Queer Bodies

Organised by par Domenico A. Beneventi, Jorge Calderón et Pascal Michelucci

The queer body is situated at the intersection of many issues explored in contemporary criticism. If a definition of its materiality poses many challenges, questions of subjectivity and individuation are most productive in considering the queer body’s frontiers, its capacity to catalyse and transform the biological. What can one say of the politically charged questions of performativity and agency so central to gender studies in general armed with new possibilities of queer criticism since Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) and Teresa de Lauretis (1991)? The destabilizing effects of queer bodies in hegemonic discourse suggest the anomalies in the normative systems of ideological and hegemonic knowledge/power (Foucault) that queer bodies subvert — including the categories which underlie this system — and call into question all of its effects, from the most subtly to the most explicitly constraining. In what ways do the anomalies, errors, even the failures (Halberstam) produced by the queer body transform the norm, normality and normalcy? What forms of resistance oppose the normal even while taking part, in one way or another, in the norms of dominant subjectivity?

By examining the textual, cinematographic, visual, and other cultural representations of queer bodies (such as dance or popular culture), this panel aims to analyze and expose the multiple subjugating effects and normalizing dimensions of subjectivity in view of which and against which the queer body is conceived as a territory of exploration, subversion, and liberation. We are also interested to look further into examples of political and social affirmations of the queer body as a response to the problems mentioned above.

This panel will examine queer bodies in all their material, affective, gendered and performative complexity as well as in the ways in which lived experience is constructed and modified by the practices and discourses of temporality and spatiality. We thus invite proposals which relate to the representation of the queer bodies in cultural production, literature, cinema and visual arts. We also accept proposals on the theorization of the queer body, on the exclusion and stigmatization of bodies, on the queer body as site of censure and control, and finally, on the affectivity and the agency mobilized by the queer body. Topics can include but are not limited to the following:

– the material body
– body and agency
– body and performance/performativity
– body, subjectivity, and subjection
– body and affect
– body and space-time
– the transformed body
– the desired and desiring body
– sexuality and the body
– bodies and taboos
– bodies and punishment, injury, pain, torture
– the body and imprisonment
– the visibility and invisibility of bodies

Please send paper proposals (no more than 300 words) with a short biography in Word or RTF to the organizers listed below by 5 January 2019. All paper proposals can be written in French or English. Those who propose papers or sessions must be members of the ACQL or of the APFUCC by 1 March 2019. See the ACQL website for membership and registration information.

Domenico A. Beneventi, Université de Sherbrooke, Domenico.Beneventi@usherbrooke.ca
Jorge Calderón, Simon Fraser University, calderon@sfu.ca
Pascal Michelucci, University of Toronto, pascal.michelucci@utoronto.ca