Performing Ethos: Queer Publics, Volume 2, Issue 2 (2012)

full name / name of organization: 
Fintan Walsh, Trinity College Dublin
contact email: 

While the word 'queer' is often understood to signal aberrance, in the past decade many scholars working within the field of queer theory have sought to broach the subject of queer ethics. For instance, leading theorists such as Leo Bersani (2008) and Tim Dean (2009) have mined the ethical features of certain sexual practices, while Lee Edelman (2004) has forwarded an anti-assimilationist thesis that grounds queer ethical and political projects outside and against kinship and reproductive circuits. Less aggressively, Judith Butler (2004) has advanced an ethic of recognizing and responding to vulnerability, while Sara Ahmed (2010) celebrates the practice of 'troublemaking' in the production of new ethical codes. Michael Warner (1999) and performance studies scholar José Esteban Muñoz (1999) have both located queer ethics in what they refer to as 'world-making' endeavours.

This first special issue of Performing Ethos seeks to analyse a range of theatre and performance practices that raise timely questions about queer ethical and political projects. Prompted by the apparent increased visibility of queer culture in the western world, not to mention the proliferation of different kinds of publics, this issue seeks to:

1. Consider how queer publics are performatively constituted and contested in light of ethical and political concerns
2. Explore the ethical and political relationship between queer publics, counter-publics and the public sphere
3. Analyse queer culture's acceptance of, or resistance to, heteronormative regimes
4. Assess the ethical and political agency (or lack thereof) of a range of queer bodies,
sites, and practices in the public sphere

The guest-editor invites articles (5-7,000 words), interviews (5-7,000 words), short reflections (500-1,000 words) and book reviews (1,000 words) that respond to the focus of the issue.

Submissions may address topics such as:

• Civil-partnership and marriage ceremonies
• LGBTQ activism, protests and parades
• Collaborative or community-based theatre and performance initiatives
• The erasure or expansion of queer spaces in urban environments
• Displays of queer relationships and intimacies, and/or their policing
• Queer celebrities, personalities and political figures
• Culturally encoded queer bodies in the public sphere, including ethnic and dis/abled
• Queer readings of spectators, participants, fan-bases and virtual communities
• Queer analyses of ostensibly heteronormative cultural practices
• Methodologies for the analysis and documentation of queer publics

General inquires and ideas for interviews and reviews should be addressed to Fintan Walsh at, while completed articles and reflections must be submitted by 30 September 2011, following the journal guidelines, which are available at

Performing Ethos
Principal Editor: Carole-Anne Upton, University of Ulster,