Ross Brooks, "We will have this cut out": The Making and Unmaking of Queer Zoology

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Henri Gadeau de Kerville (1896) 'Perversion sexuelle chez des Coléoptères mâles,' Bulletin de la sociéte entomologique de France, 4: 85-87 (image p. 85)

Series Convenors: Dr Alex Aylward, Professor Erica Charters, Professor Mark Harrison, Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Catherine M Jackson, Dr Sloan Mahone


Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
Joint event with the LGBTQ+ History Faculty Network

Dr Ross Brooks (Oxford Brookes University)

"We will have this cut out": The Making and Unmaking of Queer Zoology

Recent years have seen a flourishing of scholarly and popular works about intersexualities, transformations of sex, and non-reproductive sexual behaviours in the natural world. News stories, children’s books, and LGBTQ+ initiatives in natural history museums have further amplified knowledge and appreciation of 'evolution’s rainbow’ as never before. Yet zoological descriptions of queer bodies and behaviours have been made since antiquity. In this talk, Dr Ross Brooks (he/him) will chart the often surprising, often troubling, ways in which naturalists in the past have treated the variations of sex in oppressive intellectual environments that doggedly condemned such variations as ‘evil’ and ‘unnatural.’