TRANS(form)ing Queer: The 11th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium

LaMonda Horton-Stallings Announcement
Subject Fields
Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities

TRANS(form)ing Queer: The 11th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium

University of Maryland—College Park

April 13, 2018

We invite proposals for scholarly papers and panels at TRANSFORMING QUEER, the 11th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium at the University of Maryland. The symposium will be a daylong series of conversations about the history, present, and future of trans and queer studies, bringing together scholars and artists whose work stands at the intersection of both. In 2004, Susan Stryker wrote: “If queer theory was born of the union of sexuality studies and feminism, transgender studies can be considered queer theory's evil twin.” In 2018, with the institutionalization of queer studies unevenly complete and transgender scholarship and politics rising in academic and media prominence, what relations (kinship or otherwise) between queer and trans knowledges are emerging? What breaks have become apparent? Given its 11-year history, we see the DC Queer Studies Symposium as a particularly important place to provide space for these fields and to engage, interrogate, and highlight their ongoing evolution at a time of renewed political urgency. Thus, the symposium will be a space not only to reflect, but also to chart new directions for queer and trans studies. Confirmed plenary speakers include: Matt Richardson (University of Texas-Austin), Aren Aizura (University of Minnesota), Micha Cardenas (University of Washington-Bothel) and Jeanne Vaccaro (University of California-Davis).

By placing “transness” at the center of the DC Queer Studies Symposium, we invite scholars to illuminate the historical convergences and divergences between queer and trans studies as they have been constituted within academia and through activist and artistic work that has centered the material urgency of queer and trans, especially queer and trans of color life. Although trans studies arguably emerges out of questions central to queer theory, we must also understand the gaps within queer studies that led to the urgency of trans studies to establish itself as a separate field. What questions, conceptions, theoretical terms, and issues has queer studies insufficiently addressed? How are established genealogies and historical trajectories of queer theory expanded if we place these issues at the center of the field? And how can queer and trans studies, together or separately, produce knowledges that respond to the intensity of the present conjuncture? We might also consider, in contrast to Stryker, if there might be alternative genealogies of transgender studies that do not arise from queer theory and that need to be understood separately in order to provide a fuller account of the field. Hence, implicit or explicit attention to form and innovative modes of knowledge production that could direct or influence future political, academic, or artistic configurations of queer and transgender studies are encouraged.

We welcome proposals for 15-minute presentations on topics including but not limited to:

  • Critical analyses of queer studies from trans perspectives
  • Critical analyses of trans studies from queer perspectives
  • The political valences of transgender, including bathroom laws and trans people in the military
  • Queer resistance to surveillance, policing, testing of transgender bodies
  • Queer of color and trans of color critique as overlapping and divergent theoretical frameworks
  • Precarity and class
  • Media discourses around the “transgender tipping point” and trans celebrity
  • The limits and potentials of trans studies/identities when placed in a global/transnational frame
  • Trans and queer people and the prison industrial complex
  • Medicalization and gender ‘identity’
  • State recognition
  • QTPOC art and activism
  • Genderqueer art and cultural movements /Transaesthetics
  • Fashion and material culture/Style
  • Discursive framings of trans life and death, ie trans day of remembrance
  • Transness and queerness in current social movements eg Black Lives Matter
  • Transfeminism
  • Decolonial/Transnational critiques of queer and trans
  • Trans and queer ecologies
  • Trans-respectability politics          
  • Anti-transviolence
  • Queer and Trans failure
  • Transmisogyny
  • Translation/The Language Problem
  • Queer transitions
  • Sex work and sexual economies
  • Transing queer temporality
  • Transing reproductive rights and planned parenthood

Submissions from any academic discipline, as well as activists, health professionals, policy makers, and community groups are welcomed.  We also encourage artists and performers to submit proposals on creative work or work presented in non-traditional forms.

Please submit 250-word paper abstract, panelist bio, and 1-2page CV by December 1, 2017 to  You may also submit a proposal for an entire panel on a particular theme or topic, but please include bios, CVs, and abstracts for each presenter/paper, as well as a description of the panel itself. Please send materials by e-mail attachment (PDF or Word).  All submissions will be peer reviewed, and those accepted will be notified no later than January 15, 2018. All events are free and open to the public.

Contact Information

JV Sapinoso


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