previous events: 2020

On this page you will find details of our previous events from 2020. During this time we operated under the title of Queer History Warwick and later in the year developed into queer/disrupt.

Hannah Ayres 

Reading Images: Queer Re/presentation and Identity

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Collaboration with the Student Union and the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL).


Hannah Ayres is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Warwick. Hannah has a BA and MA in History from the University of Winchester. She now looks at queer re/presentation in museums and how queer individuals and communities create, react to and possibly internalise these re/presentations. Her research interests lie in the areas of public history; community history; queer history; LGBTQ+ communities; memory studies; queer theory; visual sociology; gender and sexuality.


'Reading Images' was an interactive session in which participants were asked to look at photographs of 'queer' objects/spaces/texts from museums and reflect on whether they could personally connect to any of these re/presentations. These images were then used as jumping off points to reflect on queer re/presentation in museums and how history can gain new relevance for people's everyday lives.

Hannah Aryes-2

Kate Davison 

Power Flip: Examining the Personal Archive of a Bisexual Homosexual Aversion Therapist

Wednesday 29th Janurary 

In collaboration with the Centre for the History of Medicine.


Kate Davison is completing her PhD thesis, entitled ‘Sex, Psychiatry and the Cold War: A Transnational History of Homosexual Aversion Therapy, 1948-1981’ in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. Publications include ‘The Sexual Politics of Loyalty: Homosexuality, Emotion and National Security in Cold War Geopolitics’, in Sean Brady & Mark Seymour (eds.), From Sodomy Laws to Same-Sex Marriage: International Perspectives since 1789 (London: Bloomsbury, 2019). Her research focuses on the history of sexology in the Cold War period. 


In December 2015 I discovered the previously unseen personal papers of the Australian psychiatrist Dr. Neil McConaghy (1927-2005). Between 1964-1981 McConaghy was an internationally renowned practitioner of homosexual aversion therapy, conducting 5 large-scale clinical experiments and treating more than 200 men. The material, on private loan to me by his daughter, amounts to 16 archive boxes. It includes film reels and an electrode machine, audio tape recordings, copies of landmark speeches (such as his paper to the historic APA conference in San Francisco in 1970) as well as handwritten log-books. This paper outlines some of the ways in which the McConaghy Papers can change the way we consider the archives of power and prompt us to rewrite histories of psychiatrists’ interactions with pathologised sexualities and to reconsider what constitutes a ‘queer archive’. I also consider some of the ethical issues that may shape a future exhibition of this material. 

Hannah Aryes-3

Nanette Screening & Discussion

Wednesday 5th February 

Discussants: Dr Sharon Lockyer, Joseph Harrison (Warwick) & Amy Zala (Leicester)

Nanette Overview

"In her hilarious debut Netflix Original stand-up special, Hannah Gadsby: Nanette, comedian Hannah Gadsby gets up close and personal about her life and growing up gay on the small island of Tasmania. Recently hailed by the New York Times as a “major new voice in comedy,” Hannah keeps her audience at the Sydney Opera House laughing with her sharp observations as she takes aim at everything from pride parades, unsolicited opinions and the whole history of art before she turns her punchlines into sucker punches, silencing the laughs and flipping the art of comedy completely on its head."


Dr Sharon Lockyer is a Reader in Sociology & Communications at Brunel University London. Lockyer's research interests are around the areas of the sociology of mediated culture, critical comedy studies, media controversies and media representations.

Joseph Harrison is a second year PhD student in the University of Warwick’s Department of Film and Television Studies. His project, ‘Too Gay for Broadcast: Digital Content Streaming and the Queering of Television’, examines the role queer programming has in television’s most recent augmentation: digital content streaming.

Amy Zala second year PhD researcher who is interested in all things relating to sexuality and spaces. Her previous sociological research has explored institutional framings and responses to sexual violence at the University of Leicester, and the socio-spatial dynamics of Pride in Hull 2018.

Hannah Aryes-5

Lola Olufemi 

Uses of the Feminist Imagination

Tuesday 18th February 


Lola Olufemi is a queer feminist writer and organiser and the co-author of A FLY Girl's Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Elitism and Power (Verve 2019).


In this talk and interactive workshop, Lola defines the broad contours of the feminist imagination, how it presents itself, and what it looks like in the bounds of an institution.

Who does imagining matter for? She focused specifically on experiences of (queer) students of colour and their disappointments regarding knowledge production + reproduction of powers in institutional spaces. How does the imagination manifest, what does it engender? Drawing on her own experience in decolonial efforts, student organising and political education, she will discuss how such imagining is received, as well as the institutional backlash, oversimplification and misreadings it is surrounded by.

This event forms part of a History Research Seminar Programme called 'The Politics of Diversity From Historical Perspective', the full programme can be found here.

Hannah Aryes-6

Ibi Profane/Nick Cherryman

Dragged Through History

Tuesday 7th April 2020 - 7-8pm - Virtual Event via Facebook Live

Collaboration with Warwick SU and Coventry Pride.

Link to the video here.

Drag queen Ibi Profane (whose day job is a PG student at Warwick) mapped a brief and potted history of drag through the ages on the livestream of Warwick's SU Corona Community page and Coventry Pride.

From Greek Theatre to RuPaul via the black death and Shakespeare, with lots more in between, it's a light-hearted whizz through time with some key moments in drag history, followed by a Q&A.

Organised in association with Queer History Warwick with support from Coventry Pride.

Owing to interest, this was screened on Queer History Warwick, Warwick SU Corona Community, and Coventry Pride facebook pages.

Hannah Ayres 


Tuesday 9th June - 1-2pm - Virtual Event via Facebook Live

Collaboration with Warwick SU, Campus Pride 2020, and Coventry Pride.

Link to the reading list here.

Link to the video here.
Over the course of this talk Hannah Ayres (University of Warwick) discussed several individuals she encountered in her own research and addressed them through the lens of trans history.
Some of the individuals discussed might be well known to those familiar with queer history (Joan of Arc, Sylvia Rivera) but several lesser known events and individuals are also brought to the forefront.

Nick Cherryman

Crisis in Community: Key Events in UK Queer History

Tuesday 23rd June - 5-6pm - Virtual Event via Facebook Live

Collaboration with Campus Pride 2020 and Warwick Pride

Link to the video here.

Nick Cherryman took us through some key events in British Queer history. Ranging from the Buggery Act of 1533, and touching on key figures such as Oscar Wilde and Terrance Higgins, this talk looks at moments of crisis in British History and what this meant for the queer community.

Nick Cherryman 

A Spotlight On... Section 28

Tuesday 28th July - 5-6pm - Virtual Event via Facebook Live

Collaboration with Campus Pride 2020

Link to video here.

During this talk Nick Cherryman shone a spotlight on Section 28, its impact and its legacy on the LGBT+ community.


queer/disrupt Launch
Wednesday 30th September
This event marked the (re)launch of Queer History Warwick as queer/disrupt.
This event took place online via Zoom. A recording of it is published on youtube and can be accessed here.
We went through our plans for the coming year including the Queering the Quarantine archive and exhibition, our new podcast, the launch of our brand new website, upcoming events and our conference: 'Mainstreaming Queerness: The New Queer Vanguard'.
We advertised the many ways for people to be involved during this session. We planned for the majority of the event to be interactive so that we could gain feedback about our group and what our audience are looking for from us moving forward!

Carlie Pendleton

Fattening Queer History, Queering Fat History: The National Fat Women's Conference of 1989

Facebook Live stream: Monday 9th November 2020 - 6pm-7pm (GMT). 


This session was previously run in the form of a live talk via Zoom followed by a live Q&A.

Due to the interest in this event, after this session took place, Carlie's talk was livestreamed via Facebook Live and can be accessed via YouTube.


Carlie Pendleton is a first year MA student in Queer History at Goldsmiths. Carlie's research interests are centred around the intersections of fat activism and queer activism in modern Britain, constructions of fatness and queerness in both the early modern and modern periods, and the ways in which fat queers identities.  


Where are the fat queers? This is something I’ve wondered time and again both in general as a fat queer person and more specifically as a historian. How doubly pleased I was to then discover the National Fat Women’s Conference held in London by the London Fat Women’s Group on March 18, 1989. Founded on principles of radical lesbian feminism, the LFWG represented the epicentre of fat, queer political activism in London in the 1980s-early 1990s. Born out of the necessity to combat fat oppression within both lesbian and heterosexual feminist spaces, the National Fat Women’s Conference represents the apotheosis of fat activism in 20th century Britain. Furthermore the workshops offered by the conference, specifically those for fat lesbians, demonstrate the interplay between fat and queer identities during the event. And yet the conference is at best an obscure footnote in modern feminist history. Why?  

Reading List

Carlie has provided us with an extensive list of suggested reading so feel free to browse at your leisure. These texts are not mandatory reading for the talk.

Click here for the reading list.

Dr Kit Heyam

The Place of Witchcraft in Early Modern Queer History

Wednesday December 2nd 2020 - 6.30-8pm

For the facebook event see here.

In collaboration with the Early Modern & Eighteenth Century Centre.


This event gained a massive amount of popularity! As such we made the decision to change the format slightly to ensure as many people could see the talk as possible.
Dr. Kit Heyam pre-recorded a video of the internal event that went live on Wednesday 2nd December. This video was broadcast through Facebook Live and Kit was available during this broadcast to answer questions about the talk. These can be found here.
The video is available to watch via Facebook and via our Youtube channel.
For those based at the University of Warwick, there was a discussion session with Kit on the 25th November (4:30-6pm) via Teams. Aidan Norrie was a respondant for this session.

If you have any questions about any of this, please email us at


This paper presents a reassessment of the place of witchcraft accusations in the history of early modern sexual transgression. While it is well known that witchcraft was collocated with sexually transgressive behaviour (as well as with related crimes such as heresy) in medieval and early modern European thought, I argue for the concurrent development of an overlooked paradigm that used witchcraft as a retrospective excuse for transgressive sexual and emotional attraction. Drawing on the findings of my monograph, The Reputation of Edward II, c. 1305-1697: A Literary Transformation of History (Amsterdam University Press, forthcoming 19/10/20), alongside the contemporary discourse surrounding intimate royal favourites in England and France, I demonstrate that early modern commentators used the discourse of bewitchment as a strategy to negotiate the problem of monarchs’ and others’ unwise, inexplicable or transgressive sexual and emotional attraction. Their paper traces the extent of this strategy, from same-sex attraction to interracial attraction – as well as the scepticism that the convenient ‘bewitchment excuse’ quickly attracted.

Hannah Ayres

Queer pedagogy, queer history, and the road to inclusion

Wednesday December 9th 2020 - 6.30-8pm

Tickets (free)


This talk took the form of a live talk via Zoom, followed by a Q&A session. It was broadcast to the Facebook event and our Youtube. The Q&A session is available here.

Speaker Biography

Hannah Ayres is a third year PhD student in the department of Sociology at the University of Warwick. She is researching queer re/presentation in museums and how queer individuals create, critique, and internalise these re/presentations. She has previously taught on modules to do with gender, research methods and queer theory. Hannah has also helped to produce guidance for the University of Warwick on inclusive teaching for trans and gender-diverse students. She is broadly interested in queer history; public history; queer theory; memory studies; visual sociology; gender and social theory. She is the current convener of queer/disrupt alongside Nick Cherryman, and helps to manage and oversee the group’s activities.


What does inclusion look like in university classrooms?

This is a question often posed by equality and diversity departments within universities and the answers presented are often posed as straight forward and simple - don't make students feel uncomfortable, make everyone feel welcome and included etc. I feel that the question of inclusion is infinitely more complicated and does not, unfortunately, have a simple answer. Taking queer history (and the study of sexuality and gender in history) as a case study, I am to unpack some of the complications that can arise from trying to incorporate an uncritical politic of inclusion. I argue that we should adopt some of the skills developed through queer pedagogy: allowing our work to disrupt established norms and taken for granted knowledge; truly incorporating topics beyond surface level engagement; allowing a place where students feel able to critically engage with difficult topics in a safe way and to allow space for discomfort and emotive responses to enter the classroom.

This talk will be done in collaboration with Warwick SU as part of their Hidden Histories series.