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Assuming Gender Christmas Lecture 2019: ‘Bulgarian Tendencies': Dangerous Queer Books 1895-1933 (Dr Justin Bengry, Goldsmiths)

Calendar Thursday, 5 December 2019
Calendar 17:30-19:00

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Join us on Thursday December 5th for Assuming Gender’s annual Christmas lecture. Dr Justin Bengry (Goldsmiths) will present his paper: ‘ ‘Bulgarian Tendencies’: Dangerous Queer Books 1895-1933', which will be a fascinating exploration of the publishing of homosexual novels and their relationship with the marketplace. The event is free and will be followed by a wine reception.

The abstract:

Even in the first decades of the twentieth century, Edward Carpenter’s, Rose Allatini’s, and Radclyffe Hall’s defenses of homosexual desires illuminate the challenges encountered by authors and publishers of queer books. But their encounters with readers and authorities also illustrate the potential market for materials that promoted tolerance, understanding, and even advocated legal reform. Each of their publishers was committed to appealing to multiple audiences, but none was underground or marginal. Their decisions to publish works that discussed homosexuality positively proved dangerous, however, bringing them swiftly into conflict with authorities and critics concerned with regulating public discussion of homosexuality, particularly when it overlapped with commercial incentives and the possibility of profit.

Dr Justin Bengry is a Lecturer at Goldsmiths and has written extensively on queer history and the relationship between sexual identities and consumerism. His book The Pink Pound: Capitalism and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Britain will be published soon by the University of Chicago Press. For more information about his publications, visit:

Assuming Gender is a multidisciplinary student-led project based at Cardiff University. We provide a space for reflecting upon and discussing issues broadly related to gender and its place in culture and society. We organise events and edit a peer-reviewed journal. Our website is: