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Grant number like: FT-291128-23

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FT-291128-23Research Programs: Summer StipendsAverill EarlsA Social Biography of Same-Sex Desire in Postcolonial Ireland6/1/2023 - 7/31/2023$6,000.00Averill Earls   St. Olaf CollegeNorthfieldMN55057-1574USA2023British HistorySummer StipendsResearch Programs6000060000

Research and writing leading to a monograph on the history of sexuality and state-building in Ireland from 1922 to 1973.  

A Social Biography of Same-Sex Desire in Postcolonial Ireland is a seven-chapter history of sexuality and state-building from 1922 to 1973. Historians have neglected queer history between Irish independence and the rise of the Irish gay rights movement, primarily because the sources are so few. Using social biography methods, I weave together evidence from courtroom testimonies, fiction, and genealogical sources with the larger historical contexts in which they were embedded, to piece together a narrative of individual experiences. While commemorating the lives ruined by state-enforced homophobia, I argue that the persecution of same-sex desiring men was central to Irish postcolonial state-building. Further, this book models social biography as a methodology that allows humanities scholars to find and tell the stories of ordinary people, even when those people left few traces of their lives.