First CIRQUE Conference, L’Aquila, March 31– April 2, 2017

First CIRQUE (Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca Queer) Conference:

What’s New in Queer Studies?

L’Aquila, March 31–April 2, 2017

 A PDF version of this Call for papers is available here: CIRQUE Conference Call for Papers L’Aquila March 2017

In the late 1980s, theorists such as Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Teresa De Lauretis questioned and redefined existing discourses on identity, gender and sexuality, and called for new critical engagements in order to challenge the supposedly ‘natural’ and stable correspondence between sex, gender and desire. This resulted in the creation of the hybrid epistemic field of queer studies, which has led in turn to multiple, evolving theoretical recodifications and deconstructions of supposedly fixed and coherent identity categories.

The intersections of sex/sexuality studies, gender studies, and queer theories have productively influenced and stimulated reflection within and across many disciplines. Explorations of the embodied sexed/gendered/queer self have enabled critics to interrogate and deconstruct the methodological and epistemic foundations (as well as the tacit assumptions and colonizing grasp) of such disciplines. The production of knowledge has thus been shown to inhere in operations of power, which both authorize and constitute legitimate subjects and objects, at all levels of practice and discourse. These critical explorations have called into question Western modernity’s disciplinary regime itself, both as biopolitics – in its need of calculable and identifiable bodies – and, increasingly, beyond it, as bodies are molecularized into digits and data bundles, materialized only when in a state of flux, refigured as transformable.

Moreover, queer has shown its usefulness as an analytic and political category well beyond the questioning of sex and gender. At the most abstract, and at the same time most concrete level, it allows us to interrogate in the most radical way the categories through which every society determines the destiny of its members, and to dismantle the machinery of domination and exclusion which is implicit in them and which is deployed through them. Accordingly, the first conference organised by CIRQUE– Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca Queer (Inter-University Centre for Queer Research – wishes to engage with critical debates on queer issues in a variety of fields and encourages both analytical readings and practice-based workshops spanning all disciplines.

As well as an opportunity for global, multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary reflections on queer issues, defined in the broadest and most inclusive terms, the conference aims to queer the very modalities through which knowledge and cultural practices are articulated, shared, discussed and validated within and beyond the academic environment. One important aspect of this is that sessions will not be organized as presentations but as discussions: the full text of all contributions will be made available in advance, so that the contact time between presenters and audience will be devoted to a group discussion in order to maximize audience engagement and participation. All presenters will have the option to submit a revised version of their papers to Whatever, the peer-reviewed, open access, international online journal of CIRQUE; one of the aims of this format is to help strengthen their arguments with a view to subsequent publication. The relevant issue of Whatever will be published by the end of 2017.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Marie-Hélène/Sam Bourcier (Universitè Lille III, France), Laura Corradi (Università della Calabria, Italy) Carmen Dell’Aversano (Università di Pisa, Italy), Massimo Fusillo (Università dell’Aquila, Italy), Marco Pustianaz (Università del Piemonte Orientale, Italy), William Spurlin (Brunel University, United Kingdom).

We welcome intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches and invite proposals for papers, panels, round-table sessions, thematic workshops, performances and other queerings of formats on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Queer Embodiments
  • Animal Queer
  • Neuroqueer and Neurodiversity
  • The Queer Politics of Migration
  • Queer Legal Theory
  • Queer Economies
  • Queer Pedagogy
  • Queer Genealogies: History, Memory, Identities
  • Queering Categories of Race
  • Queer Crip
  • Transnational and Cross-Cultural Queerness
  • Queer Pornographies
  • Queer Kinship
  • Queer and Posthuman
  • Queer Heterosexualities
  • Queer and Mainstream Culture
  • Queer Temporalities
  • Queer Spatialities
  • Queer and Post-Queer
  • Queer Ethics
  • Queer Performativity
  • Queer Feminism(s)
  • Queer Activisms
  • Queer Anarchism(s)
  • Queer Hermeneutics

Those wishing to participate should send a 300-word abstract (for papers) or a 2-page outline for other activity formats (round-tables, workshops, performances…), together with a brief bio (including contact details) by September, 30, 2016 to:

Participants will be notified of acceptance by October, 31, 2016.

The time for individual papers in parallel sessions will be 30 minutes. Time slots for other activities will be negotiated with the presenters. As mentioned, all presenters will be asked to share papers, and detailed descriptions of other activities, with all participants by March 1st, 2017.

Conference registration will be E50 for tenured faculty, E25 for everyone else; this will include coffee breaks. If you feel strongly about participating but have serious economic issues which make it difficult for you to do so, please write to explain your predicament: we might be able to help.

All food at the conference will be vegan, not only because of the sizable intersection between queer and animal rights theorists and activists, but because this policy makes it possible to provide for a number of dietary requirements in the most practical way. If you have additional food issues we should be considering, please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate them.

L’Aquila is the capital of Abruzzo, in central Italy. Although the city centre was hit by an earthquake in April 2009, both the city and its surroundings remain popular destinations for travellers who want to enjoy the naturalistic beauties of Parco del Gran Sasso and the quaint charm of little medieval towns such as Celano, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Rocca Calascio, Campo Imperatore, Bominaco. The city itself still offers a number of interesting destinations such as the Spanish Fort, the San Bernardino and Collemaggio basilicas, and the Fountain of the 99 spouts. Restoration and rebuilding are ongoing, and the interesting collections of two museums (MUNDA for ancient art up to the XVIII century, MUSPAC for contemporary art), as well as the city centre itself, are again becoming accessible.

L’Aquila can be reached in 90 minutes from Rome by either car or bus.

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