Lecture | Fifty Years On: Gay Liberation?


McLennan Library Building Colgate Room, Rare Books and Special Collections 4th floor, 3459 rue McTavish, Montreal, QC, H3A 0C9, CA
rainbow made of punlisher bindings, spine facing outwards

2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Omnibus Act in Canada, which partially decriminalized homosexuality, and the Stonewall Riots in New York City, a milestone for gay liberation in the US. This talk given by Brian Lewis, Professor of History at McGill, examines the twin histories of these events and asks how far we have come in the last half century—and how far we still have to go.

A special exhibition and light reception will follow the event.

All are invited to attend. RSVP Here

Hosted by  ROAAr, McGill Library. Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada



Prof. Brian Lewis is a historian of modern Britain. Educated at Oxford and Harvard. Prof. Lewis's research is in social and cultural history. His works discuss the “second consumer revolution”; the transition to a corporate economy; the development of advertising; factory paternalism; town planning and suburbanization; colonialism and forced labour in West Africa and the South Pacific; country houses, landscape gardening and art collecting; and the transformation of crofting and fishing in the Outer Hebrides. His third monograph (Wolfenden’s Witnesses: Homosexuality in Postwar Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)) is an annotated selection of the papers of the Wolfenden Committee, which was set up in 1954 to investigate the state of the law regarding homosexuality and prostitution. His current project investigates (homo)sexuality and criminality in Britain between the 1880s and the 1950s using Ives—pioneer “gay rights” campaigner and penal reformer—as a focal point. He is guest editor of a special queer edition of the Journal of British Studies (July 2012) and the editor of a collection of essays entitled British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives (Manchester UP, 2013).

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