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.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Colonials and homosexuality; Chapter 1 The sex life of explorers; Chapter 2 Captains of empire; Chapter 3 The company of men; Chapter 4 Writers' lives and letters; Chapter 5 Artists and homoerotic ‘Orientalism’; Chapter 6 Scandals and tragedies; Part 2 Sites of colonial homosexuality; Chapter 7 Sex in settler societies; Chapter 8 Sex in the South Seas; Chapter 9 The British (and others) in South Asia; Chapter 10 Forster, Masood, Mohammed and the maharajah; Chapter 11 The French in North Africa; Part 3 The end of empire; Chapter 12 Anti-colonialism and homosexuality; Epilogue; Conclusion;
Robert Aldrich teaches European and colonial history at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Seduction of the Mediterranean (1993) and coeditor of Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History and Who's Who in ContemporaryGay and Lesbian History (both published in 2001).
'Aldrich writes in an accessible and engaging style and provides a wide-ranging and interesting study ... this rich study is a worthwhile contribution to the growing literature on sexuality, gender and imperialism.' - History