Queer dis-eases: Disruptive histories, politics, and bodies
Queering is a productive point of departure from which to break down traditional cultural and scholarly categories and hierarchies. Queerness inherently positions itself against dominant modes of thought, creating social, political, and affective discomfort. However, it also enables the production of scholarship that draws the marginal to the centre, shifting the focus of analysis to bodies, histories, and research tools that generate dis-eases. Not only can such a disruption allow one to examine the limitations of existing structures more clearly, but also to subvert and overcome them with potential liberatory futurities. Such a productive understanding of queerness that allows us to forge bonds between people, disciplines, and temporalities is also the force behind this
conference. We aim to provide a space for dialogue and for encounters among different methodologies and ways of experiencing queer dis-ease.
To that end, we encourage submissions from researchers, activists, artists, and educators relating to, but not limited to, the following three main interdisciplinary axes:
Queer/trans* affects, embodied minds, mindful bodies
Queer approaches to knowledge are marked by the productive element embedded in affects, bodies, and minds. Archival research, sociological and anthropological practices, literary studies, and queer philosophy all employ the notion of affect and body as both a subject of research and a research tool. By interrogating how such approaches can be a generator of dis-ease and discomfort in all the subjectivities and communities involved – from the researcher to the subjects involved in the research to the readers/spectators – we aim to explore possible theoretical and practical interweavings, as well as ways of including discomforting bodies and affects in researching different forms of representation.
Creating discomfort and dis-ease as political strategy seems to be one of the most visible
character traits of queer cultures and practices. We want to explore this political aspect
embedded in queer research practices by focusing both on the academic research that
addresses such dis-ease and the effects of producing dis-ease through research.
Additionally, queer theory has also become an approach considered complementary to the analysis and representation of disability through an emphasis on the lived experience of alternate modes of being in contention with exclusionary, ableist norms. The event is also meant to become the space for discussing the blurred and ever-changing borders between politics and academic work.
Queer histories and stories – unravelled through historical, literary, and sociological
performance practices – have created dis-eases within different academic and social
environments by disrupting assumed narratives and representations with the actualities of lived experience. The stories presented at the conference may also pinpoint the ways in which queer lives have often been intimately intertwined with notions of disease, from the pathologisation of HIV and AIDS to the concept of minority stress. We want to question how the practice of doing queer research, by focusing and making visible the individuality of queer cases, has generated new discomforts, and how this sense of past and present enables possible futurities.
Possible topics could include:
- New methodological approaches to queering and dis-ease
- Cultural constructions of queerness and disability
- Literary and artistic use of queer disruptive potential (textual/bodily/visual performances)
- Queer activisms on interrelated topics like neurodiversity, disability, fatness, race
- Affective connections and relationships
Submit abstracts of 250-350 words along with a biography of no more than 100 words to queerWG@eui.eu by 31st January. We aim to respond by early March.
The conference will take place in Florence, Italy on 22-23 May 2023. There will be no
conference fees. Participants are asked to apply for funds from their home institutions to
pay for travel and accommodation. We hope to be able to support some participants who
cannot draw on other funds with small bursaries. Please inform us of any access
requirements that you might have. We aim to integrate these in organising the event to the best of our capacities and resources. For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the organisers (firstname.lastname@example.org).