Queer Theory, Queer Critique and Queer Activism in Motion

Conference | 28/29/30 April 2011 | Universität Wien

Organization: Gender Research Office at the University of Vienna

Download:Call for Papers (PDF)

20 years after the emergence of "queer" as a political concept we would like to discuss the radical potential of queer theory and activism within different spatial, cultural and socio-political contexts. Along with its appearance in the US academia – or maybe even before – “queer” also turned up as a grass-roots movement in response to the homophobic political rhetoric surrounding the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. As a successful appropriation of a once derogatory term, "queer" is not only closely connected to the Anglo-American language but also to its socio-political context.

The aim of this conference is to open up a space for dialogue between different methodological approaches, forms of activism, research fields and interests of the "Import – Export – Transport" of queer theory, critique and activism.

We therefore want to ask:

  • How and by whom the term “queer” was/is appropriated and for which purposes, with particular attention to the different settings and locations. For instance, taking a closer look at the differences in welfare state arrangements, the legal situations of LGBT or its different degrees of institutionalization. Which queer theories are received, discussed and developed? Where and how are they applied and adapted to these settings?
  • What does the term “queer” mean and how is its meaning transported in(to) different contexts? Has there been a noticeable shift in its meaning? What effects or repercussions has this had on queer research practices and on the political impact of queer activism?
  • In regards to academic research and theory we want to take a look at who is “transporting”, developing, and adapting queer theory and what their research interests are. Is a “methodology” of queer theory and activism currently evolving (e.g. what are problems of “translation”)?
  • Proposals could also address the following questions: How is queer theory reflected in political activism and how have particular theoretical concepts been adapted and adopted for political practices in different local contexts? How do activists serve as theorists, how do theorists engage in political activities?

We invite activists, students, graduates, artists, scholars, and researchers working in the field of queer theory and queer activism to contribute to the conference. We especially welcome contributions that transgress disciplinary boundaries and the boundaries between academic and non-academic settings and encourage participants working in media/performance art to submit proposals for works and interventions to be included as part of the conference.

Confirmed participants amongst others: Judith Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California), Katerina Kolárová (Prague). The conference language is English. A conference publication is planned.

  • We welcome contributions for 20-minute or 45-minute papers, 300 words max; or 1.5 hour workshops (teams are especially welcome) as well as poster presentations or film screenings/performances.
  • Please submit your proposals by November 30, 2010, full papers by March 1, 2011 to queerconference2011.gender@univie.ac.at
  • Please attach a short cv and a bibliography.
  • We will do our best to provide travel funds, but strongly encourage participants to apply for travel funding at their home institutions.


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