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A Great Unrecorded History – LGBTQ+ History and Heritage: an online talk by Prof. Richard Bruce Parkinson

16 February 2021

As LGBT+ History Month draws to a close, Professor Richard Bruce Parkinson will give an online lecture, organised by the City of Westminster Libraries & Archives, entitled: ‘A Great Unrecorded History – LGBTQ+ History and Heritage’. It is free and open to all, and will take place on Friday 26 February at 5:30pm to 6:30pm.

Richard will talk about a long-running and ongoing heritage project. It will be a personal reflection drawing on his experiences of writing A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity across the World (2013) and working on related museum trails and exhibitions, including a British Museum touring partnership exhibition 2017-19. These all showcase the fact that LGBTQ+ desire and identity are embodied in human artefacts from all periods and cultures of world history. Richard’s wide-ranging subject matter will include ancient Egyptian tomb iconography and the Merchant Ivory film of EM Forster’s Maurice, which he first saw while a graduate student at Queen’s in 1987, and whose director James Ivory came to the College as a TORCH visiting professor in 2018, in connection with the Ashmolean exhibition ‘No Offence’.

The lecture will consider why LGBTQ+ histories are important to all audiences, and how they are best displayed – as temporary interventions or as integrated parts of permanent displays – and Richard will reflect on the role academics can have in presenting this heritage and in upholding human rights.

Richard is an Egyptologist, who specialises in the poetry of the classic period of Egyptian culture; from his work on the subaltern aspects of this poetry and its modern receptions, he has also published on LGBTQ+ history. He is now the Professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of The Queen’s College, and was previously a curator at the British Museum.

The first part of this event is a pre-recorded talk, followed by a live Q & A.

Sign up for the talk here.

Below: the so-called Canopus, Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli