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University of Iowa News Release


April 4, 2007

Historian Speaks April 12 About Queer Life In London

Award-winning historian Matt Houlbrook will visit the University of Iowa this month to discuss his book, "Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957."

A professor of history at the University of Liverpool, Houlbrook is an innovative new scholar in the history of sexuality and masculinity. He will deliver a free public lecture on the book at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 12 in Room 302 of Schaeffer Hall.

Also during his visit, Houlbrook will present a paper, "Women Who Always Act: Culture, Fiction and Selfhood in the Letters of Edith Thompson," at noon Friday, April 13 in Room 280 of Schaeffer Hall. Copies of the paper are available from the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs, Room 210 Jefferson Building.

"Queer London" won the History Today Book of the Year Award and the Royal Historical Society's Whitefield Book Prize. It was an honoree in the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Awards.

According to the University of Chicago Press, which published the book in 2005, the book draws on police reports, newspaper exposés, letters, diaries, and the first queer guidebook ever written to explore the relationship between queer sexualities and modern urban culture. Houlbrook revisits the diverse queer lives that took hold in London parks, streets, restaurants, pubs, dancehalls, Turkish bathhouses and hotels, describing attempts by municipal authorities to control and crackdown on those worlds. He also explains how London influenced the culture and politics of queer life -- and how queer life impacted the city.

The events are co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI events. If you require an accommodation, please call 319-335-3821 in advance.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,; Program: Kevin Mumford, 319-335-2299,