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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Call for Papers: "Queer Privates"

The 2010 Queer Studies Graduate Symposium at the University of California, Davis is pleased to announce a call for papers, "Queer Privates" for their May 14, 2010 conference. The keynote speaker is Mel Chen, Assistant Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at UC Berkeley. Abstract deadline: March 1, 2010.

Call for Papers: "Queer Privates"
2010 Queer Studies Graduate Symposium
University of California, Davis
Date: Friday, May 14
Keynote Speaker: Mel Chen, Assistant Professor of Gender & Women's
Studies, UC Berkeley
Mel Chen's research interests include queer and feminist theory,
critical linguistics, contagion and contamination, critical animal
studies, and the cultural politics of race, sexuality, ability, and
While the theme "queer privates" certainly invites theoretical
considerations of the body and embodied practices, this symposium aims
to situate discussions of private parts and intimate acts in relation
to liberal discourses of privacy and neoliberal processes of
privatization. Recent queer scholarship has criticized the tendency
for racially and economically privileged lesbian and gay activists to
argue for the "right to privacy" in order to gain access to marriage,
the military, and health care. Calls for institutional inclusion often
demand public recognition of a privatized lesbian and gay identity
that further marginalizes queers who cannot or will not conform to the
expectations of homonormativity. Queer scholarship has also
interrogated the steady dismantling of the welfare state and the
increased privatization of public education, the prison-industrial
complex, and practices of war and empire. These processes unevenly
affect queers of color, working-class queers, queers with
disabilities, gender-nonconforming queers, and other queer and trans
subjects. In addition to investigating the ways in which discourses of
individual privacy work in synchrony with trans/national processes of
privatization, this symposium seeks to not simply diagnose the
differences but also to understand the convergences between
homonormative investments in the imagined private sphere and queer
calls for public culture and public accountability. By exploring the
multiple iterations of "queer privates" that operate on personal and
collective levels, this symposium aims to open up possibilities for
imagining other forms of desiring, belonging, and organizing.
For whom is privacy a privilege? How can queer scholarship think
critically about the desirability of privacy? What are the limits of
activist projects that strategically call for privacy rights? In what
ways do notions of privacy depend upon liberal discourses of
individualism? How might a consideration of the permeability of bodies
allow for a reconceptualization of personhood and privacy? In what
ways might a queering of domesticity trouble homonormative conceptions
of the private sphere? How can we reimagine queer public culture
beyond pride parades and wedding celebrations? What is the
relationship between nationalist discourses of respectability and the
relegation of certain intimacies to the realm of the private? How has
the commodification of queerness led to the professionalization of
lesbian and gay politics? In what ways have queer and trans
communities responded to the privatization of social services? Which
bodies benefit from encounters with medical and scientific
technologies, and which bodies are susceptible to medical and state
surveillance technologies? How might queer and trans studies critique
transnational economies and environmental racism? What strategies have
queer and trans people devised for negotiating privatized systems of
crime prevention and immigration control? How does the privatization
of public education endanger the place of queer, trans, and ethnic
studies within the academy while simultaneously excluding those who
cannot afford the high cost of tuition?
We invite scholarship from a broad range of disciplines, especially
interdisciplinary work in queer theory and trans theory. We especially
encourage theoretical work and empirically-informed investigations
that critically engages mutually constitutive articulations of gender
and sexuality, race and ethnicity, structures of class, religion and
nationality, and hierarchies of dis/ability. We also welcome papers
engaging activism and community organizing.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
- Body parts, bodily schemas, embodied lives
- Affective economies of love, hate, intimacy, shame, etc.
- Queer privates in memoirs, journals and other narratives
- Medical technologies as coercive and/or transformative
- Cyberprivacy and digital bodies
- Queer parenting and the erotics of domesticity
- Literary and artistic queerings of the private sphere
- Children as private property, the child as public figure
- Contagion, contamination, and queer bodies / ecologies
- Legal discourses of privacy
- Private parts in/of public performance
- Ethnographies of privacy, privates, and privatization
- Citizenship, the private sphere, and national belonging
- Temporalities of the private and privatization
- Queer effects of privatized education and social services
- Surveillance technologies and the "invasion" of privacy
- Political responses to criminalization and incarceration
- Privatization of immigration control and homeland security
Please send a 500-word abstract and a one-page CV to
queersymposium2010@gmail.com by March 1, 2010. Along with this
abstract, please indicate if your presentation requires any A/V
equipment. Acceptances will be sent out by March 15, 2010.
For more information, please contact the symposium co-chairs, Tristan
Josephson and Liz Montegary, at queersymposium2010@gmail.com.