‘Mainstreaming Queerness: The New Queer Vanguard’ Conference

Thur/Fri, 10-11th June, 2021.

With special guest keynote speakers: Jack Halberstam and Heather Love 

The call for papers has now ended.

We will be announcing the full conference programme during April/May 2021.

call for papers

We will be hosting our first conference titled ‘Mainstreaming Queerness: The New Queer Vanguard’ which will take place online on 10-11th of June, 2021.

At this online conference we invite contributions from anyone thinking about queer in new and exciting ways.

As an academic tool, ‘queer’ has traditionally defied definition, acting as a mechanism through which one can disrupt established norms and question conventional understandings that surround us. We see this as crucial for establishing a forum in which individuals can explore queer themes in a rigorous and supportive way.

At this conference we welcome contributions from academics and non-academics alike. We wish to hear from people involved in the artistic endeavours as well as those involved in the arts, sciences, and humanities. In particular, we wish to hear from those whose experiences of queer topics come from outside of traditional academia. If you would like a discussion before submission - particularly for those outside of academic 'spaces' - please don't hesitate to email us.

Conference outline

The conference will focus on interrogating the ways in which ‘queer’ is currently being used. Queer in public spheres has become an identity label as well as being co-opted into institutional spaces to work more as ‘equality and diversity’ and less as a tool for political/social disruption. We wish to hear about how ‘queer’ currently operates, and we want to examine these further in both academic and public spheres.

On the basis of this broad objective, the conference will be organised around several themes that include but are not limited to:

  • The role of history in shaping our contemporary and future understandings of queer
  • Ways of using queer that de-centre Western narratives
  • The co-option of queerness by institutions and states
  • Organising under queer as a term that defies definition
  • The future of queer activism in the time of neoliberalism and hyper-capitalism
  • Rejecting (homo)normativity: new ways of understanding queer
  • The exclusivity of queerness in a more connected society
  • The future of queer

The conference intends to provide a forum that encourages international and interdisciplinary dialogue. We encourage submissions from all disciplinary fields and countries.

Submission guidelines

Abstracts should be:

  • Max. 300 words providing details of the proposed presentation/paper. Please keep in mind presentations will be 20-25 minutes with additional time being allocated for questions.
  • We would encourage deviations from this format, but please contact us before formally submitting.
  • Please include a biography (max. 150 words) with:
  • Name and pronouns (if you are comfortable providing)
  • Any institutions or affiliations you have that you wish to provide
  • Broader research/work interests
  • Submission deadline: Friday 26th February 2021. 

Please email abstracts to Abstracts will be peer reviewed. We aim to respond to all submissions by Wednesday 31st March 2021. We will then discuss format and suggest a date/time for your session. If you have any further questions, please email us at

We look forward to hearing from you!