Sunday, January 8, 2017

#QueerAF: (Re)presenting Gender & Sexuality in History & Cultural Studies

5th Annual Dean Hopper NEW SCHOLARS Conference

May 5-6, 2017
The Ehinger Center, Drew University, Madison, NJ

“Queer” is such a simple, unassuming little word. Who ever could have guessed that we would come to saddle it with so much pretentious baggage–so many grandiose theories, political agendas, philosophical projects, apocalyptic meanings? A word that was once commonly understood to mean “strange,” “odd,” “unusual,” “abnormal,” or “sick,” and was routinely applied to lesbians and gay men as a term of abuse, now intimates possibilities so complex and rarified that entire volumes are devoted to spelling them out.” -David Halperin

#QueerAF is a hashtag used on Twitter and Tumblr by trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, androgynous and gender fluid users to celebrate content that is unapologetically queer, or “queer as fuck.” The use of “AF” in the title of this conference indicates our interest in exploring the power of language to form community in a digital space through the assignation of #QueerAF. The invocation of slurs such as queer, dyke, homo, slut, bitch, and tranny degrades individuals, and those same words have been subsequently reclaimed, yet not without deep controversy. Establishing a conference that is “#QueerAF” represents our resistance to societal politeness by participating in the reclamation of “queer” and disrupting the heteronormative discourse that terms certain behaviors and bodies dangerous or degenerate.

The conference theme draws on multiple disciplines and perspectives on gender and sexuality, inviting challenges to the heteronormative, cisgender, patriarchal discourse of history. Proposals are invited for papers on any aspect of Gender & Sexuality across all time periods and geographical locations. In particular, this conference will be centering around three major themes: Historical & Cultural studies, Linguistics & Theory, and Activism & Media. 

Areas include but are not limited to the topics below:

Historical & Cultural Studies:

Empire, colonialism and gender
Gender, Sexuality and the politics of Health Care & Psychiatry
Sex work
Holocaust & Gender
Intersectional feminism
Subaltern reading communities & Book History
Representations of “queer” and gendered “other” in literature and fanzine culture
Representations of queer and gendered other in underground music culture
Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Video Games
Diversity and Harassment in Video Game Culture
Gender and Online Abuse
Representations of queerness in film and media (Transparent, The New Normal)
Explorations of the horror genre and the “monstrous queer” (Hannibal, Penny Dreadful)
Reclaiming of queer figures “hidden from history”

Linguistics & Theory:

Gender as performance; queer as performance
Theoretical challenges to Foucauldian readings and post-structuralism
Heterosexism of Theory (Freud, Lacan, etc.)
The Gendered Body & Disability Studies
Sexology (Hirschfeld, Carpenter, Krafft-Ebbing, Ellis)
Radical Feminisms and the “queering” of language and theory
Reclaiming and reappropriation of slurs (Queer, dyke, slut, gay, feminist, bitch, tranny)
Misgendering as an act of violence

Activism & Media

Social Media Activism
Queerness and citizenship
Radical Gendered Activism, Fourth Wave Feminism, Riot Grrrl
Remembrance & Curating Queer History (Stonewall, national monuments, museums, archives)
Gender, Sexual Identity & the Law in the United States
Global/Transnational social movements, LGBTQ & Gender-based Human Rights
AIDS, Race and Gender

Deadline for Submissions is 1 March 2017!