‘Mainstreaming Queerness: The New Queer Vanguard’ Conference

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

With special guest keynote speakers:


Tickets will be released on Monday 26th April at 6pm (BST)

Specific panel times will be provided shortly, we are just waiting on a few details

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.

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.

Conference Panels 

Thursday 10th June 2021

Queer Memories

This panel looks at fragments of queer memory and how we articulate and rediscover the memories that have fallen down the cracks in time.

  • Ben Hammond: 'Opushchennye - Downtrodden': the Importance of Soviet Queerness in our Historical Understanding of the Soviet Union and Ourselves
  • Aleksandra Gajowy: 'Queer/Jewish/Polish? The Queer Ghosts of Muranów'
  • Ada M. Patterson: ...when we come up for air
  • Alice Reed: The Future of Memory: Queer Archives as Radical Praxis
  • Martha Robinson Rhodes: Queer Time in Oral Histories of Bisexuality and Multiple-Gender-Attraction


Queer Languages

This panel looks at how language allows us to articulate how to be queer and do queerness. It asks questions about the limits of inclusivity and exclusivity in language.

  • Matt Kennedy: Trans Studies Navigating the Academy as Queer Studies' Evil Twin
  • Liam Lewis: 'Eko; Eko; Azarak': Witchcraft, Gibberish and Queer Untranslatability
  • Nastassia Rambarran: Ize Queer: Naming and Claiming in the Carribean
  • Jeana Moody: Liminalities of Language: Queer Stories that Expose and Disrupt Discursive Constructions of Heteronormativity.
  • Tessel Veneboer: The wrong kind of desire: the queer potential of envy in Kathy Acker’s anti-identitarian project.


Queer Institutions

This panel looks at understanding and redefining normative political and social apparatus that define how we view the world around us. It asks what a queer approach can offer us moving forward.

  • Jack Lindsay: Queer(y)ing Brexit: The role of the Imperiled/Empowered LGBT figuration in Consolidating post-Brexit Britishness
  • Eli Erlick: Belonging Through Exclusion: Motivations and Struggles of the Transgender Far-Right
  • Alexandra Brown: Black Queer subjectivity and decolonisation within British secondary schools: An invitation to dwell in a constant state of renewal
  • Emma Sheppard: Cripping Queer Futurities
  • Liang-Kai Yu: Racial Marginality at AIDS/Queer Exhibitions


Friday 11th June 2021

Queer Sex

This panel explores what queer sex is, looks like, feels like and how we can use queer thinking to redefine how we view and understand sex.

  • Alexandra Carina Grolimund: Bridging the consent narrative towards sex-positivity: BDSM as transgressive queer practice
  • Levi Appleton/Tom of Tottenham: Fucking queers. Negotiating BDSM and finding queer intimacy.
  • David Carrillo-Rangel: Before the Dominance: A Queer Killjoy Guide for Activism, Academia and Sex.
  • Patrick (aka Sebastian) Baxter: Manchester Penetrated: Mapping Queer transgressive sex, intimacy & pleasure Through autoethnographic storytelling techniques
  • Ash John: Fucking Against a Gravestone: Cruising and Post-AIDS Sexual Geographies


Queer Media

This panel asks what are the limits of media and how can we queer/break those boundaries that are often imposed on media creators and consumers.

  • Vítor Blanco Fernández: Rendering Utopia: Queer Worldbuilding Through Avant-Garde 3D Aesthetics
  • Dylan SB: Toward Joy: Utopian Imaginings and Non-Binary Futurity in Arca's "KiCK i"
  • Ryan Montgomery: Drag, Horror, Filth and Glamour: Redefining Realness in the Boulet Brothers' Dragula
  • Masha Godovannaya: Balancing at the edges: experimental filmmaking as a site for queer relationality
  • Morel O’Sullivan: Star-Crossed Others: from the Queer Aesthetics of Space Travel Film to Contemporary Queer World Building


Queer Space

This panel looks at what it means to have queer space, carve out queer space and queer existing spaces.

  • Claire Tunnacliffe: a queer practice of placemaking
  • Suzanne Lenon: The Biopolitics of “Queerly Homesteading”: Pride, Place, and the Politics of Queer in a Small Canadian Prairie City
  • Giulia Casalini: Transnational Queer-feminist Methodologies in Live Art: Examining Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi’s work
  • Cathrin Fischer: Making space for queer joy


Feel free to use the contact form with the subject header 'CONFERENCE' to ask any questions you might have.

Where are you in your current timeline?

The tickets will be released on Monday 26th April at 6pm (BST).

How much do the tickets cost?

The tickets will be free but there will be an option to give a small donation if you feel able to contribute. The donations will be used to help us keep our events freely accessible in the future. This donation pot will be opening soon.

Where will this conference take place?

The conference will be accessible online via Zoom.

Will the papers be recorded?

Some of the papers will be recorded and we are just seeking permission from the individual speakers regarding this now. We are currently investigating if we can record the Queer Sex panel as there is some explicit content and it is unlikely we will be able to place this on YouTube as a result, it might be that this exists in a different place or on a different platform.

Feel free to use the contact form with the subject header 'CONFERENCE' to ask any questions you might have.

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