CfP: Queer Again? Power, Politics and Ethics (Event: 09/2010, Berlin); DL: 31.03.2010

Department of English and American Studies and the Research Training Group „Gender as a Category of Knowledge“

Time: 23.-25.09.2010
Place: Berlin
Deadline: 31.03.2010

The concept of queer is volatile and, at times, difficult to grasp. As a result, we need a continuous review of the fields and debates within Queer Theory. In his 2004 study No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive, Lee Edelman manoeuvred queer theory into a kind of aporia and thus deep crisis that persists to this day. Subscription to an „ethics of futility“, as Edelman suggests, signals that the borders of ethical thinking have been reached.

However, in debates following the publication of Edelman’s book (as for instance, in the Social Text issue of 2005 with the programmatic title What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?) the ethical impetus of queer criticism confronted and challenged the dominance of the so-called antisocial thesis. This ongoing debate and the regular recurrence of the antisocial thesis in its different manifestations reveals a pressing need to reflect anew the relationship between queer and theory, art, ethics, and politics.

Taking this as a starting point for the conference, we want to take up the iterative moment that seems inherent in the concept of queer: queer is regularly in a state of crisis that needs to be made productive, and in this way it can be continuously reworked and reshaped. We want to provide a space to further the debate about sexuality and gender and their multiple interconnections in fields of power.

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