LGBTIQ movement politics are often accompanied by references to temporality: demands for equality are framed as progressive, activists and artists create utopian conceptions of future worlds, or compare present discrimination with past persecution. In a two-day workshop, we seek to historicize these connections of LGBTIQ movement politics and queer temporalities. Our key question concerns the tensions between these two aspects: What concepts of past, present, and future have queer movements developed and to what ends? In how far did they reproduce notions of linear temporality (progress narratives) or fundamentally question them and queer normative notions of temporality? What were (and are) the temporalized notions of homophobic and transphobic politics? How can we make sense of the recurrence of temporal figures in queer and queerphobic politics?
For the past fifteen years or so, the concept of temporality has been enormously productive in queer studies (Edelman, No Future, Muñez, Queer Futurity, Love, Feeling Backward, Halberstam, In a Queer Time and Place, Freccero, Queer/Early/Modern, etc). But often enough, this research has not been in conversation with historians of homosexuality and queerness and their sophisticated engagement with the relationship between (homo)sexuality, past, and present (Valerie Traub, "The New Unhistoricism in Queer Studies," Laura Doan, Disturbing Practices). Most recently, Rahul Rao and others have criticized queer temporality theorists’ narrow focus on the West or even the United States only. Rao points to the historical intertwining of subjectivity, sexuality, and colonialism, and to the metaphors of delay and arrested development that have been used to describe both colonized and queer people. What might be historical responses to Rao's enterprise of showing "how gender and sexuality are co-constituted by a host of categories, including (but not limited to) nation, religion, race, class, and caste" (Rao, Out of Time, 12)?
We seek to focus the conference on transnational and global historical perspectives. Abstracts on the following topics are conceivable, for example:
- What are colonial, post- and neocolonial references to temporality in the history of LGBTIQ movements? What different temporalities were evident in - or constructed by - transnational LGBTIQ politics? How did they relate to each other?
- What role does temporality play in histories of inter, trans, and bisexuality?
- What temporal notions were mobilized by LGBTIQ-hostile actors and movements?
- What alternative forms of temporality emerged at festivals, theater performances, and other queer cultural phenomena?
- What are the connections between the construction of LGBTIQ subjectivities - for example in oral histories - and temporality?
- What role have utopias and dystopias played in LGBTIQ politics?
- How has technological acceleration, such as the popularization of the internet in the 1990s, affected queer politics?
We look forward to theoretically, methodologically, and/or empirically ambitious papers that connect historical method with queer temporalities. Papers might engage in historiographical analyses, interview analyses, work with autobiographies, digital media, etc.
We are planning to turn the workshop into a publication such as a special issue. Please keep in mind that the conference will take place in a workshop format, and contributions (3000-5000 words) are due January 31, 2024 to give everyone enough time to read them beforehand. The conference languages are German and English. Translation can be provided if needed.
The deadline for abstract submissions (ca. 300-500 words) is October 15, 2023. Please send your abstract to: email@example.com
You will be notified of the acceptance of your abstract by November 15, 2023. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by us.