To Finally Let Fall the Burdensome Mask: The Queer Politics of Carnival in Early 20th-Century Germany
Carnival remains an overlooked topic in queer history, partly due to limited sources but also due to its frivolous nature. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of early-twentieth-century queers in Germany, exposure to social and political organizations like the Institute for Sexual Research remained comparably uncommon, whereas nearly all accounts of everyday life for Berlin queers cite the tremendous importance of masquerade balls. This culture only swelled in popularity over time, as German queers became a public presence for the first time during the decades from 1900 to the rise of Nazism; 1933 culminated in the immediate repression of queer masquerading institutions. These contexts concerned with masking and unmasking thus came to play crucial roles in the shaping, understanding, and facilitating of queer subjectivities, while simultaneously mediating individual and communal coming-out processes in modern Germany.
See more of: Queering Historical Scale
See more of: AHA Sessions