Deadline Extended: CFP #QueerAF: (Re)presenting Gender & Sexuality in History & Cultural Studies, 5th Annual Dean Hopper Conference, 5-6 May 2017, Madison, NJ (Deadline 15 March 2017)

#QueerAF: (Re)presenting Gender & Sexuality in History & Cultural Studies

5th Annual Dean Hopper NEW SCHOLARS Conference

5-6 May 2017

The Ehinger Center, Drew University, Madison, NJ

“Queer” is such a simple, unassuming little word. Who ever could have guessed that we would come to saddle it with so much pretentious baggage–so many grandiose theories, political agendas, philosophical projects, apocalyptic meanings? A word that was once commonly understood to mean “strange,” “odd,” “unusual,” “abnormal,” or “sick,” and was routinely applied to lesbians and gay men as a term of abuse, now intimates possibilities so complex and rarified that entire volumes are devoted to spelling them out.”  -David Halperin

#QueerAF is a hashtag used on Twitter and Tumblr by trans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, androgynous and gender fluid users to celebrate content that is unapologetically queer, or “queer as fuck.” The use of “AF” in the title of this conference indicates our interest in exploring the power of language to form community in a digital space through the assignation of #QueerAF. The invocation of slurs such as queer, dyke, homo, slut, bitch, and tranny degrades individuals, and those same words have been subsequently reclaimed, yet not without deep controversy. Establishing a conference that is “#QueerAF” represents our resistance to societal politeness by participating in the reclamation of “queer” and disrupting the heteronormative discourse that terms certain behaviors and bodies dangerous or degenerate.

The conference theme draws on multiple disciplines and perspectives on gender and sexuality, inviting challenges to the heteronormative, cisgender, patriarchal discourse of history. Proposals are invited for papers on any aspect of Gender & Sexuality across all time periods and geographical locations.  In particular, this conference will be centering around three major themes: Historical & Cultural studies, Linguistics & Theory, and Activism & Media.

Keynote Speakers:

Claire Bond Potter is Professor of History, Director of the Digital Humanities Initiative, and Executive Editor of Public Seminar at The New School, New York, NY. She is co-editor, with Renee Romano, of Doing Recent History: On Privacy, Copyright, Video Games, Institutional Review Boards, Activist Scholarship, and History That Talks Back (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2012.) Currently she is working on a book of essays, Digital U: Why Crowdsourcing, Social Media, Word Press and Google Hangouts Could Save the Historical Profession. She is a co-director of, a non-profit digital resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history. Potter received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from New York University.

Curt Herr has a Ph.D. from Fordham University and teaches Victorian Gothic and Contemporary LGBT Literature at Kutztown University. He wrote his dissertation on what is considered to be the worst novel of the 19th century: Varney the Vampire; or, The Feast of Blood. Addicted to Victorian pulp novels of the 1860’s, he has written critical editions of several Victorian Sensation novels including Mrs. Henry Wood’s Danesbury House, and Dene Hollow. He is currently on sabbatical researching Female Victorian Spiritualists. In his spare time, he writes romance novels under a female pseudonym.


Areas include but are not limited to the topics below:

Historical & Cultural Studies:

  • Empire, colonialism and gender
  • Gender, Sexuality and the politics of Health Care & Psychiatry
  • Sex work
  • Holocaust & Gender
  • Intersectional feminism
  • Subaltern reading communities & Book History
  • Representations of  “queer” and gendered “other” in literature and fanzine culture
  • Representations of queer and gendered other in underground music culture
  • Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Video Games
  • Diversity and Harassment in Video Game Culture
  • Gender and Online Abuse
  • Representations of queerness in film and media  (Transparent, The New Normal)
  • Explorations of the horror genre and the  “monstrous queer” (Hannibal, Penny Dreadful)
  • Reclaiming of queer figures “hidden from history”

Linguistics & Theory:

  • Gender as performance; queer as performance
  • Theoretical challenges to Foucauldian readings and post-structuralism
  • Heterosexism of Theory (Freud, Lacan, etc.)
  • The Gendered Body & Disability Studies
  • Sexology (Hirschfeld, Carpenter, Krafft-Ebbing, Ellis)
  • Radical Feminisms and the “queering” of language and theory
  • Reclaiming and reappropriation of slurs (Queer, dyke, slut, gay, feminist, bitch, tranny)
  • Misgendering as an act of violence

Activism & Media

  • Social Media Activism
  • Queerness and citizenship
  • Radical Gendered Activism, Fourth Wave Feminism, Riot Grrrl
  • Remembrance & Curating Queer History (Stonewall, national monuments, museums, archives)
  • Gender, Sexual Identity & the Law in the United States
  • Global/Transnational social movements, LGBTQ & Gender-based Human Rights
  • AIDS, Race and Gender

Extended Deadline for Submissions is 15 March 2017!

Submit Proposals Here.


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About Steve Mentz 1264 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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