CFP: [Gender Studies] âQueer" Looks at âStraight" Books: Working at the Intersection between Queer and Womenâs Studi

full name / name of organization: 
Melissa Gonzalez
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CALL FOR PAPERS (Due February 5th)

NATIONAL WOMEN'S STUDIES ASSOCIATION 2009 Conference: Difficult Dialogues
November 12-15, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia

“Queer" Looks at “Straight" Books: Working at the Intersection between
Queer Studies and Women’s Studies

Despite its name, “queer" theory is not exclusively for queers, by queers,
and about queers; rather, it is premised on a view of human sexuality that
sees the queer and the straight as mutually implicated and resists the
reductive fictions of identity. Why, then, have queer readings tended to
focus on queer-identified texts and queer authors while employing an
under-theorized paradigm of straightness as the other of queerness? Would a
practice of reading books by “straight" authors alter our understanding of
“straight" values? Has the focus on some sexualities to the exclusion of
others contributed to the difficult dialogue between queer theory and
women’s studies?

This panel explores the queerer dimensions of the various guises of
“straightness" in literature and theory. Instead of symptomatic readings
that assume “queer" texts to furtively signify homosexual desire, we look
for papers that pay attention to a broader representation of sexuality,
normativity and reproductivity in literature. In this vein, we intend to
unpack “straightness" by illuminating how race and class inflect this
category. Noticing the concurrent, rather than sequential, development of
feminist and queer studies, we also hope to include queer ideas that
circulated in the early days of second-wave and women-of-color feminisms.
We welcome paper proposals on a broad range of topics and texts, not
limited to the possible topics below.

Textual overlaps among queer studies, gay and lesbian studies, ethnic
studies, and women’s studies
The role of the author’s sexuality in the marketing and/or reception of texts
Gender as a point of intersection between queer and feminist criticism
The exploration of sexual norms in “straight" texts
How queer theory has altered the subject of feminism and vice versa
Literary genre and the representation of queer and straight subjectivity
The role of affect and affiliation in queer ways of being
The taxonomy of queer vs. feminist plots
The problem of homonormativity

If you are interested in presenting your paper and participating in this
panel, please e-mail us at with a
150-250 word abstract, your institutional affiliation, and contact
information by FEBRUARY 5, 2009.

(We are two Columbia University Ph.D. candidates putting together a panel
proposal for the Graduate Research Sessions at the National Women’s Studies
Association conference. Each panel will have at least three presenters and
one moderator. For more information about the 2009 National Women’s Studies
Association Conference and requisite $35 NWSA membership fee, see

Please forward to your graduate students and colleagues.

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Received on Wed Jan 28 2009 - 15:18:17 EST

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