This class begins with sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld's visits to Chicago in 1893 and 1931 to trace a history of homosexual activism, especially in Chicago and Berlin.
In January 1931, the Berlin sexologist, dubbed “the Einstein of Sex,” returned to Chicago to speak at the Dill Pickle Club. Arguing that science was the pathway to justice, Hirschfeld founded the first homosexual rights organization in Berlin in 1897, inspiring gay rights advocates like Henry Gerber, who founded the first US gay rights organization in Chicago in 1924.
In 1928, Hirschfeld co-founded the World League of Sexual Reform that advocated for homosexual rights, sex education, and birth control, among other issues. At his Institute in Berlin, Hirschfeld also oversaw some of the first transgender surgeries as early as 1926.
Focused on Chicago and Berlin in the early 20th century, this course provides a historical understanding of today’s LGBTQ movement.
Pamela L. Caughie, Professor Emerita of Loyola University Chicago, is a modernist and gender scholar. She is co-editor of the first comparative scholarly edition of Man into Woman, the life narrative of Lili Elbe, and project director of the Lili Elbe Digital Archive (www.lilielbe.org).
- Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin. Vintage Books, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-307-47313-4
- Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin. New Directions, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-8112-2024-8
- Please read Chapter 3 of Gay Berlin, pp. 85-119
Cost and Registration
Six sessions, $268 ($241 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member.
To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.
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