This was distributed on a listserv and forwarded to me by a friend. It’s a call for papers for a symposium on “queer citizenship and vulnerability” at the University of California.
“This symposium seeks to explore the interdisciplinary navigations of queer citizenship, of queer creative spaces, of queer protest and praxis. How is queer citizenship a renegotiation or a normative performance of both time and space? Can we embrace the queer child as the futurity that Kathryn Bond Stockton and Paul Amar suggest? Does this child require the visibility of the queer in the archive? Can the queer child be regarded as the ideal citizen of the world, whose appearance defies the mythos of trickster, nymphet and changeling? How does the contemporary and historical criminalization of the queer and rendering of the *deviant* present a carnal hermeneutic to be recuperated or resisted? What activisms can queer scholarship and subjectivity embrace and require to live well. How can queer bodies be regarded as sites that exceed time and space, as queer cartographies of becoming? How does living well require an erotics of power that requires living from and through, or against, the flesh?
Possible presentation topics include (but are not limited to) the following:
– Engagements of gender and sexuality
– Post-humanism and the non-human
– Sites and systems of surveillance
– Queer interventions in religion, philosophy, and theology
– Narratives of resistance, captivity, and those that are hidden, silenced, or hitherto untold
– Translation and cross-cultural, cross-national, cross species communication
– Bare life and non-life
– Historical engagements with pathologization of Queer identities and practices
– Contemporary cultural studies and the cyber-culture of queer
– Fleshed experience of gender, sexuality, and race in a global arena
– Sovereignty and the bio(necro)politics of the vulnerable
– Liminal existence and the well-being of vulnerable communities.
– Migration and transmigration, embodiments of resistance and refugee status
– Sociology and gender and sexuality”
I’m not going to do a thorough analysis of this. Queer theory is not even a thing worth trying to understand. It’s vague, bizarre, academic jargon that makes its practitioners feel cool and hip but means nothing to anybody outside their circle.
I will just point you to a few things.
- Why are these adult academics romanticizing the queer child rather than queer adult?
- The word nymphet means “A pubescent girl regarded as sexually desirable.”
- They say the “queer child” defies the mythos of the nymphet. We have several examples of “queer children” in the form of “trans girls” being promoted by the media, most notably Jazz Jennings. Are children like this defying the myth of the nymphet or are they actually being a nymphet? And once again, why are adults in the academy theorizing about this? And why is this even happening?
- Hermeneutic means interpretation, so I can only imagine that a carnal hermeneutic is interpreting meaning through the body? ….okay….
- Isn’t it hilarious that queer bodies can “exceed time and space”? (I’m picturing a queer-looking anime kid with blue hair floating through space being so radically queer that ze doesn’t even exist in this dimension anymore.)
- Isn’t “living against the flesh” a perfect description of transgender politics?
- Is the end result of queer theory that we’ll all get rid of our bodies altogether and just upload our radical transgressive speshulness to the Internet to exist as supercool anime characters of our own creation without being encumbered by burdensome flesh?
- What could “cross-species communication” mean? (Or do I even want to know?)
This is so creepy and weird it looks like satire, but it’s a real actual symposium, and if you want to submit a paper, I’ll send you the details!