Tangentially Queer<http://tangentiallyqueer.com>: A Workshop on the Field Formation of Queer Theory
16th May, 2014: London School of Economics
Call for papers:
Tangentially Queer seeks to explore the contemporary terrains of queer theorising, and its trajectories, histories, and field imaginaries. Throughout its academic history, “queer” has often been left undefined, a theoretical concept without fixed referent. This lack of definition is often attributed to the usefulness of “queer” as an elusive concept. Yet, against this undefinable ambition, contemporary queer theory tends to orientate itself around particular subjects and objects: it is common to hear reference to gay and lesbian lives, Butler and Sedgwick as canonical texts, and claims to deterritorialization and anti-normativity, for example. Despite the propagation of queer being undefiniable and infinitely useful, queer theory’s prioritized subjects and objects have become especially frequent and institutionalized within the Anglo-American academy.
Rather than take queer theory’s institutional status and object-attachments for granted, this one-day workshop asks that we situate the institutional life of queer theory within the broader contemporary context of the political economy of knowledge production. We ask, for example: within an increasingly marketized academic environment, how might queer theory’s field formation relate to the visibility, normalization, and legitimation of certain queer lives? Under what auspices of criticality, with which cultural texts, theoretical practices, forms of pedagogy, and methodological tendencies has the study of queerness been institutionalized? How might we think of the relations between queer theory’s increasing academic disciplinarity, its prevalent subjects and objects, and the broader drive for academic impact and political utility?
This one day workshop hopes to offer a space for a discussion of the contemporary landscape of queer theory by inquiring into how queerness has been taken up as field-formational, and what objects, narratives, methodologies, histories, and temporalities, are deemed vital to, tangential to, or separate from, the project of queerness. In doing so, Tangentially Queer hopes to explore and intervene in our investments in queer critique, attempting to realign them so as to consider different ways of thinking, doing, and being queer.
In exploring the topics of queerness, queer theory, and its trajectories and field imaginaries, and in conversation with the above, we invite proposals for 20 minute papers which might address, but are not limited to, the following themes:
“Proper” queer objects and subjects
The position, relevance, and necessity for anti-racist critique within queer theory
Transnational queer theories
Queer theory’s political agenda(s)
Queer times and generations
Queer theory’s relationship to lesbian and gay studies
Queer theory’s relationship to feminisms
Definitions of “queerness”
Queer theory’s relationship to academic institutions
Queer memories, histories, and archives
Queer theory and intersectional analysis
Alternative queer academic futures
Political economies of queer knowledge production
Tangentially Queer is funded by the London School of Economics’ Teaching and Learning Center via the Gender Institute. It is being held in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Women and Gender at the University of Warwick.