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Queertopia 2016: Troubling Queerness

April 16, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Queer studies is at a crossroads. The Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality, in conjunction with unparalleled advances in political inclusion, and widespread visibility for queer and transgender people have greatly influenced the public sphere. At the same time, recent theoretical turns away from anti-normativity as a guiding principle have called into question the utility of the appellation ‘queer.’ Tensions between the extreme levels of violence and poverty for people at the margins of “queerness,” particularly trans people of color, and this widespread visibility and political inclusion, raise important questions for queer studies today. In this context, queer people of color–and black queer people in particular—have negotiated and contested what ‘queerness’ means to them. In light of these questions, Queertopia 2016 will take up scholarship making use of a “queer of color critique” in order to think through the utility of “queerness” as an analytic framework, particularly for people of color.

Keynote Speaker: Calvin Warren, Assistant Professor of American Studies at George Washington University

The Graduate Commons, Northwestern University

9:00-10:00 Breakfast

10:00-10:15: Opening Remarks

10:15-11:30: Panel One: Decolonizing Queerness: Indigeneity and Queer of Color Critique
• Mayfield Brooks (Northwestern University), Fugitive Dreams: Mapping the Body, Locating the Dead
• Anthony Choquette (Vassar College), Queer Indigenisms and the Specificities of (Queer) Blackness
• Scott Leydon (Northwestern University), Fracking and Counterfracking: A Decolonial Critique of
Settler Sexual Subjection
• Respondent: Chad Infante (Northwestern University)

11:40-12:55: Panel Two: Temporality, Affect, and The Black Body
• William C. Anderson (Independent Scholar), Objects Of Retribution: Contemporary Pornographic
Incarnations Of The Black Body
• Claudia Garcia-Rojas (Northwestern University), Title TBD
• Jared Richardson (Northwestern University), To Infinity and Below: The Oceanic Feeling and Black
• Respondent: Tyrone S. Palmer (Northwestern University)
1:00-1:40 Lunch

1:45-3:10 Keynote Address: Dr. Calvin L. Warren (George Washington University), Title TBD

3:15-4:30 Panel Three: Relation, Irrelation, Non-Relation: Afro-Pessimist Perspectives
• Tay Glover (Northwestern University), Black. Queer. Female. Woman: Rethinking Onticide through
Dialogics of Racialized-Gender, the Body, and Black Women’s History
• James Bliss (UC Irvine), Opened Letters: Audre Lorde’s Irrelational Erotics
• Aaron Clarke (Northwestern University), Sounding the Antagonism: Black Study and the
• Respondent: Shoniqua Roach (Northwestern University)

4:40-5:55. Panel Four: Trans-formative Directions
• V Chaudhry (Northwestern University), Revisiting the “T:” Trans* Studies & Subjectivity within
Queer of Color Critique
• Bennie Niles (Northwestern University), Queering the Starting Line: Intersex Studies and the Caster
Semenya Controversy
• Theodore Foster (Northwestern University), Coloring Content: Blackness, Civil Rights and LGBTQ
activism in the South
• Respondent: Darien Wendell

6:00: Closing Remarks and Reception


April 16, 2016
9:00 am - 6:00 pm


Northwestern University’s Queer Pride Graduate Student Association (QPGSA)


2122 Sheridan Road, Evanston, Illinois, 60201

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