Queer Resistance / Queer Media, SCMS, Toronto, March 14-18, 2018

deadline for submissions: 
August 11, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Peter Marra
contact email: 

Queer Resistance / Queer Media

Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Toronto, March 14 - 18, 2018

In “The Uses of Anger,” Audre Lorde powerfully distinguishes the difference between “hatred” and “anger.” Hatred, she says, “is the fury of those who do not share our goals, and its object is death and destruction.” Conversely, “anger is a grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change.”[1] These remarks in 1981 speak to the value of collaborative aggression in resisting systemic prejudice and activating political change on behalf of socially marginalized individuals. Their sentiments again feel acutely important in 2017 as progressive political movements are constantly characterized by conservative politicians and media as violent, angry, and intolerant and straight white cis men move to co-opt the language of inclusivity to shelter themselves from criticisms of systemic prejudice against women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled, the poor, and queers. In 2017, L.A. Pride refashioned its annual pride march into a #ResistMarch. Memes have flourished which seek to remind viewers that Stonewall was a riot, not a party. Horror creature The Babadook became the unofficial mascot of Pride 2017. A photo of prominent ally comedian Kathy Griffin brandishing a faux decapitated Trump head ignited debate over the role of violent imagery in political media.

Using an intersectional approach to queerness inspired by the work of Michael Warner and Cathy Cohen which identifies “queer” as a political resistance to “the dominant constructed norm of state-sanctioned white middle- and upper-class heterosexuality,” this panel argues for the role of resistance, anger, and representational violence in queer media.[2]

Potential topics include:

Studies of news coverage of contemporary progressive political movements, social media usage associated with these movements, and other media representations of such movements

Evaluations of the uses of violence in film genres such as Horror and Action to convey ideologically queer politics

Reclamations of camp, avant-garde, and marginal films, including exploitation films, for a queer politics

Reconsiderations of classic films from contemporary political perspectives on queerness, and resistance.

Queer film and media projects that accentuate themes of aggression and resistance in pursuit of social and political change.

Please submit a 2500-character paper proposal, a 3-5 source bibliography, and a 500-character author bio to Peter Marra at peter.marra@wayne.edu by August 11th, 2017. Decisions will be communicated before August 15th, 2017.

[1] Audre Lorde, “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” Sister Outsider, 129

[2] Cathy J. Cohen, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?” Sexual Identities, Queer Politics, 204.