Join us for a free online talk exploring the queer history of the Royal Navy and the methods we can use to recover it.
Dr Seth Stein LeJacq (New York Institute of Technology) investigates sexual cultures at sea, discipline and military justice. This includes a long string of naval sex scandals, beginning with the 1698 trial of Captain Edward Rigby
Watch the recording of the talk below.
What is the queer history of the Royal Navy in the age of sail? How did sailors break their society’s rules about sex and gender? Did they enter into same-sex relationships? Did they act in other ways that men ‘weren’t supposed to’ and what were the consequences? Is it possible to learn more about these sailors’ lives and why is it so important to do so?
LeJacq reveals a great deal of gender and sexual diversity on naval ships, as well as a surprising amount of tolerance for that diversity. He argues that, while the navy did punish some abusive sexual behavior harshly, most same-sex relationships and breaches of gender norms escaped negative consequences.
This webinar first took place on 30 January 2024, and is now available as a recording on YouTube. Find upcoming lectures in the series below.