UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Queer Heritage

28 January 2021, 5:30 pm–6:30 pm

Pride flag banners photographed from below at London Pride, with brick building background.

Join us for a guest virtual lecture from Ben Campkin, Professor of History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at The Bartlett & UCL Urban Laboratory.

Event Information

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UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

About this lecture

What is queer heritage and how is it being addressed within current discussions across academic, policy, activist and built environment practitioner communities? This talk will take London as a case study to consider these questions. Media and activist campaigns since the late 2000s and 2010s have drawn attention a range of venues closely identified with LGBTQ+ communities, with both historical and present-day value, which have been threatened within contexts of large-scale redevelopment. Since the mayoralty was established in 2000, there have been on-going attempts to engage these groups through support, for example, in annual Pride events, as part of London’s global positioning as a diverse city. However, underlying a general celebration of diversity, actions under each administration have reflected the different political positions of the mayors. There have also been a number of cases in the recent past where campaigners have successfully worked with City Hall and local authorities to recognise overlooked venues and insist on protection or reprovision through interventions in development processes. This talk will set these recent phenomena within the longer trajectory of scholarship and activism on the geography and sociology of LGBTQ+ spaces and communities. It will draw out particular tensions and potentials that arise when queerness and heritage are considered side-by-side. It will place these discussions in the context of international activism and policy.

Virtual event details

This virtual lecture will consist of a 45 minute presentation from Ben Campkin, followed by a 15 minute Q&A chaired by Dr Scott Orr.

About the speaker

Ben Campkin is Professor of the History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism in The Bartlett School of Architecture and Co-Director of UCL’s transdisciplinary Urban Laboratory. Ben has been researching urban change for two decades and is the author of Remaking London: Decline and Regeneration in Urban Culture (2013), a history of regeneration from the 1920s to the Olympics, which won the 2015 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Foundation prize. He is currently completing a monograph, Queer Premises (Zed/Bloomsbury), on LGBTQ+ venues in London, from the 1980s to the present. On this theme, recent activities have included co-editing Sexuality and Gender at Home (Bloomsbury, 2017), co-authoring LGBTQ+ Cultural Infrastructure in London (2017), a report that has had wide influence on mayoral and planning policies, co-curating Whitechapel Art Gallery’s archival exhibition, Queer Spaces, London: 1980s–Today; and leading the UK project within the Humanities in the European Research Area EU research collaboration, Night-spaces, Migration, Culture and Integration in Europe.