Call for Papers: queer leben/living queer, 21.-22.09.2007, Berlin

Deadline: 30th of June 2007


The conference ‘queer leben’ (‘living queer’) emerged from a project tutorial on ‘Queer Spaces’ at Humboldt University Berlin and is being held in cooperation with the Queer-Feminist Days. The aim of the conference is to engage discussions on current issues of Queer Theory and queer practice in the German-speaking world specifically. We hope that workshops, presentations and debates will facilitate an exchange traversing the boundaries of academia and a reflection on political strategies. Among other things, we consider it fundamental to question the boundaries between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. The conference is being held under the name ‘queer leben’/’living queer’ in order to create a space for the practice of and the reflection on realities of queer life/lives.

We are looking forward to propositions for presentations and workshops.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, the following questions:

– Taking Stock
How, and by whom, is the term ‘queer’ defined today compared to the past two decades? What is the situation of Queer Theory in the German-speaking world? What is being discussed and where are the gaps? What is the relation to theory in English? Where, and by whom, is Queer Theory “done”?
Which queer practices exist? What are they referring to? Where are they happening (the stage, every-day life, subcultural spaces, etc.)? How and by whom are those queer spaces created?

– Theory and Practice
Along which lines are boundaries between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ established? Who can draw those lines, who can claim interpretative authority of the respective fields? Which battles for authority exist between an academic ‘theoretical’ field and a subcultural ‘practical’ field? Who is claiming authenticity and politics, and how? Which queer identities are being defined in the process?

– Visibilities
Which queer practices are visible in queer spaces and the mainstream (of heteronormative culture as well as the gay and lesbian mainstream/s)? What can be classified as queer practice? Who decides? Which status do every-day practices have in comparison to stage performances when it comes to visibility? Which conflicts arise out of the demand for visibility as a central political goal? What is the relation between visibility and strategies of uncertainty and ambiguity? Which ambiguities can be visible, and in which contexts?

– Intersectionalities
Which contradictions are created by conflicting identity politics? Which categories of difference are obliterated by the focus on visibility and ambiguity, especially considering the fact that ambiguity is mostly created with regard to gender and sexuality? Who can ‘afford’ a politics of ambiguity? What are other approaches toward queer practices? Which ones are thinkable?

– Political Strategies
What are ‘queer’ politics? Which problems and conflicts are ‘queer politics’ currently facing? How can visibility for every-day practices be created? How can the relationship between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ be rethought? What is the role of utopian spaces in queer politics? Which strategies of networking are possible?

We are looking forward to receiving proposals for workshops and lectures (title plus abstract of 1 A4-page max.)
Please e-mail your proposals to until the 30th of June.

More information:
Website coming soon…

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