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Colonialism and Homosexuality [Paperback]

by Robert Aldrich
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 25, 2002 0415196167 978-0415196161

Colonialism and Homosexuality is a thorough investigation of the connections of homosexuality and imperialism from the late 1800s - the era of 'new imperialism' - until the era of decolonization. Robert Aldrich reconstructs the context of a number of liaisons, including those of famous men such as Cecil Rhodes, E.M. Forster or André Gide, and the historical situations which produced both the Europeans and their non-Western lovers.

Colonial lands, which in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century included most of Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and the Caribbean, provided a haven for many Europeans whose sexual inclinations did not fit neatly into the constraints of European society.

Each of the case-studies is a micro-history of a particular colonial situation, a sexual encounter, and its wider implications for cultural and political life. Students both of colonial history, and of gender and queer studies, will find this an informative read.

 


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Fascinating... this growing body of scholarship should prompt fresh interpretation of empire and colonialism's interaction with gender and sexuality... Excellent bibliography..
–Choice

Combining extensive scholarly research with the kind of solid storytelling that marks the most interesting historical writing, Aldrich examines the complex roles homosexual relationships played during colonialist expansion..
–Lambda Book Report, January 2004

Aldrich does make the important point, though, that the outlook of homosexual and homosocial administrators had a direct impact on colonial policy.
Geist

About the Author

Robert Aldrich teaches at the Department of Economic History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Seduction of the Mediterranean and co-editor of Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History (2000).

Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415196167
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415196161
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Argh! Someone stole my idea for a dissertation! August 31, 2003
Format:Paperback
It's about time someone wrote this book. In this historical text, an Australian scholar details how colonial travels affected what we would now call gay men and how gay men affected colonialism. In the first half of the book, Robert Aldrich how this phenomenon occurred for painters, poets, businessmen, and political activists, and men in other professions. In the latter half of the book, he discusses this phenomenon region by region (Papua New Guinea, North Africa, South Asia, etc). Included in this book is a whole chapter dedicated to the ultimate gay European colonizer, E. M. Forster.
This book is a stellar example of gay studies and historical research coming together. It is immediately obvious to the reader how much work the author had to put into writing this. As a large history text, this book takes FOREVER to read! Undergraduate students assigned this book could get away with just reading the first two chapters and the conclusions, as the author's point becomes obvious and may feel repetitive to some readers after awhile. Still, given that this book is much-needed and superb, all will benefit from reading it cover to cover.
For gay activists who mention famous historical figures who were gay as a way of combating homophobia, this book will be a useful tool. Just as Marjorie Garber in "Vice Versa" demonstrated how many of these figures who are labeled gay could more accurately be labeled bisexual, Aldrich shows that many famous gay Westerners either came out, had their first homosexual experience in, or were influenced by the developing world. This book will be a certain wake-up call for those who falsely assume that Stonewall is the be-all to end-all of gay history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Professor Aldrich, a wonderful man and great Author. March 11, 2010
Format:Paperback
this isnt so much a review of the book (although i have brought it, read it and cant recommend it enough), it's a review of the wonderful man who created it.
While having trouble finding the degree for me at university, i stumbled into Robert's classroom, took my seat and within 10 minutes of hearing him speak i was in awe.
I looked around and everybody was deadly silent, eyes focused up at this small charismatic man with an Australian-American accent and attentive lovable personality.
I walked out after the lecture with my head held high and immediately changed my degree to include ALL his classes and i wasn't the only one!
I and 60 other kids followed this man for 3 years, had the pleasure of his company and enjoyed every word he spoke (even though he was a hard marker!)
His personality really comes through in his writing and i hope that everybody will enjoy him and his words as much as i did.
not many educational writers put their heart and sole into their work, but Robert does. knowing him personally has been a life experience i will never forget. Where ever you are Robert, know that you have made a difference in people's lives.
Sarah.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great essays! December 31, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is so fascinating to be read!
First, I learn a lot of how to improve my way to compose academic texts.
Second, I learn lots of History, and how supposed-to-be-gay-explorers did their best to create a better world (or help to understand it).
Third, I see how the concept of homosexuality is so complex and exciting!

Highly recommended!
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Over Priced - Lot's of Conjecture February 5, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is completely overpriced for the content. This book contains far too much postulating based from here say and observation of homoerotic writings. My expectation was that I was going to read about something more concrete and learn some interesting information and facts about Homosexuality in the Colonial era. Not so here. This book should be priced at $10 or less. I cannot give it anything higher as it doesn't reveal anything important.
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