Stanford historian uncovers the historical origins of the gay suicide stereotypeHistorians in the News
From films to literature, the stereotype of the suicidal gay or lesbian character is a common one in modern entertainment. In Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours, for instance, there are three gay and lesbian suicides and attempted suicides. In the Netflix series, House of Cards, the only openly gay character kills himself after just a few episodes.
Research by Stanford doctoral candidate Samuel Clowes Huneke traces the roots of this detrimental and pervasive cliché to its surprising origins in modern Germany. Huneke has discovered that gay suicide is a historical phenomenon, one with a distinct and varied past.
"What my research shows is that a striking trend of gay suicide evolved in German culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries," he said.
Huneke, who is writing his dissertation on homosexuality in 20th-century Germany, is the first scholar in the field of modern German history to examine the relationship between suicide and gay identity. He is also the first to historicize gay suicide and trace the ways in which it pervades the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Through a close examination of German suicide notes, letters, diaries, medical records, gay literary magazines and novels, Huneke has identified clear connections between the suicide trope and the development of gay identity in modern Germany. ...
comments powered by Disqus
- Historian H.R. McMaster out, John Bolton is in
- Polish attorney general’s office calls Holocaust law unconstitutional
- Will Trump break American democracy?
- The Rothschilds, a pamphlet by ‘Satan’ and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories tied to a battle 200 years ago
- How Smithsonian Helped Solve the Twitter Mystery of the Unknown Woman Scientist
- Last Fall This Scholar Defended Colonialism. Now He’s Defending Himself.
- Jim Loewen is helping teachers teach difficult historical topics tied to race relations
- Historian (and US Senator) Ben Sasse writing book on polarization
- Historian: The Heavy Burden of Teaching My Son About American Racism
- Teachers are using ‘Black Panther’ to discuss African colonialism and American racism