Lecture: Rethinking persecution as a category of analysis. Lesbians in Nazi Germany

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Time: 14 March 2022, 17:00 – 19:00 CET
Place: Sala degli Stemmi, Villa Salviati

In this lecture, Samuel C. Huneke discusses the idea of persecution in Nazi Germany.
Persecution seems like a simple idea. After all, it is a potent way for marginalised groups to demand rights, protection, and inclusion. But the stark moral binary encompassed in the idea of persecution conceals deeper ambiguities, ambiguities that historians and other scholars rarely confront. Examining the lives of several lesbian women who lived—and died—in Nazi Germany, this talk argues that simplistic understandings of persecution can often do violence to the histories of stigmatised populations in the name of political expediency. In order to grasp the complex experiences of such groups, we must embrace a more intricate idea of persecution.

Samuel C. Huneke is Assistant Professor of History at George Mason University. He is the author of States of Liberation. Gay Men Between Dictatorship and Democracy in Cold War Germany (Toronto, 2022) as well as several articles and reviews on queer history in Germany and the United States.

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