CFP: [Gender Studies] CFP: Queer Looks at Straight Books at the NWSA - DUE January 29, 09

full name / name of organization: 
Jenny James
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS (Due January 25)
NWSA 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. Rather than privileging
symptomatic readings, which "queer" texts to signify homosexual desire, we
look for papers that pay attention to the broader representation of
sexuality, normativity and reproductivity. 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.

Possible topics include:
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
100-200 word abstract, your institutional affiliation, and contact
information by JANUARY 25, 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

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Received on Fri Dec 26 2008 - 14:14:55 EST