CFP: Queer geographies and the politics of anti-normativity

CFP: Queer geographies and the politics of anti-normativity
RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London, 28-30th August 2013

Convened by Eleanor Wilkinson (University of Leeds)
Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group

This session aims to critically question queer theory’s political commitment to anti-normativity. It seeks to challenge any rigid distinction between the normative and the anti-normative, by examining both the normativity of anti-normativity, and the potential queerness of the normal. At times the normative subject (rather than normative discourse) has become the target of queer critique, resulting in a disparaging dismissal of those who live ‘normal’ lives. The session therefore begins from the proposition that it is important to distinguish between a critique of normativity, a critique of the normative, and a critique of the normal.

The session welcomes both empirical and / or theoretical papers that challenge any neat distinction between the normative and the anti-normative, and emphasize the importance of placing these discussions about normativity in specific geographic and historical contexts. Contributions are invited that address the hierarchies that emerge within queer spaces, and the norms that are created in spaces that are claiming to be anti-normative. The session also seeks to challenge any monolithic understanding of normativity, and critically questions what a blanket dismissal of ‘the normal’ might foreclose. Papers that explore people’s investments in ‘the normal’ are welcome, alongside those that seek to examine queer anti-normative moments that take place within seemingly ‘normal’ lives. Contributions from disciplines beyond geography are especially welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Anti-normative normativities
• The pleasures of ‘the normal’
• Queer desires for the domestic
• Seeking state recognition for queer lives
• Class, distinction and disgust in the politics of anti-normativity (particularly regarding the construction of the ‘homonormative’ LGBT mainstream)
• Queer racisms
• Queer patriarchies
• Queer aesthetics and the commodification of queerness
• The creation of queer as a new kind of identity category (despite queer’s anti-identitarian logics)
• Asexuality / celibacy as a challenge to pro-sex attitude of queer studies
• The shifting sexual-norms of heteronormative culture (sexualization, pornification, and the changing definitions of the ‘normal’)
• Queer moments in ‘normal’ lives

Please send your name, affiliation details, and email address along with your abstract of no more than 250 words to Eleanor Wilkinson (<>)
Deadline for submission is 10th February 2013.

For details about the conference, please visit the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) website:

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