Category Archives: queer

CFP for the 6th Annual BSSN Conference – Global Crisis: local identities and sexuality


The theme for the 6th annual BSSN conference is ‘Global Crisis: local identities and sexuality’. This one-day conference will take place on 13 September 2012 at the University of Sussex. We invite abstracts for papers, panels, workshops, posters, exhibits, performances and other possible formats. Please submit a 300-word abstract together with your contact details and affiliation by 25 May 2 June 2012 to;

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Article published: Intersectionality Queer Studies and Hybridity

My article Intersectionality Queer Studies and Hybridity: Methodological Frameworks for Social Research has been published, along with the other winning and shortlisted essays of the 2010 Feminist and Women’s studies Association (FWSA) and is available online (see Journal of International Women’s Studies, Vol 13, #2, March 2012).

This article seeks to draw links between intersectionality and queer studies as epistemological strands by examining their common methodological tasks and by tracing some similar difficulties of translating theory into research methods. Intersectionality is the systematic study of the ways in which differences such as race, gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity and other sociopolitical and cultural identities interrelate. Queer theory, when applied as a distinct methodological approach to the study of gender and sexuality, has sought to denaturalise categories of analysis and make normativity visible. By examining existing research projects framed as ‘queer’ alongside ones that use intersectionality, I consider the importance of positionality in research accounts. I revisit Judith Halberstam’s (1998) ‘Female Masculinity’ and Gloria Anzaldua’s (1987) ‘Borderlands’ and discuss the tension between the act of naming and the critical strategical adoption of categorical thinking. Finally, I suggest hybridity as one possible complementary methodological approach to those of intersectionality and queer studies. Hybridity can facilitate an understanding of shifting textual and material borders and can operate as a creative and political mode of destabilising not only complex social locations, but also research frameworks.
Keywords: intersectionality, hybridity, queer studies

viva prep: since you submitted your thesis, what happened with…

– the Gay men blood ban: well, the lifetime ban by the National Blood service got lifted in September 2011. Now men who have engaged in sexual activity with other men in the past get a one-year-deferral, which is also the case in Italy and Spain. I’ve written about the ‘Donation not discrimination’ campaign of the National Union of Students LGBT section (also supported by Stonewall, UNISON and others) in my Chapter on space, digital networking and political identity.

– the HFEA consultation on egg donation & compensation. According to the October 2011 press release, the HFEA decided to pay women £750 per cycle of donation, which according to Lisa Jardine reflects the ‘value of donation’ – not sure what this means. But I think I understand what ‘capitalise’ means in this sentence: ‘That’s why we have decided to capitalise on our unique position by actively helping the sector to attract and retain donors, use their donations to their full and ensure that donors are well cared for and valued.’ One of my thesis chapters examines some feminist biopolitical assemblages around the 2011 HFEA consultation and reproductive rights more generally in relation to debates about the global flows of information and bodily material.

Searching ‘digital’+’networks’+’feminist’ OR ‘queer’

I’ve been looking around a bit for other projects around feminist & queer politics and digital networks. Meanwhile I’m preparing a digital storytelling workshop for women (cis or trans) – a hands on digital media technologies in everyday feminist (and perhaps queer) politics – I’ll say more about this when practicalities are sorted out.

So I came across the US-based Digital Sisterhood project which seems interesting – and features various feminist voices on a web site, online radio show, Twitter page, and Tweetchats – and even organised events like an online yoga session. I also came across the article Class, the Digital and (Immaterial) Feminism by Jennifer Cotter in THE RED CRITIQUE 13 (Fall/Winter 2008) – which basically builds its entire critique around a reading of Judy Wajcman’s TechnoFeminism, and argues that within digital capitalist conditions

“women are not freed from deepening exploitation and the deterioration of their economic conditions of life in transnational capitalism, even when some become techno-managers”.

and brutally that

“Immaterial feminism is liberal feminism, and liberal feminism is an ally of transnational capitalism, not of exploited women”.

A bit abrasive, but never mind. Then I also found this Queer & Feminist New Media Spaces post in the HASTAC site (which I admittedly visit too often lately for postdoc announcements on the other side of the Atlantic), which gives a review and lists some interesting questions in the end. I run across this older Montreal based Feminist interventions – Locative media project by Andrea Zeffiro (a doctoral candidate in Communication at Concordia University in 2008 when the post was written) which, in a reflection, concludes that

“A critical pedagogical approach – in which social, political and economic factors are made apparent prior to production – will sharpen the necessary tools, enabling feminist curiosities to excavate locative media”.

Luckily, I also found something which is forthcoming (17th of November) – the DIGITAL SITES/QUEER CIRCULATIONS: TRACING ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS AND GLBTQ COMMUNITIES organised by Mary L Gray (Indiana University) – and I’ll check back for the abstracts.