Queer (In)Security / May 4-5 / Abstracts Due March 15

full name / name of organization: 
University of California, Davis

Please circulate widely.


The Militarization and Gender Research Cluster and the Queer, Feminist, Trans Studies Research Cluster of UC Davis are pleased to announce a joint conference, "Queer (In)Security," to be held May 4-5, 2012 at the University of California, Davis.

The conference topic emerges from campus-wide discussions about the role of a militarized police force on the UC campuses, highlighted by violent responses to the Occupy movement. At the same time, the neoliberal university, precipitated by budget cuts and calls for privatization, has destabilized institutional forms of resistance like queer studies, women's studies, and ethnic studies.

As the US declares the "end" to the war in Iraq, and responds to crises in increasingly neoliberal and militarized ways, we want to interrogate the definition of security itself. What does it mean to be secure -- at home? on campus? as a nation? How does the financial crisis -- based, in part, on toxic financial instruments that were vetted as "secure" -- create a more insecure world for all of us? How does the discourse of security regulate gendered bodies and produce precarious conditions for many?

In this light, the conference interrogates the intersections between Queer Studies/queer theory, policing, and surveillance. Areas of inquiry include the policing of differently gendered bodies, the (in)security of Queer Studies within the academy, and the role of the police on a university campus. We invite scholarship from a broad range of disciplines, especially interdisciplinary work in queer theory and transgender theory that critically engages mutually constitutive articulations of race, class, sexuality, ability, gender, citizenship, religion, and nationality. Papers that engage activism and community organizing are particularly welcome.

We invite proposals for papers, workshops, or performances. Undergraduate submissions are also encouraged.

This year's keynote speakers are:

Elizabeth Povinelli (Columbia University, Anthropology and Gender Studies)

Elizabeth Povinelli's work focuses on "developing a critical theory of late liberalism that would support an anthropology of the otherwise." Her most recent book, Economies of Abandonment: Social Belonging and Endurance in Late Liberalism (2011) presents new ways of conceptualizing formations of power inlate liberalism—the shape that liberal governmentality has taken as it has responded to a series of legitimacy crises in the wake of anticolonial and new social movements and, more recently, the "clash of civilizations" after September 11. Based on longstanding ethnographic work in Australia and the United States, as well as critical readings of legal, academic, and activist texts, Povinelli examines how alternative social worlds and projects generate new possibilities of life in the context of ordinary and extraordinary acts of neglect and surveillance. (Duke University Press)

Liz Montegary (Stonybrook University, Cultural Analysis and Theory)

Liz Montegary's work focuses on mobility and militarized technologies of power. Her first project, "Queer Mobilizations: The Transnational Circuits of US Lesbian and Gay Politics," traces the history of lesbian and gay travel during the 20th century in order to illustrate how global networks of exchange shape lesbian and gay politics in the U.S. Specifically, she focuses on modes of travel linked to campaigns against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," development projects advancing LGBT human rights, and calls for marriage and family equality. Placing feminist and queer theory in conversation with mobility studies, she examines the militarized relations of power at play within travel practices to illuminate the transnational dimensions of U.S. sexual politics and to consider the limits and possibilities of U.S. lesbian and gay activism today. Her current work examines the US fitness industry to analyze the gendered, sexualized, and racialized dimensions of fitness culture in relation to practices of war and empire. She completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies, with designated emphases in Critical Theory and Feminist Theory, at the University of California, Davis in June 2011.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
● Reframing the issue of campus safety and security
● The role of protest/occupy movements on campuses
● International students and student activism
● Military recruitment on campuses
● Hate crimes: student and official responses
● Policing of transbodies in single-sex institutions
● The body and science
● Feminization of prison populations
● Gendering of prison spaces
● The discourse of occupation
● Occupy/Decolonize Movements
● Security culture in activist communities
● Anti-security activism
● Social & Financial Security
● War on Terror after Iraq
● security and the home

If you are interested in presenting, sharing, or discussing, please send an email to:queermilitarizationsymposium@gmail.com and indicate whether you would like to:

1. present a paper (if so, please include a word document (.doc) with a title and brief abstract (250 words max)

2. share your work-in-progress in a roundtable workshop (if so, please summarize your line of inquiry or interests in 250 words max), or

3. present a performance (if so, please include a title, brief description of performance and website if applicable)

Submissions deadline: March 15, 2012.
Notifications will be emailed during the first week of April.