Kath Browne, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Brighton, presents her inaugural lecture entitled:
'What's Geography got to do with it? Sexualities, Gender and Place'
Geography is often associated with maps and mountains. This lecture asks for a different consideration of what geography has to offer and shows it to be crucial to understanding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) lives.
Professor Browne starts by using her work on women who are mistaken for men and their exclusions from public toilets designated for females to explore how places are an integral part of understanding sexed bodies. However, inclusion that rests on sameness and fitting LGBTQ people into the ‘normal’ is not enough. Thus, the possibilities and limits of equalities laws are illustrated by looking at Brighton, the ‘gay capital of the UK’, and then transnationally at what makes lives liveable in the UK and India. The lecture then turns its focus to transnational ‘heteroactivism’, resistances to LGBTQ rights, that are often overlooked, but are key to engaging with the fallout from Brexit, as well as Global North same-sex marriage debates.
As the Irish same-sex marriage referendum debate shows, heteroactivists construct nations in ways that value ‘normal’ forms of gender and sexuality (in this case heterosexual mothers). The lecture will conclude by reflecting on Brexit, both through the lens of LGBTQ people who are marginal to equality legislation and the ways in which resistances to LGBTQ equalities are being organized and are manifest.
The lecture will start at 6.30pm, with an expected end time of 7.30pm and is followed by a canapé reception.