Lucy Robinson
Arts and Humanities, Film and Music Production
Material Type:
Adult Education
Archives, Documentary, LGBT History, Queerama
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

Queerama and Collecting Queer Stories

Queerama and Collecting Queer Stories


This is the second open educational resource inspired by the Daisy Asquith's film Queerama (2017).  Queerama marks the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offenses Act, which partially decriminalized private homosexual acts in England and Wales. The documentary was created from footage from the BFI National Archive and captures the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women. You can follow the three learning blocks in order or pick and choose. This OER produced under a CC-BY license. This module is designed to help us think about what happens when we bring different stories together in to collections or archives.

Queer archives

This task is designed to help the user think about archives and collections in their own terms. Particularly to think about how an archive brings together different objects in a way that might be greater than the sum of its parts.


What do you think an archive is for?

Do you think it changes an individual stories' meanings if it is collected and curated alongside other stories?

Would a queer archive be different from any other sort of archive?

You might be interested in using some of the following theoretical work on archives to help you answer these questions.


Theorizing the Queer Archive

Or  you might want to think about how you have responded to finding 'queer objects' in libraries, museums and galleries.  

Queerstories and Alan Sinfield

This is designed to help users situate themselves in the academic literature relating to queer heritage and the politics of archives.

This step is introduces you to one academic's work, Alan Sinfield. Sinfield was instrumental in the early gay liberation movement in the UK and also co-developed the first LGBT taught postgraduate course in the country, Sexual Dissidence and Cultural Change.  His work embraces popular culture, politics and queer politics.  

Read the article Alan Sinfield, "Queerstories in Brighton", New Formations, 67, Summer 2009, 110-119 which you can find in the Resources folder

How do the different collections treat individual voices?

What happens when we bring individual voices together? and why does it matter? (See the piece by Robinson which is also in the resources)

What is Sinfield doing in this article and why? (What story is he telling and for what purpose)

Archiving Queer Stories

This is designed for students to be able to apply Sinfield's article to an example of an archive and to identify for themselves the implications of bringing different voices together. 

There are now a growing amoung of online archives available which makes it much easier to access them.

Choose one of these two archives, or perhaps you are already familiar with a different queer archive online 

Brighton Trans*formed


Queer in Brighton

Can you list of the different types of queer voices found in the collections? How do the different stories fit together? Do they produce many different stories or one over arching story? and why does this matter?

Local Queer Stories

This is designed for users to apply their knowledge in a practical task.

Design a local LGBT community project

•What sort of voices will you use?

•What shape will it be? (Intellectual architecture)

•How will you measure its impact?


Read Robinson 'The Messy Business of Queer Politics'

•What ways can the local speak of the wider context?

•What are the limits of looking only at the local?