The Centre for the History of European Discourses was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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Many historians of Western sexuality have looked to poststructuralist notions of the instability and fluidity of identity in order to contest "fixed" constructions of sexual identity. There is no stable or fixed "nature": there are only norms within which bodies are framed or inscribed. Historians of fin-de-siecle Europe have demonstrated how homosexual identities always exceed and refashion the categories that define them, and have argued that arguments for tolerance of homosexuals tend problematically to bind gay selfhood to normalizing concepts of sexuality and gender. This paper explores the question of gay identity by reference to discourses of tolerance. In order to do so, it examines recent historiography of the fin-de-siecle and interwar period in order to discuss the problems posed by an uncritical equation of fluidity with subversion and self-making and thus of Foucauldian "critique" with all critique.

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