-closeted history that is difficult to find in the archive and easily lost to time, especially after the AIDS epidemic.12 Besides such heroic preservation, these texts are impressive for their varied nuanced spatial sensitivities. They certainly describe the spatial formation of gay neighborhoods that was so typical of the 1970s and 1980s, tying them to gentrification and racial displacements, new social movements, and what we would now call neoliberal urban policies.13 Over the past thirty years, the range of cities has expanded, challenging the doxa that one need only focus on New York, London, and San Francisco.14 Yet they also describe more complex spatialities. Global political-economic forces situate the rise of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer visibilities in the post-war city including the shift from Fordist to Postfordist regimes of accumulation.15 Cold War geopolitics and anti-communist anxieties, along with broad migrations at the international and intranational scales, also help explain queer urban morphology.16 The complexity of relations between public and private spheres in the city is a frequent theme, and one that shows the multiple permutations of that couplet and the dangers of simply reducing such spheres to static locations. Several authors have chronicled the relations between public space and private sexual encounters, captured in Chauncey’s maxim “privacy could only be had in public,” for example.17 And the myriad gender dynamics and differentials of such geographies are well described. Micro-geographies of bars and taverns are richly detailed, showing how these locations were vital to self actualization, community formation, as well as political organization and resistance.18 Hidden, closet spaces are revealed. The importance of private spaces such as the home and family were vital for community formation and individual survival, as in the case of lesbian dinner parties in 1950s Buffalo, or the struggle of lesbian and gay parenting in a conservative post-war culture.19 Shifting urban morphologies are also traced, suggesting the importance of appreciating the moving gay ghetto (and its attendant inclusions and exclusions).20 And geographies of the body are abundant: from the governance of gender through dress and comportment, to the politics of dance, to sexual and mental health, to racisms.21 So impressive are these histories that they raise the question of whether the best geography is written by non-geographers!

Sexuality as present absence in historical geography

To be sure, there have been a scattering of historical geographies of sexualities. This is hardly surprising given the breadth of each term in that appellation. But because of this breadth, there is a rather disparate quality to the literature, where pieces address different theoretical and topical strands more directly than they engage with one another as a cogent intellectual group. Prostitution has certainly been a point of focus, where governance and policing clash with complex geographies of public and private, gender, and moral regulation.22 The relations between sexualities and imperialism and colonialism have received particular attention, and their relation to the mutual constitution of race and sexuality is a specific point of focus.23 Heterosexuality has been studied in a variety of settings and related to a variety of forces such as the governance of inebriates or the mingling of the population in the cinema.24 More recently, some work has addressed the spaces of the urban biopolitics of sexualities.25 In their research on the interplay between gender and sexuality, some feminist geographers have produced important urban historical geographies of sexuality.26 There are also a few important outliers among these historical geographical works, such as Heidi Nast’s research on the concubinage and spatial power relations in the Nigerian Kano Palace.27

The disparate character of this literature is reflected in its lack of representation within the subdiscipline. A scan of historical geography journals, reference materials, and reviews suggest that sexuality largely remains a present absence in the subdiscipline, either as a complete silence or one that haunts research on urban, population, medical, and feminist historical geographies but is rarely articulated. For example, aside from book reviews of the work of historians, the main journals of the subdiscipline have published very few research articles on the topic. The recent publication of the reference book Key Concepts in Historical Geography, although written by “critical” geographers, does not include sexuality among its chapters on “Historical Hierarchies” alongside class, race, and gender, nor does its index include a reference tothe topic beyond the quite limited “sexual violence in the media.”28 Sexuality is more or less absent in the reviews of historical geography published since 2000. While major Foucauldian themes such as biopolitics, moral regulation, and governance are common, references to sexuality as subject matter are almost completely absent. One notable instance of this absence is Robert Mayhew’s “Foucault’s Avatars.”29 Reviewing the impact of three Foucauldian axes on the sub-discipline (governmentality/discipline, space/knowledge, and discourse/identity), Mayhew begins the discourse/identity section by reflecting on the impacts of Foucault’s History of Sexuality on the subdiscipline: “Foucault in all his oeuvre, but perhaps most notably in the History of Sexuality project, taught us all to look to the discursive construction of identity, something which transforms how we view the conjunction of biography, identity and memory.”30 He then proceeds to focus on the impact of biography on historical geography, completely disregarding the content of the History of Sexuality.

While it can be argued that there is little to review or that Mayhew’s objectives were located elsewhere, this slippage seems to underscore some subtle reasons for sexuality’s absence within historical geography. As Phil Howell has argued, historical geographers have primarily read both Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and History of Sexuality for what they have to say about power relations,time and space.31 He specifically points out that Foucault’s analysis of power in the History of Sexuality has always been much more compelling for historical geographers than its actual subject matter.32 Howell writes: “Historical geographers, in particular, have localized, detailed, developed, and extended Foucault’s insights into the emergence and spread of a new, disciplinary power in the modern era . . . Having said this, the thematic of sexuality within the discussion of discipline has not been particularly well developed.”33

For Howell, both Foucault and his interpreters are to blame for the neglect of sexuality (and gender) in earlier works like Discipline and Punish. He suggests: “It does not take too much imagination however to register the extent to which ‘discipline-blockades’ like the military camp, the school, the monastery, the hospital and the prison were pervaded with the disciplining of sexuality.”34 But what of the neglect of sexuality as a subject matter after reading and working with his three-volume History of Sexuality? While this work perhaps has limitations, its main argument was that sexuality, as a discursive regime, like the many power relations that preoccupy historical geographers – including nationalism, colonialism, and industrial capitalism – is a product of the nineteenth century and its invention of “modernity.” This limited engagement with the content of one of Foucault’s major works combined with a focus on the regulation of sexualities brought by a Foucauldian perspective means that historical geographies of sexuality have been limited in ways that spatialized histories and more presentist geographies of sexuality have not. Here, sexualities are morally regulated, medicalized, commodified and governed, but they are rarely experienced, made, or emplaced.35

The “missing pasts” of geographies of sexualities

From within social, cultural, urban, and, more recently, critical geography, has emerged a very vibrant field of inquiry in geography: geographies of sexualities, and its critical off-shoot, queer geographies. Although it began primarily by analyzing how lesbians and gays created urban spaces, it quickly shifted to the mutually constituting relationship between heterosexuality and space, a perspectiveinspiredbythe spatial turn.36 But as the field continued to develop into the 2000s, queer theory has also influenced epistemologies. Queer geography began to analyze the hetero- and homo-normativities involved in shaping spatial power relations, critically engage with the intersections between sexual normativities and other power relations such as racialization and colonialism, and disrupt the orthodoxies of geographical epistemologies and methodologies.37 The material foundations of geographies of sexualities continue to inform and ground queer geographies whilst queer geographies have led to the critical evaluation of geographies of sexualities and other critical aspects of the discipline.38

The sexuality and space work of the 1990s certainly provided inspiration for the spatialized histories of sexuality. However, geographers of sexualities and queer geographers have rarely engaged with the past. While there are examples of historical geographers who straddle both sub-disciplines, few geographers of sexualities research past spaces, and when they do so, the past largely plays an unexamined role. Geographers of sexualities have generally engaged with the past as “presentists”; in other words they have used the past primarily to make sense of present spatial relations. Primary examples of this presentism include the analysis of the historical development of particular urban forms such as red-light districts and gay villages, or the tracing of the movements of sexually marginalized populations in urban space. For example, displacement and movement over time has often been integral to Phil Hubbard’s studies of the relationships between sex work, urban space, and heteronormativity.39 Julie Podmore’s chronological analysis of the shifting locations of lesbian nightlife in Montreal over the course of the latter half of the twentieth century uses the past to undermine the contemporary invisibility of lesbians in the urban landscape and to understand the impacts of the gay village on the production of lesbian spaces.40 Catherine Jean Nash’s research into the contested and complex processes involved in the production of Toronto’s gay village in the 1970s and 1980s perhaps approximates the more chorological approach of historical geography, but ultimately the goal of this work is to disrupt present understandings of gay village formation as an uncontested and linear process.41 Chris Schroeder uses the historical development of LGBT spaces in Toledo, Ohio, to speak to the current metronormativity of geographies of sexualities.42 Moreover, the turn to the past in these works is inspired primarily by the spatialized histories discussed above rather than by historical geography. In this sense, these works have taken up the task of providing a geographical perspective to the deeply contextualized ethnographies and histories of LGBT community formation in the past. Such a project has also been extended by researchers interested in working at the interface between community history and geographical theory to disrupt historical methodologies such as mapping and archiving. Michael Brown and Larry Knopp’s community mapping of Seattle’s lesbian and gay past and Jen Jack Gieseking’s reflections on the space of the New York Lesbian Herstory Archives are exemplary of these types of inquiries.43

These last two works signal what is perhaps the greatest challenge for the building of historical geographies of sexualities at the current moment as critiques emerging from queer geography continue to inform and reshape the practice of geographies of sexualities. Beyond the intersectionality that is seen as central to queer critiques, queer epistemologies in geography extend earlier analytic concerns of postmodern and feminist scholarship regarding the transparency of space. More recently, however, such critical analysis also involves the reconsideration of the temporal brought by queer futurity.44 Specifically, the queer challenge to the temporal, although largely made at the scale of the queer subject, proposes the reconsideration of universal temporality by highlighting how queer subjects are “untimely” in relation to lifecycle benchmarks defined in relation to bourgeois norms of reproduction.45 But as Estelle Freedman has argued regarding the queering of time in history, this can be extended to the interpretation of discourses of sexuality and dissident movements in ways that disrupt common understandings of time ranging from temporalities such as “the progressive era,” “sexual revolution,” or “pre-Stonewall” to broader understandings such as “modernity” or “industrialization,” which themselves are informed by linear notions of progress that implicate reproduction.46 As there has long been, dare we say, a “productivetension” between geographies of sexualities and queer critique, the reconsideration of such temporalities might also stimulate a re-ignited historical geography of sexualities.47

Collecting historical geographies of sexualities

The challenges of creating this special issue of Historical Geography lie at the interstices of the cleavages of knowledge production outlined above. Since few historical geographers have specifically adopted sexuality as an arena of inquiry, there has been a lack of researchers with the archival skills, theoretical grounding, and curiosity about sexualities in the past to take up this line of inquiry. This seems poised to shift as new generations of historical geographers either adopt lines of inquiry specifically focused on sexuality or are persuadedto consider sexuality as they examine the intersections of relations of power in the past. The adoption of queer theory, moreover, asks us to reframe some historical geographies and to reconsider whether they might be historical geographies that implicate sexualities. On the other hand, few presentists working within geographies of sexualities feel comfortable working in the past and presenting their work in an historical geography forum. It is not only that they may feel untrained in archival skills and in the style of writing that informs historical geography as metier, but many of the authors that we asked to contribute to this collection were at a loss when considering what they might say to an historical geography audience. In other words, they were unclear how to frame their contribution to this discussion. They have something to say about sexual geographies in the past, but not necessarily to historical geographies of sexualities.

Our goal in creating this collection was to showcase works in this field from both sides. The result is a collection that includes four original research papers and one critical review framed as an afterword. The first two papers are situated much further in the past than is common in the study of geographies of sexualities. In “When Silence Reigns,” Marianne Blidon examines the role played by sexuality and affect in soldiers’ memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars in order to understand how bodies were constituted in their spaces. She argues that truth-telling in such testimonies and, ultimately, the silences that such veridiction reproduced, are integral to understanding the biopolitical power relations surrounding the production of moral boundaries during war. In “A Mistaken Policy of Secretiveness,” Francesca Moore examines how public health campaigns, mobilized to combat the spread of venereal disease in Lancaster UK in the 1930s, served to modernize sexuality by promoting individual responsibility for “frankness” and “responsible” behavior. The campaigns had a specific geography, accompanied by a new more disciplinary sexual morality that was to be regulated within the family and accompanied by a public education campaign that focused on transmitting modern sexual health knowledge to parents in the home.

The subsequent papers engage with a more traditional subject matter for geographies of sexualities and are situated in a more recent past. In “Queering Discourses of Urban Decline,” Julie Podmore examines how urban redevelopment, reformist governance, and police regulation of queer sexualities in Montreal in the 1960s transformed discourses about the Lower Main, the city’s historic red-light and entertainment district. Like Moore’s work on Lancaster in the 1930s, the paper focuses on the “modernization” of sexual norms, but in this case these new norms are held in tension with discourses of modernity and civic betterment that were made explicit as the city prepared to host Expo 67. In “Recovering the Gay Village,” Catherine Nash and Andrew Gorman-Murray provide a comparison of the historical geographies of gay villages in Sydney and Toronto, situating both sites in time and space. They examine the respective pasts of these two districts not only to demonstrate their specificity in space but also to speak to the contemporary literature on the de-gaying of gay villages and queering of other neighborhoods within the city. They demonstrate that the historical geographies of each of these unique locales can be used to understand the reorganization of sexual and gendered landscapes in both Sydney and Toronto in the present moment. Finally, Eric Olund’s “When has Sexuality been about Sexuality?”’ asks what appears to be a relatively straightforward question. However, in reconsidering sexuality as an empirical and archival object, he finds a central tension for historical geographers of sexualities: tracing a number of different themes in the literature, he argues that sexuality is located in a place where there is a constant a struggle between the individual and the social. He proposes that historical geographies of sexualities require working from this location, a place where sexuality resides in material, discursive, and relational forms.

The resulting collection is an interesting one in that the subject matter and approaches are diverse, representing the potential of historical geographies of sexualities and potential new directions in a field that is not yet established. One of the important strengths is that this collection does take a broad interpretation of sexuality and, in particular, heterosexuality (institutionally, affectively, and normatively) very seriously. In simple terms, heterosexuality is more than an institution through which more specific versions of gender and sexuality are framed and experienced. Both Moore and Blidon contribute to the study of heterosexuality by demonstrating how it was defined at different times through heteronormativities. Podmore examines how heteronormativities created margins not only around a heterosexual/homosexual binary, but also gendered normativities around trans-identified populations and commercialized heterosexuality. Olund provides a comprehensive review of sexuality that creates a dialogue amongst a wide range of sexualities in relation to heteronormativities.

A second major contribution is that this collection showcases quite different epistemological approaches developing in historical geographies of sexualities. Both Moore and Blidon are working with Foucault’s biopolitics framework in ways that highlight the role of the state in ordering the sexuality of the population. Extending from her earlier work on historical geographies of reproduction, Moore is working within a medical geographies framework to understand venereal disease campaigns. Blidon examines how the social ordering of populations during war creates particular gendered and classed hierarchies that determine what is sayable regarding sexuality and affect in memories of war. The contributions of Nash and Gorman-Murray and Podmore are based much more in a materialist analysis that stresses the importance of discourse and policy in the production of LGBT spaces. Finally, the ways in which the uses of the past are conceived are quite divergent but also offer unique contributions. While the first two works are clearly examples of reading thepast for thepast’s sake, the other two aremore presentist in their objectives. Nash and Gorman Murray use the historical geographies of two gay neighborhoods to understand their differences in the present era of “de-gaying.” Podmore uses historical geography to call attention primarily to the neglect of sexuality in understanding urban restructuring as well as the neglect of pre-Stonewall geographies of sexuality in the subdiscipline.

Although we have been able to draw together a set of divergent works in this field, there is clearly a lot missing here in terms of representing both the current endeavors of historical geographers of sexualities and their potentials. Although we would rather avoid well-rehearsed arguments about the lack of research on historical geographies of sexualities that focus on colonial power relations and take colonialism and/or “race” seriously, we cannot. While there have been such projects, specifically on sex work and Olund’s work on American cities, we have not been able to include any here.48 There is also an important absence of work on less visible LGBT sexualities. For example, historical geographies of lesbians and queer women would have been instructive, butthis field is only beginningto experience a renaissance.49 And while the collection includes a number of less iconic cities and regions, its metronormativities could not easily be undone given existing research projects. Finally, critical work on archiving and methods is important and would also have made an important contribution, especially work that reconsiders queer time, memory and the complex politics of “archiving” sexualities. Indeed, this collection is but a stepping stone, building on other earlier attempts to continue theproject of historical geographies of sexualities.


1 Matt Houlbrook, “Toward a Historical Geography of Sexuality,” Journal of Urban History 27, no. 4 (2001): 497-504. Despite the important call for a spatial understanding of histories of sexualities in this work, it has rarely been cited. Moreover, citations to this work rarely come from historical geographers. For example see: Chris Brickell, “Queen’s Gardens, 1949: The Anxious Spaces of Post-War New Zealand Masculinity,” New Zealand Geographer 68, no. 2 (2012): 81-91; Chris Brickell, “Sex, Space and Scripts: Negotiating Homoeroticism in History,” Social and Cultural Geography 11, no. 6 (2010): 597-613; Rebecca Jennings, “From ‘Woman-Loving Woman’ to ‘Queer’: Historiographical Perspectives on Twentieth-Century British Lesbian History,” History Compass 5, no. 6 (2007): 1901-1920; Rebecca Jennings, “The Gateways Club and the Emergence of a Post-Second World War Subculture,” Social History 31, no. 2 (2006): 206-225; Rebecca Jennings, Tomboys and Bachelor Girls: A Lesbian History of Post-War Britain, 1945-71 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2007).

2 Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1978); Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 2: The Use of Pleasure, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1985); and Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality, Volume 3: The Care of Self, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1986).

3 Judith R. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late Nineteenth Century London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

4 George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1994).

5 Frank Mort and Lynda Nead, “Introduction: Sexual Geographies,” New Formations 37 (1999), 2-9. See also Mort’s reflections on this question in the introduction to the second edition of his Dangerous Sexualities: Frank Mort, Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England Since 1830 (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

6 Miles Ogborn, “This Most Lawless Space: The Geography of the Fleet and the Making of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753,” New Formations 37 (1999), 11-32.

7 Houlbrook, “Toward a Historical Geography of Sexuality,” 499; Matt Houlbrook, Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957. (London and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006).

8 Richard Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire: A Postcolonial Geography (Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, 2006).

9 Martin B. Duberman, Martha Vicinus, and George Chauncey, Hidden from History: Reclaiming the Gay and Lesbian Past (New York: Penguin, 1990).

10 Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community (New York: Penguin, 1993).

11 David Higgs, ed., Queer Sites: Gay urban Histories Since 1600 (London and New York: Routledge, 1999); Stephen Whittle, ed., The Margins of the City: Gay Men’s Urban Lives (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1994).

12 For example, Susan Stryker and Jim Van Bushkirk, Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996); The History Project, Improper Bostonians: Lesbian and Gay History from the Puritans to Playland (Boston: Beacon Press: 1998).

13 For example, Alan Collins, “Sexual Dissidence, Enterprise and Assimilation: Bedfellows in Urban Regeneration,” Urban Studies 41, no. 9 (2004): 1789-1806; Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timons, Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians (New York: Basic Books, 2006); Frank Mort, “Cityscapes: Consumption, Masculinities and the Mapping of London since 1950,” Urban Studies 35, no. 5/6 (1998): 889-907; Michael Sibalis, “Urban Space and Homosexuality: The Example of the Marais, Paris’ Gay Ghetto,” Urban Studies 41, no. 9 (2004): 1739-1758.

14 Kevin P. Murphy, Jennifer L. Pierce, and Larry Knopp, eds., Queer Twin Cities: Twin Cities Oral History Project (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010); Marc Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia 1945-1972 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2004).

15 For example, Ryan Patrick Murphy, “The Gay Land Rush,” in Queer Twin Cities: Twin Cities Oral History Project, eds. Kevin P. Murphy, Jennifer L. Pierce, and Larry Knopp (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 240-268.

16 For Cold War geopolitics and anti-communist anxieties, see The History Project, Improper Bostonians, 142-148; Esther Newton, Cherry Grove, Fire Island: Sixty Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1993), 101. For information on migrations, see: Gary L. Atkins, Gay Seattle: Tales of Exile and Belonging (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), 57. Faderman and Timmons, Gay L.A., 110; Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves, 1819.

17 Brickell, “Queen’s Gardens, 1949,”; Chauncey, Gay New York, 179; Richard Hornsey, The Spiv and the Architect: Unruly Life in Postwar London (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). See also David S. Churchill, “Mother Goose’s Map: Tabloid Geographies and the Gay Male Experience in 1950s Toronto,” Journal of Urban History 30, no. 6 (2004): 826-852; Anne Enke, Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space, and Feminist Activism (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007); Houlbrook, Queer London.

18 Ricardo J. Brown, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser’s (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001); Elise Chenier, “Rethinking Class in Lesbian Bar Culture: Living ‘The Gay Life’ in Toronto, 1955-1965,” 9, no. 2 (2004): 85-118;Martin Duberman, Stonewall (New York: Plume, 1993); Rebecca Jennings, “The Gateways Club and the Emergence of a Post- Second World War Subculture,”; Rebecca Jennings, “A Room Full of Women: Lesbian Bars and Social Spaces in Postwar Sydney,” Women’s History Review 21, no. 5 (2012); 813-829; Don Paulson and Roger Simpson, An Evening at the Garden of Allah (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).

19 Lapovsky Kennedy and Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold; Daniel Winuenwe Rivers, Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and their Children in the United States since World War II (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

20 See Faderman and Timmons, Gay L.A.; Nan Boyd, Wide Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003); Atkins, Gay Seattle; Stein, City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves, 22. See also Michael Brown, Sean Wang, and Larry Knopp, “Queering Gay Space,” in Seattle Geographies, eds. Michael Brown and Richard Morrill (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011), 155.

21 For the governance of gender through dress and comportment see Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (New York: Knopf, 2014), 44; Faderman and Timmons, Gay L.A., 77; Enke, Finding the Movement, 49; Lapovsky Kennedy and Davis, Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold, 155. For the politics of dance, as well as sexual and mental health, see Atkins, Gay Seattle, 179. For racism, see Siobhan B. Somerville, Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in America (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000).

22 In the early 1990s, historical geographers in Britain began researching prostitution geographies in order to understand how sexual margins had been created in cities. Some classics include Felix Driver, “Moral Geographies, Social Science and the Urban Environment in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 13, no. 3 (1988): 275-287; and Miles Ogborn, “Love-State-Ego: ‘Centres’ and ‘Margins’ in 19th Century Britain,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10, no. 3 (1992): 287-305. Examples of more recent work in this area include: Philip Howell, Geographies of Regulation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009); Philip Howell, David Beckingham, and Fran Moore, “Managed Zones for Sex Workers in Liverpool: Contemporary Proposals, Victorian Parallels,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 33, no. 2 (2008): 233-250; Stephen Legg, Prostitution and the Ends of Empire (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014); Kyle Evered and Emine Evered, “Protecting the National Body: Regulating the Practice and Place of Prostitution in Early Republican Turkey,” Gender, Place and Culture 20, no. 7 (2013): 839-857; Michael Kahan, “‘There are Plenty of Women on the Street’: The Landscape of Commercial Sex in Progressive Era Philadelphia, 1910-1918,” Historical Geography 40 (2012): 39-60; Eric Olund, “‘Disreputable Life’: Race, Sex and Intimacy,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 28, no. 1 (2010): 142-157

23 For works on the relations between sexualities and imperialism and colonialism see: Stephen Legg, Prostitution and the Ends of Empire (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2014); Richard Phillips, “Imperialism and the Regulation of Sexuality: Colonial Legislation on Contagious Diseases and Ages of Consent,” Journal of Historical Geography 28, no. 3 (2002): 339-362; Richard Phillips, Sex, Politics and Empire; Richard Phillips, “Writing Travel and Mapping Sexuality: Richard Burton’s Sotatic Zone,” in Writes of Passage: Reading Travel Writing, eds. James Duncan and Derek Gregory (London: Routledge), 70-71. For works on the mutual constitution of race and sexuality, see: Eric Olund, “Geography Written in Lightning: Race, Sexuality, and Regulatory Aesthetics in ‘The Birth of a Nation,’” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 103, no. 4 (2013): 925-943; Eric Olund, “Traffic in Souls: The ‘New Woman’, Whiteness and Mobile Self-Possession,” Cultural Geographies 16, no. 4 (2009): 485-504.

24 David Beckingham, “Gender, Space, and Drunkenness: Liverpool’s Licensed Premises, 1860-1914,”Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102, no. 3 (2012): 647-666; Eric Olund, “Cinema’s Milieux: Governing the Picture Show in the United States during The Progressive Era,” Journal of Historical Geography 38, no. 1 (2012): 57-68.

25 Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “The Birth of the (Gay) Clinic,” Health and Place 28 (2014): 99-108; Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “Sex, Drink, and State Anxieties: Governance through the Gay Bar,” Social and Cultural Geography 17, (2016): in press.

26 A feminist historical geographer who has done research on the interplay between gender and sexuality in the spaces of the past is Kate Boyer, specifically her earliest works on Vancouver and Montreal. See 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): 212-229; Kate Boyer, “‘What’s a Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?’ A Geography of Sexual Violence in Early 20th-Century Vancouver,” Urban Geography 17, no. 4 (1996): 286-293. See also Mona Domosh, “‘The Women of New York’: A Fashionable Geography,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 19, no. 5 (2004): 573-592.

27 Heidi J. Nast, Concubines and Power: Five Hundred Years in a Northern Nigerian Palace (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004).

28 John Morrissey, David Nally, Ulf Strohmayer, and Yvonne Whelan, Key Concepts in Historical Geography (London: Sage, 2014).

29 Robert J. Mayhew, “Historical Geography 2007-2008: Foucault’s Avatars – Still in (the) Driver’s Seat,” Progress in Human Geography 33, no. 3 (2009): 387-397.

30 Mayhew, “Historical Geography 2007-2008,” 391.

31 Philip Howell, “Foucault, Sexuality and Geography,” in Space, Knowledge and Power: Foucault and Geography, eds. Jeremy W. Crampton and Stuart Elden (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2007), 291-316.

32 Howell, “Foucault, Sexuality and Geography,” 300.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Feminist geographers have made similar arguments about historical geography. For example, Mona Domosh, “With ‘Stout Boots and a Stout Heart’: Historical Methodology and Feminist Geography,” in Thresholds in Feminist Geography: Difference, Methodology, Representation, eds. John Paul Jones III, Heidi J. Nast, and Susan M. Roberts (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997), 232-237; Mona Domosh and Karen M. Morin, “Travels with Feminist Historical Geography,” Gender, Place and Culture 10, no. 3 (2003): 257-264; Karen M. Morin and Lawrence D. Berg, “Emplacing Current Trends in Feminist Historical Geography,” Gender, Place and Culture 6, no. 4 (1999): 311-330; Gillian Rose and Miles Ogborn, “Feminism and Historical Geography,” Journal of Historical Geography 14, no. 4 (1988): 405-408.

36 Jon Binnie and Gill Valentine, “Geographies of Sexuality: A Review of the Progress,” Progress in Human Geography 23, no. 2 (1999): 175-187.

37 For an overview see Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “Queer Cultural Geographies – We’re Here! We’re Queer! We’re over there too!” in Handbook of Cultural Geography, eds. Kay Anderson, Mona Domosh, Steve Pile, and Nigel Thrift (London: Sage, 2003), 313-324; Gavin Brown, Kath Browne, and Jason Lim, “Introduction, or Why Have a Book on Geographies of Sexualities,” in Geographies of Sexualities: Theory, Practices and Politics, eds. Kath Browne, Jason Lim, and Gavin Brown (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2007), 1-18.

38 Natalie Oswin, “Geographies of Sexualities: The Cultural Turn and After,” in The Wiley- Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography, eds. Nuala C. Johnson, Richard H. Schein, and Jamie Winders (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Backwell, 2013), 105-117.

39 Phil Hubbard, Sex and the City: Geographies of Prostitution in the Urban West (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 1999).

40 Julie A. Podmore, “‘Gone Underground’?: Lesbian Visibility and the Consolidation of Queer Space in Montréal,” Social and Cultural Geography 7, no. 4 (2006): 595-625; Julie A. Podmore, “Lesbians as Village ‘Queers’: The Transformation of Montréal’s Lesbian Nightlife in the 1990s,” ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies 12, no. 2 (2013): 220-249.

41 Catherine Jean Nash, “Consuming Sexual Liberation: Gay Business, Politics, and Toronto’s Barracks Bathhouse Raids,” Journal of Canadian Studies 48, no. 1 (2014): 82-105; Catherine Jean Nash, “Contesting Identity: Politics of Gays and Lesbians in Toronto in the 1970s,” Gender, Place and Culture 12, no. 1 (2005): 113-135; Catherine Jean Nash, “Toronto’s Gay Village (1962-1982): Plotting the Politics of Gay Identity,” The Canadian Geographer 50, no. 1 (2006): 1-16. See also Nash’s more recent work with Gorman-Murray along these lines: Catherine Jean Nash and Andrew Gorman-Murray, “Lesbians in the City: Mobilities and Relational Geographies,” Journal of Lesbian Studies19, no. 2 (2015): 173-119; Catherine Nash and Andrew Gorman-Murray, “LGBT Neighborhoods and New Mobilities: Towards Understanding Transformations in Sexual and Gendered Landscapes,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38, no. 3 (2014): 756-772.

42 Chris Schroeder, “(Un)Holy Toledo: Intersectionality, Interdependence, and Neighborhood Transformation in Toledo, Ohio,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 104, no. 1 (2013): 166-181.

43 See Michael Brown and Larry Knopp, “Queering the Map: The Productive Tensions of Colliding Epistemologies,” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98, no. 1 (2008): 40-58; Jen Jack Gieseking, “Useful In/stability: The Dialectical Production of the Social and Spatial Lesbian Herstory Archive,” Radical History Review 2015, no. 122 (2015): 25-37.

44 For example see: Natalie Oswin, “Decentering Queer Globalization: Diffusion and the Global Gay,” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24, no. 5 (2006): 777-790; Natalie Oswin, “The Queer Time of Creative Urbanism: Family, Futurity, and Global City Singapore,” Environment and Planning A 44, no. 7 (2012): 1624-1640; 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.

45 Judith Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (New York: New York University Press, 2005).

46 Elizabeth Freeman, Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010).

47 Brown and Knopp, “Queering the Map.”

48 See Olund, “‘Disreputable Life,’”; Olund, “Traffic in Souls.” See also Howell, Geographies of Regulation; Legg, Prostitution and the Ends of Empire.

49 See Jen Jack Gieseking, “Queering the Meaning of Neighbourhood: Reinterpreting the Lesbian-Queer Experience of Park Slope, Brooklyn, 1983-2008,” in Queer Presences and Absences, eds. Yvette Taylor and Michelle Addison (London: Palgrave Macmillian, 2013): 178- 200; Liz Millward, “Making a Scene: Struggles over Lesbian Place-Making in Angophone Canada, 1964-1984,” Women’s History Review 21, no. 4 (2012): 553-569; Liz Millward, Making a Scene: Lesbians and Community across Canada (Vancouver and Toronto: University of British Columbia Press, 2015); Julie A. Podmore and Line Chamberland, “Entering the Urban Frame: Early Lesbian Activism and Public Space in Montreal,” Journal of Lesbian Studies 19, no. 2 (2015): 192-211.
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