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Transnational Queer Activism

Janice Irvine and Jill Irvine, eds.

This call for papers seeks contributions to an edited volume on transnational queer and LGBT politics, movements, and activism. This volume will feature work that bridges theoretical and empirical methodologies, and that is located within both disciplinary and interdisciplinary frames. Drawing upon current research on a broad range of cases, it aims to provide a comparative analysis of queer politics both within countries and across regions.  We are particularly interested in the notion of queer as it has traveled around the globe and the opportunities and/or obstacles it presents for various types of activism, movement building, strategic action, and identities. In addition, we are interested in articles that address the following
questions:

1.) What political strategies have queer and LGBT movements pursued?
How have these strategies been shaped by factors such as nation, religion, gender, and other axes of difference?

2.) How do LGBTQ activists frame issues? How do global discourses,
norms, and languages shape local issues and how, in turn, do local
issues and frames shape global discourses?   Do queer politics versus
LGBT politics create alternative or mutually reinforcing sets of issues
and political demands?

3.) What alliances do LGBTQ movements and activists build locally,
regionally and  internationally?  What factors have caused rifts or
fissures in queer or LGBT movements? To what extent does queer activism
intersect with other forms of activism/resistance?

4.) How have activists disrupted or been shaped by geographical and
other binaries, such as east/west, north/south.  Are there different
variants of queerness as it is understood and applied in transnational
contexts?

Paper proposals of no more than 250 words should be submitted to Jill
Irvine at Jill.Irvine@ou.eduand Janice Irvine at irvine@soc.umass.edu by
April 1, 2014.  Proposals will be reviewed quickly and authors will be
notified by May 15, 2014.   Draft papers, approximately 8,000 words in
length, will be due January 15, 2015.

Technologies of Sex & Gender Unconference: Queer Theories and Subjects
 
GLBT Studies International Communication Association Preconference

MAY 22, 2014 – SEATTLE

This ICA preconference brings together scholars, activists, and artists working on gender, sexuality, communication, media, and technology to examine, debate, and plan new projects, including:

• Investigating how the strategies activists and artists have developed in this field can transform academic research practice, as well as how academics can contribute to activist and artistic technology projects
• Providing an interdisciplinary environment in which LGBT, queer, and gender-nonconforming technology scholars, activists, and artists can network with each other, learn about current work in these fields, forge partnerships, and develop new collaborative projects
• Creating applications, games, and art that explore, celebrate, or undermine sexualized and gendered subjectivities.
• Researching how LGBT, queer, and gender nonconforming populations employ technologies in specific historical and cultural contexts (particularly by looking at the intersections of gender, race, nationality, class, and sexuality in these contexts)
• Discussing how queer, transgender, and feminist theories can be brought to bear on technology research, and how these fields can and must transform each other in the process
• Exploring how queer, transgender, and feminist theories can be integrated into technology design practice
• Ascertaining how scholars have used and can use technologies to study sexual- and gender-nonconforming communities, including their own
 

The preconference’s goal is to provoke encounters that would set in motion future collaborations and networks among artists, activists, and scholars. It utilizes the “unconference” format, in which participants, rather than organizers, decide on the agenda from among their own submitted proposals. This allows for more intensive interaction, higher-level conversations, and a more engaged, productive experience than traditional academic conferences.

 
Proposals due JAN. 20, 2013. For info, see http://icaglbt.wordpress.com or contact ica.glbt@gmail.com

Sponsors: Dept Communication University of Washington, School of Media and Communication at Temple University,  The Stranger, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at UW-Bothell, Greater Seattle Business Assoc., Co-sponsoring ICA Divisions/Interest Groups: Feminist Scholarship, Popular Communication, Ethnicity and Race in Communication, Global Communication and Social Change, Communication History,  Game Studies.  

Next week will see the final lecture in the Who do you think you are? Lecture Series on Wednesday 23 October, 1.30pm, Umthombo U11. Gabriel Khan will deliver this lecture, titled Youth Speak Out: A Strategy to Strengthen the Rights of LGBTI Youth in Southern Africa – please find the abstract below.

 

Youth Speak Out: A Strategy to Strengthen the Rights of LGBTI Youth in Southern Africa

 

Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) is a South Africa-based centre for LGBTI culture and education.

GALA acknowledges that young people are significant catalysts for change and so for the past year the organisation has been piloting a creative-based approach to youth engagement. This innovate youth program includes a number of targeted interventions including citizen journalism, youth exchanges and arts-based activism. By adopting a multi-faceted approach, GALA’s youth program seeks to actively engage young people while simultaneously empowering them with the skills to advocate for their rights and to work towards positive social transformation.

LGBTI youth in southern Africa face formidable challenges, including, among other things, limited access to services, discrimination within educational institutions, difficulty finding work, and sexual violence. The strict hetero-patriarchy of many African societies, often coupled with the idea that homosexuality is ‘unAfrican’ – a belief perpetuated by many politicians including South Africa’s own president – has created an environment in which many young LGBTI people are denied their basic rights. While nominal legal equality has been won for LGBTI persons in South Africa, the battle for social equality has only just begun, particularly for those who face multiple and intersecting oppressions. Rather than merely advocating on behalf of LGBTI youth, GALA seeks to engage them directly in the struggle for equality and to ensure that their voices are heard on their own terms.

This paper will profile and unpack GALA’s youth-based work through an in-depth case study of its Arts for Activism initiative. This project introduces participants to a range of arts-based techniques as a way of building young people’s skills around campaign building. The workshops use a participatory methodology to engage young people in discussions about human rights and to reflect critically on the challenges they face as LGBTI youth. Participants are then supported by GALA to create their own advocacy campaigns by applying their knowledge of human rights to the arts-based techniques they have learnt. For GALA, this is the most exciting part of the Art for Advocacy project: its methodology allows young LGBTI Africans to develop advocacy campaigns that specifically address the issues they face in a way that they – as young LGBTI activists – want.

As well as providing a detailed analysis of the methodology behind the Art for Activism project, this paper will present some of the creative materials and campaign strategies developed by the youth participants. The paper will thus provide a unique insight into the way in which LGBTI youth in southern Africa understand both their experiences and the myriad challenges that they face. Moreover, it will provide a fascinating glimpse into the networks and alliances being developed by LGBTI youth in southern Africa and the way in which these young activists are engaging with broader society.

The Art for Activism project, which has been successfully run by GALA within South Africa and, by the time of the conference, will be extended regionally, has proven effective for fighting discrimination, promoting equality and increasing visibility.

BEYOND WINDSOR

Queer theory fought the marriage equality movement and lost. What comes next will require scholars to come out of their journals and into the streets. by Claire Potter.

“These examples underline the point that social movements need theory, but theory needs a social movement, and queer theory in particular needs to address its movement future. Attaching itself to neocolonial and antiracist struggles is one crucial route, but that route is also fraught with contradictions that cannot be resolved if activist queers are unwilling to privilege homophobia as destructive to a truly radical vision or to imagine building a broad-based social movement that puts activists in communities that are now being claimed by a liberal gay and lesbian establishment.”

The next QTRG meeting will take place on Thursday 26 September at 17:00 in SH3176 (Senate House – 3rd floor).

We will be discussing Jason Ritchie‘s article entitled “How Do You Say “Come Out of the Closet” in Arabic? Queer Activism and the Politics of Visibility in Israel-Palestine” published in GLQ: A journal of lesbian and gay studies in 2010.

The article can be found HERE