LGBTQ Oral History, Queer History and Oral History

A Reading List

Adelman, M. Long Time Passing: Lives of Older Lesbians. Boston: Alyson Press, 1986.

Bell, Barbara and Brighton Ourstory Project. Just Take Your Frock Off: A Lesbian Life. Brighton: Ourstory Books, 1999.

Berridge, Virginia. AIDS in the UK: The Making of Policy, 1981-1994. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Boyd Nan, Alamilla. “Who Is the Subject? Queer Theory Meets Oral History,” Journal of the History of Sexuality17, no. 2 (2008): 177–89.

Boyd Nan, Alamilla and Horacio N. Roque Ramirez (eds) Bodies of Evidence: The Practice of Oral History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. 

Brighton Ourstory Project. Daring Hearts: Lesbian and Gay Lives of 1950s and 1960s Brighton. Brighton: QueenSpark Books, 1992.

Brown, Elspeth H. “Trans/Feminist Oral History: Current Projects,” TSQ: Transgender Studies  Quarterly 2, no. 4 (2015): 666–72.

Cant, Bob & Susan Hemmings. Ed. Radical Records: Thirty Years of Lesbian and Gay History, 1957-1987. London: Routledge, 1988.

Cant, Bob. Ed. Footsteps and Witnesses; Lesbian and Gay Lifestories from Scotland. Edinburgh: Polygon, 1993.

Cant, Bob. Ed. Footsteps and Witnesses: Lesbian and gay Lifestories from Scotland (second edition). Edinburgh: Word Power Books, 2008.

Cant, Bob. Ed. Invented Identities: Lesbians and Gays Talk about Migration. London: Cassell, 1997.

Cant, Bob. Co-founder of the Millthorpe Project, which collected lifestories from ten LGBT trade unionists in 2008 and 2009. The interviews can be found in the Sound Archive of the British Library.

Clunis, D. M., Fredriksen-Goldsen, K. I., Freeman, P. A. & Nystrom, N. Lives of Lesbian Elders: Looking Back, Looking Forward, New York, London and Oxford: Haworth Press, 2005.

Cook, Matt. ‘“Gay Times”: Identity, Locality, Memory and the Brixton Squats in 1970s London’, Twentieth Century British History, Vol. 24, No. 1 (March 2013). 

Cvetkovich, Ann. An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality and Lesbian Public Cultures (Durham: Duke University Press, 2003), 167. 

Delap, Lucy. ‘Feminist Bookshops, Reading Cultures and the Women’s Liberation Movement in Great Britain, c. 1974–2000’, History Workshop Journal, Vol. 81, No. 1 (2016), 171-196.

Denton, Maxwell. ‘Sexual Identity and Christian Same-sex Marriages, c. 1970-2000’, MPhil thesis, University of Cambridge (2017).

Duggan, Lisa. ‘The Discipline Problem: Queer Theory Meets Lesbian and Gay History’ (1995).

Eversmeyer, A. and Purcell, M., A Gift of Age: Old Lesbian Life Stories. Houston, TX: Old Lesbian Oral Herstory  Project, 2009

Gardiner, Jill. From the Closet to the Screen: Women at the Gateways Club 1945-85. London: Pandora Press, 2003.

Garfield, Simon, The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of AIDS. London: Faber and Faber, 1994 

Hall Carpenter Archives Gay Men’s Oral History Group. Walking After Midnight: Gay Men’s Life Stories. London: Routledge, 1989.

Hall Carpenter Archives Lesbian Oral History Group, Inventing Ourselves: Lesbian Life Stories. London: Routledge, 1989

Hamilton, Carrie. ‘Sex, Silence, and Audiotape: Listening for Female Same-Sex Desire in Cuba’, The Oral History Reader, Oxford: Routledge, 2016 

Kaufman, Gershen and Lev Raphael. Coming Out of Shame: Transforming Gay and Lesbian Lives. New York: Doubleday, 1996

Kunzel, Regina. ‘The Power of Queer History’, American Historical Review, vol. 123, issue 5, December 2018. 

Lapovsky, Kennedy, E. L. & Davis, M. D. Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community. London: Routledge, 1993

Lapovsky, Kennedy, E.L. ‘Telling Tales. Oral History and the construction of pre-Stonewall lesbian history.’ in Perks, R & Alistair Thomson (eds) The Oral History Reader. London: Routledge, 1998. 344-355

Lesbian Identity Project Women’s Oral History Group, Lesbians and Christianity. Bradford, Lesbian Identity Project, 2009

Lesbian Identity Project Women’s Oral History Group, Lesbians on… Choosing our Icons. Bradford, Lesbian Identity Project, 2010

Lesbian Identity Project Women’s Oral History Group, Lesbians on…Becoming Ourselves. Bradford, Lesbian Identity Project, 2010

Lesbian Identity Project Women’s Oral History Group, Lesbians on… Living Our Lives. Bradford, Lesbian Identity Project, 2011

Lucas, Ian. OutRage!: An Oral History, London: Cassell, 1998

Neild, S. & Pearson, R. Women Like Us. London: Women’s Press, 1992

Power, Jennifer. Movement, knowledge, emotion: gay activism and HIV/AIDS in Australia Canberra: ANU E Press, 2011

Power, Lisa. No Bath but Plenty of Bubbles: An Oral History of the Gay Liberation Front 1970-73, London: Cassell, 1995

Rees, Jeska. “‘Are you a lesbian?’: Challenges in Recording and Analysing the Women’s Liberation Movement in England”, History Workshop Journal 69 (2010): 184.

Rickard, Wendy. ‘Oral History- ‘More Dangerous than Therapy’?: Interviewees’ Reflections on Recording Traumatic or Taboo Issues’, Oral History, Vol. 26, No. 2, Memory, Trauma and Ethics (Autumn, 1998), 34-48.

Rickard, Wendy. ‘HIV and AIDS Testimonies in the 1990s’, in Joanna Bornat, Rob Perks, Paul Thompson and Jan Walmsley (eds.) Oral History, Health and Welfare. London: Routledge, 1999

Rickard, Wendy. (2009), ‘Historias desde el borde –una decada de vida con el VIH’ Historia, Anthropologia y Fuentes Orales, ‘Romper silencios’, Vol 41, 3a epoca, 147-158. [Translation: Stories from the edge: a decade of living with the HIV virus]. A copy of the English translation can be obtained from George Severs (

Scott-Presland, Peter. Amiable Warriors – A History of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and its Times: Volume 1 A Space to Breathe 1954 – 1973. London: Paradise Press, 2015

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Epistemology of the closet, ed. Societies American Council of Learned, Updated with a new preface. ed. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 2008), 3. (book) 

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading, Or, You’re So Paranoid, You Probably Think This Essay Is About You.” Touching Feeling. Durham: Duke University Press, 2003: 123-152.

Severs, George. ‘The Church of England’s Response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, c. 1982-2000’, MPhil thesis University of Cambridge, 2017

Smith, Helen. Masculinity, Class and Same-Sex Desire in Industrial England, 1895-1957, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015

Summerfield, Penny. ‘Dis/composing the subject: Intersubjectivities in oral history’ in Tess Coslett, Celia Lury, and Penny Summerfield, Feminism and Autobiography: Texts, Theories, Methods (London: Routledge, 2002), 104. (book)

Summerfield, Penny. ‘Culture and Composure: Creating Narratives of the Gendered Self in Oral History Interviews’, Cultural and Social History 1.1 (2004): 65‑93.

Summerskill, Clare. Gateway to Heaven – Fifty Years of Lesbian and Gay Oral History. London: Tollington Press, 2012 

Summerskill, Clare. ‘The importance of being gay: the perils and possibilities of LGBTI asylum seekers’ involvement in Rights of Passage, Research in Drama Education: The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 23:2, 282-288, 2018

Thomlinson, Natalie. “Race and Discomposure in Oral Histories with White Feminist Activists,” Oral History 42, no. 1 (2014): 84.

Tooth Murphy, Amy. ‘‘I conformed; I got married. It seemed like a good idea at the time’: Domesticity in postwar lesbian oral history’ in Brian Lewis, British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives (Manchester: University Press, 2013), 165–87. 

Traies, Jane. ‘The Perils of the Recording: Ethical issues in oral history work with a vulnerable population’ (Oral History 48, no. 1 (2020): 75-85

Traies, Jane. The Lives and Experiences of Lesbians over 60 in the UK. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Sussex: U.K., 2014

Traies, Jane. The Lives of Older Lesbians: Sexuality, Identity & the Life Course. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

Traies, Jane.  Now You See Me, London: Tollington Press, 2018

Tse Shang Tang, Denise. ‘The Research Pendulum: Multiple Roles and Responsibilities as a Researcher’. Journal of Lesbian Studies: “Lesbians” in East Asia: Diversity, Identities, and Resistance 10, no. 3–4 (2007): 11–27.

Vickers, Emma. L. Queen and Country: Same-sex desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1945, Manchester University Press. Manchester, 2012.

Wall, Christine. ‘Sisterhood and Squatting in the 1970s: Feminism, Housing and Urban Change in Hackney’. Hist Workshop J 2017; 83 (1): 79-97. doi: 10.1093/hwj/dbx024

Weeks, Jeffrey and Kevin Porter, eds. Between the Acts: Lives of Homosexual Men, 1885-1967. London: Rivers Oram Press, 1998.

Wilton, T. Unexpected Pleasures: Leaving Heterosexuality for a Lesbian Life. London: Diva Books, 2002.

Wyker, Cyrana. “Dissonance and Multiplicity in Queer Oral History Narratives,” The Oral History Review 47, no. 1 (January 2, 2020).

Yeo, V. R. Recording Oral History Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2005.

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