Through interviews, diaries, memoirs, and letters, Her Neighbor’s Wife traces the stories of hundreds of women who struggled to balance marriage and same-sex desire in the postwar United States. In doing so, Lauren Jae Gutterman draws our attention away from the postwar landscape of urban gay bars and into the homes of married women, who tended to engage in affairs with wives and mothers they met in the context of their daily lives: through work, at church, or in their neighborhoods.
Lauren joins NOTCHES’ Justin Bengry to discuss her new book, doing queer history, and what’s next.
Lauren Gutterman is Associate Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. She co-hosts the podcast Sexing History. Lauren holds a PhD in History from New York University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Her Neighbor’s Wife: A History of Lesbian Desire within Marriage, which examines the personal experiences and public representation of wives who desired women in the United States since 1945. Her Neighbor’s Wife won the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize, was a finalist for the Organization of American Historians’ Lawrence W. Levine Award, and received an honorable mention for the American Historical Association’s John Boswell Prize. She tweets @LaurenGutterman
Justin Bengry is a founder of NOTCHES as well as Lecturer in Queer History and Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he convenes the first MA in Queer History. He was lead researcher on the Historic England initiative Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage as well as the AHRC-funded project Sexualities and Localities. He is an Associate of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, co-convener of the Institute for Historical Research’s seminar on the History of Sexuality, and on the advisory board for History Workshop Online. Justin’s research focuses on the intersection of homosexuality and consumer capitalism in twentieth-century Britain. Justin tweets @justinbengry
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