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Sex, Knowledge, and Receptions of the Past$
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Kate Fisher and Rebecca Langlands

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660513.001.0001

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Queering Display

Queering Display

LGBT History and the Ancient World

Chapter:
(p.45) 2 Queering Display
Source:
Sex, Knowledge, and Receptions of the Past
Author(s):

Debbie Challis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660513.003.0003

Queering Display explores how LGBT history has been represented through the display and interrogation of visual culture from antiquity. Sex and sexuality, ancient and modern, had been ‘almost uniformly ignored’ in museums until the last two decades. This chapter considers why LGBT groups began lobbying and working with museums for broader representation, as well as the wider context in which museums have changed their approach to representing sex and sexuality in the ancient world. The main case study is on public programmes held to mark LGBT History Month at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. The partnerships made and the activities held illustrate the changing nature of museum and community group dynamics, with the museum attempting to become more responsive to needs of the audiences it serves. This chapter finishes with a discussion of the tension between historical accuracy and contemporary identity politics that this dynamic can create.

Keywords:   LGBT History Month, museum public programmes, ancient Egypt, museum exhibitions, identity politics, museum audiences, sexually explicit material, Greek Egypt, Roman Egypt

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