Dr Justin Bengry is cultural historian of sexualities and the queer past focusing on twentieth-century Britain. His primary research is into relationships between homosexuality and capitalism, but he is also interested in current policy surrounding ‘gay pardons’ and has extensive public history experience.
Dr Bengry’s upcoming monograph on homosexuality and capitalism explores what marketers have, since the 1990s, come to call the ‘pink pound’ or ‘pink economy,’ the economic power of gay men and lesbians. The Pink Pound: Capitalism and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Britain is the first sustained and systematic historical study of the shifting relationship between the consumer economy and the social, cultural, and political formations of homosexuality in twentieth-century Britain. This research identifies the complex ways that marketers sought new markets, how sexual subcultures fashioned public and private identities using diverse goods and services, and in what ways particular understandings of homosexuality were ‘sold’ to mass markets at a critical historical moment.
The Pink Pound: Capitalism and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Britain
(Under contract with the University of Chicago Press)
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
‘Profit (f)or the Public Good? Sensationalism, Homosexuality and the Postwar Popular Press’. Media History 20 no. 2 (2014): 146-66. Invited article for issue on sensationalism.
‘Peacock Revolution: Mainstreaming Queer Styles in Post-War Britain, 1945-1967’. Socialist History 36 (2010): 55-68. Invited article for special issue on Gender and Sexuality.
‘Courting the Pink Pound: Men Only and the Queer Consumer, 1935-1939’. History Workshop Journal 68 (2009): 122-48.
Book Chapters in Edited Collections
‘Who is the Queer Consumer? Historical Perspectives on Capitalism and Homosexuality’. In
Consuming Behaviours: Identity, Politics and Pleasure in Twentieth-Century Britain, edited by Mark Crowley, Sandra Dawson, and Erika Rappaport, 21-36. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.
‘Films and Filming: The Making of a Queer Marketplace in Pre-decriminalization Britain’. In British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives edited by Brian Lewis, 244-66. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2013.
‘Queer Profits: Homosexual Scandal and the Origins of Legal Reform in Britain’. In Queer 1950s: Rethinking Sexuality in the Postwar Years, edited by Heike Bauer and Matt Cook, 167-82. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Please visit the following websites for more information about Justin’s work and research into queer history and the history of sexuality:
Goldsmiths Queer History
NOTCHES: (re)marks on the history of sexuality
Pride of Place: England’s LGBTQ Heritage
Pride of Place map of LGBTQ Heritage
IHR History of Sexuality Seminar