Queer @ King’s: Programme of Events

Queer @ King’s, Autumn 2013

Friday 15 November, Screening, 5.30pm, King’s College Strand Campus, Room S-2.18

Ruins: A Chronicle of an HIV Witch-Hunt, Zoe Mavroudi 

A documentary about a shocking case of HIV criminalization in Greece, Ruins tells the story of the persecution of HIV-positive women who were detained by the Hellenic Police, forcibly tested, charged with a felony, imprisoned and publicly exposed, when their mug shots and personal data were published in the media in the run-up to the country’s 2012 elections.

Followed by round table discussion with the director, Zoe Mavroudi, and members of KCL staff, Stathis Kouvelakis, Hector Kollias and Toni Mac from the Sex Worker Open University collective.

This event is free, but will require a reservation – http://ruins.eventbrite.co.uk/
Thursday 5 December, 6.15pm, King’s College Strand Campus, Nash Theatre

“our Virgin names”: Queering Eden in The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph’,  Rivka Swenson (Virginia Commonwealth University)

The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph (1761) by Frances Sheridan is a self-reflexive novel that tests the limits of what is arguably the primary formal paradigm for eighteenth-century British novels: the genre of the nostos, the tale of return. But if felicitous return is paradigmatic for the century’s hero-centered novels (with complications in the Gothic), Sheridan’s novel exposes, challenges, and confirms the gendered limitations of the return-plot for its heroine Sidney. From the first page forward, Sidney yearns to return to a prelapsarian golden time at her mother’s family seat, Sidney Castle, as she expresses repeatedly to her childhood friend, Cecilia, in letters marked by an affect that exceeds the usual warmth of the period’s epistolary effusions.

Sheridan dedicated her novel to Samuel Richardson, and her novel engages the limitations of Richardsonian form, specifically the generic expectation that heroines may enable heroes to regain or exteriorize a compromised heroic virtue or lost identity, but cannot themselves enjoy such recovery. Sidney excoriates herself for “murmuring” against “Fate,” but her murmurings are in part a self-reflexive commentary upon form itself: the gendered as well as heteronormative parameters of nostos. In fact, the novel’s real crisis is not the hoped-for reunion of the Penelopean Sidney and her husband following his dalliance with a Circean enchantress, but Sidney’s longing to re-achieve her intimacies with Cecilia in an impossible queer “Eden.”

This event is free to attend, booking is not required.

Thursday 12 December, 6.30pm, King’s College Waterloo Campus, B5 Auditorium

United in Anger: A History of Act Up, Sarah Schulman (CUNY) 

Sarah Schulman will present her documentary, United in Anger: A History of Act Up, directed by Jim Hubbard. This is a unique feature-length documentary that combines startling archival footage that puts the audience on the ground with the activists and the remarkably insightful interviews from the ACT UP Oral History Project to explore ACT UP (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) from a grassroots perspective – how a small group of men and women of all races and classes, came together to change the world and save each other’s lives.

The film takes the viewer through the planning and execution of a half dozen exhilarating major actions including Seize Control of the FDA, Stop the Church, and Day of Desperation, with a timeline of many of the other zaps and actions that forced the U.S. government and mainstream media to deal with the AIDS crisis. UNITED IN ANGER reveals the group’s complex culture – meetings, affinity groups, and approaches to civil disobedience mingle with profound grief, sexiness, and the incredible energy of ACT UP.

This event is free, but will require a reservation – http://ahistoryofactup.eventbrite.co.uk/

Please also note the following dates for 2014:

13 February: Romana Byrne (Toulouse) will be discussing her new book, Aesthetic Sexuality: A Literary History of Sadomasochism, in a paper concentrating on her concept of aesthetic sexuality and what this means for Foucauldian approaches to the history of sexuality.

27 March: Johan Andersson (KCL) is a Lecturer in the Department of Geography at King’s College, London with research interests in urban queer culture, geographies of religion and cultural representation and political economy.

8 May: Christine Quinan (Utrecht) works in the fields of French studies and Gender Studies. She has undertaken research on the relationship between torture and gender and has published articles on French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and on Algerian writer Assia Djebar.

19 May: Jasbir Puar (Rutgers) we are pleased to welcome Associate Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University and author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (Duke University Press, 2007), Jasbir Puar, to speak at Queer @ King’s.

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