UPDATE: [Gender Studies] Queer Autobiography- Last week

full name / name of organization: 
Richard Maguire
contact email: 


The Queer_at_King’s Research Centre presents a one-day conference on queer


Friday June 12th 2009

‘Tell It Like It Is. Tell It Like It Isn’t’ continues on from 2004’s
successful ‘Queer Lives’ symposium which examined the ways we chronicle
the varied stories of our multiple queer selves. There are still more
stories to be told.

Virginia Woolf called the ‘I’ a ‘straight dark bar’ privileging a
heterosexual male, white, and middle-class subjectivity. Should queer
negotiate its own ‘I’ to move away from the heteronormative ‘I’ and out of
the shadow that falls behind it? In the last century gay men and lesbians
have creatively responded to the problem of life-writing in a world still
hostile to these narratives. Strategies include the telling of stories as
case histories to medical practitioners and the blurring of fiction and
fact to create a self-mythology for authors such as Jean Genet and Audre
Lorde. But this does not make up for all those life stories which have
been lost either to history or to the homonormative narrative of the
coming-out story. Should verisimilitude be an issue as some
autobiographers seek to not only reclaim these lost lives but their own
lives? Other gay, lesbian, transgendered and queer people use alternative
tactics that profit from a non-reliance on the written word in order to
tell their lives. Does a life recreated in painting, film or performance
ring truer than a life rendered in writing? Or is a queer and performative
style of writing the best way to represent our queer and performative
selves? Does the privileging of the individual subject inevitably
perpetuate the narrative of isolation and disrupt possibilities for
collective stories?

Possible Topics
-Queer Performance Art/ Live Art and autobiography
-Queer autobiography and new technology- blogging, podcasts, cctv etc.
-A queer life told in pictures, in film, or in music
-Alternative modes of self-representation which move away from Western
-Appropriation and portrayal of older ways of living, which can influence
the queer in today’s society.
-Transgendered autobiography
-Antiretroviral autobiography
-The rise in celebrity gay and lesbian autobiography
-Autobiography and queer temporalities
-Future (or is there no future?) queer autobiographical possibilities.

Papers are invited for a series of panels throughout the day finishing
with a plenary. Key Speakers to be announced. Submissions from all fields
of the arts and humanities are invited. Please note that the panels will
consist of twenty-minute papers. Please send abstracts (300 words) to
Richard Maguire at paul.maguire_at_kcl.ac.uk by November 30 2008
This event will be free, but places are limited.
This Conference is organised by Queer_at_King’s with financial support from
the Roberts fund and help from the Lifewriting Centre at King’s.

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Received on Mon Nov 24 2008 - 17:55:10 EST