QUCL - Research on Sexual and Gender diversity at UCL


"The Ones Who Had Nothing to Lose”: Days and Nights in the Queer Work World

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, 14 March 2019

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qUCL Annual Lecture 2019

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to









Lecture Theatre G6
UCL Institute of Archaeology
31–34 Gordon Square
United Kingdom

This talk offers a spatial survey of the “queer work world” of the 1950s and 1960s United States.  These were the jobs in service work and in a variety of queer occupations (which cut across class) that tended to affirm rather than negate gay identity.  That was usually the primary compensation offered for these jobs that were otherwise stigmatized, low-paying, and with very little opportunity to advance.  Some denizens of the queer work world chose this type of employment, and some were forced to accept it after being kicked out of the straight world of work because of an arrest or being purged from a government position.  The tour here includes service work, factory jobs, the gay leisure world (bars), sex work, and the “queer” professions.

All welcome and there is no charge but please register to attend.

This lecture accompanies the conference 'Queer Work/Queer Labour' on 15th March.

This event is organised by qUCL, which is part of the Institute of Advanced Studies.


Prof. Margot Canaday is a legal and political historian at Princeton University who studies gender and sexuality in modern America.

Her first book, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth Century America (Princeton, 2009), won the Organization of American Historians' Ellis Hawley Prize, the American Political Science Association's Gladys M. Kammerer Award (co-winner), the American Studies Association's Lora Romero Prize, the American Society for Legal History's Cromwell Book Prize, the Committee on LGBT History's John Boswell Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Studies, as well as the Association of American Law Schools' Order of the Coif Biennial Book Award.