Co-operative Comradeships Versus Same-Sex Partnerships: Historicizing Collaboration Among Homosexual Couples in the Sciences

  • Donald L. OpitzEmail author
Part of the Science Networks. Historical Studies book series (SNHS, volume 44)


In this chapter I consider a range of methodological challenges that complicate historical analysis of same-sex partnerships in science and then adopt Joan Scott’s concept of “imbrications” of subjective experiences with political discourses to analyze the sexual-science discourse of Edward Carpenter’s homosocial, country ménage near Sheffield, Britain at the turn of the twentieth century. Based on my analysis, I suggest Carpenter’s case necessitates an expansion of the category “collaborative couples” beyond a focus on cohabitating, married partners, and I introduce the contemporary term, “co-operative comradeship” as a more historically salient means by which to describe Carpenter’s collaborative industry.


Sexual Orientation Sexual Politics Scientific Biography Lesbian Family Sexual Inversion 
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For kind suggestions, encouragement, and discussions during the development of this chapter, I wish to thank Clifton McReynolds, the late David Hull, James Nowick, Richard Thomas, Annette Lykknes, and Brigitte Van Tiggelen. I gratefully acknowledge permission granted by Cheryl Bailey, Senior Archivist, Sheffield Archives, Sheffield City Council, to quote from unpublished material held in the Edward Carpenter Collection.

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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