Beyond The Well of Loneliness: Reassessing Radclyffe Hall’s Place in LGBTQ History – a talk by Jana Funke
Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness (1928) is one of the most famous and widely read lesbian novels. It is also a deeply controversial book that has been celebrated for its defence of homosexual relationships and criticised for its bleak depiction of lesbian love.
This talk will draw on original archival research to take us beyond The Well of Loneliness and open up a new understanding of Radclyffe Hall’s writings and views on gender and sexuality. In particular, it will reassess Hall’s engagement with sexological understandings of sexuality and gender identity, including those articulated by John Addington Symonds and Havelock Ellis, and reconsider her often misunderstood engagement with feminist politics and female sexuality.
Dr Jana Funke is a Lecturer in Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter. She has published numerous chapters and journal articles on the history of sexuality, sexual science, and modernist literature. Books include The World and Other Unpublished Works by Radclyffe Hall (2016), and the co-edited volumes Sex, Gender and Time in Fiction and Culture (2011) and Sculpture, Sexuality and History: Encounters in Literature, Culture and the Arts (forthcoming, 2018).
The event is our annual celebration of John Addington Symonds, Bristol-based writer, art historian and pioneer of homosexual rights.
The talk will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting of OutStories Bristol (very brief!).
Everyone is welcome to both the AGM and talk. Admission and refreshments are free but a small donation towards the running costs of OutStories Bristol would be appreciated.