Janes, DTS (2021) The ‘curious effects’ of acting: homosexuality, theatre and female impersonation at the University of Cambridge, 1900-1939. Twentieth Century British History. ISSN 0955-2359

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The University of Cambridge educated a significant proportion of Britain’s elite in the early twentieth century. The homosocial environment of the colleges was similar in many ways to that of the single-sex public boarding schools which many of the undergraduates had attended. Student theatre was a popular activity and because such shows were acted by single-sex ensembles there was a strong tradition of female impersonation on stage. The interwar diaries of Cecil Beaton, who identified privately as a homosexual man, provide an unusually detailed source of information about a period when sexual controversy began to surround theatrical cross-dressing. In the 1930s, when moves were made to open previously men-only university drama clubs to women, the issue of male homosexuality and its alleged connections with student theatre came to be widely discussed. This reflected significant changes in the ways in which queerness was accommodated within the predominantly male environment of the University.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) [2021]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) The final version of this article and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
L Education > LA History of education
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2021 10:14
Last Modified: 17 May 2022 15:02
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10130

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