Co-operative Comradeships Versus Same-Sex Partnerships: Historicizing Collaboration Among Homosexual Couples in the Sciences
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.
KeywordsSexual Orientation Sexual Politics Scientific Biography Lesbian Family Sexual Inversion
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permission granted by Cheryl Bailey, Senior Archivist, Sheffield Archives, Sheffield City Council, to quote from unpublished material held in the Edward Carpenter Collection.