Queer Citizenship and Vulnerability: Beyond the Carnal, Against Criminalization and Towards Living--Well.

deadline for submissions: 
February 5, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory Symposium University of California, Merced

Queer Citizenship and Vulnerability:

Beyond the Carnal, Against Criminalization and Towards Living--Well.


Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory Symposium

University of California, Merced

Merced, California

March 18th


 Keynote: “A Free Radical’: Eve Sedgwick’s Queer Witness in A Dialogue on Love

Eden Wales Freedman, PhD


Dr. Eden Wales Freedman is an Assistant Professor of English and Diversity Studies at Mount Mercy University and an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her scholarship places theories of traumatic reception in conversation with multicultural American literature to consider intersections of race, gender, sexuality, trauma, and oppression and how speakers and readers can cross diverse constructs and experiences to witness trauma together. Dr. Wales Freedman has published articles on reading race, gender, sexuality and trauma in the novels of William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison; the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks; and the memoir of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Her book project, Reading Testimony, Witnessing Trauma, explores how readers can engage literary representations of race, gender, sexuality, and trauma both critically and empathically. In addition to her work at MMU, Dr. Wales Freedman has taught American Literature and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Adams State University and the University of New Hampshire. She has led seminars in bystander awareness and accountability to combat sexual assault and harassment on college and university campuses. She is a Title IX Investigator and the Director of Diversity Studies at Mt. Mercy University. Dr. Wales Freedman’s keynote address, “A Free Radical’: Eve Sedgwick’s Queer Witness in A Dialogue on Love, considers how Eve Sedgwick uses her memoir, A Dialogue on Love, to work through her heretofore academic interventions into the field of queer theory: not to theorize about “queerness” but to perform queerness itself.



When considering the flesh as site from which the legibility of citizenship is traced, the body, “by definition, yields to social crafting and force, the body is vulnerable. It is not, however, a mere surface upon which social meanings are inscribed, but that which suffers, enjoys and responds to the exteriority of the world, an exteriority that defines its disposition, its passivity and activity.”[1]   With subjectivity that becomes a defiant object of interpretation, queer migrations and global participations in citizenship and refugee statuses evoke destabilization. These subjectivities are queerly at times illegible and resulting citizenship(s) precarious as queer identity exceeds, transmutes, or coalesces what we think we know about ourselves or those around us[2]. Here the politics of normative citizenship become compounded by the queer citizenships claimed, or paradoxically not claimed. Nonetheless, as a perceived queer subject one is no less vulnerable to the exposure of criminality and violations of the flesh. Utopically, finally, we as desiring queer citizens seek to embrace all our excesses and discover hidden in our archives a mythos and template cautioning that we must live and love well—even in the face of vulnerability and exposure.

This symposium seeks to explore the interdisciplinary navigations of queer citizenship, of queer creative spaces, of queer protest and praxis . How is queer citizenship a renegotiation or a normative performance of both time and space? Can we embrace the queer child as the futurity that Kathryn Bond Stockton and Paul Amar suggest? Does this child require the visibility of the queer in the archive? Can the queer child be regarded as the ideal citizen of the world, whose appearance defies the mythos of trickster, nymphet and changeling? How does the contemporary and historical criminalization of the queer and rendering of the deviant present a carnal hermeneutic to be recuperated or resisted? What activisms can queer scholarship and subjectivity embrace and require to live well. How can queer bodies be regarded as sites that exceed time and space, as queer cartographies of becoming? How does living well require an erotics of power that requires living from and through, or against, the flesh ?


Possible presentation topics include (but are not limited to) the following:


  • Engagements of gender and sexuality
  • Post-humanism and the non-human
  • Sites and systems of surveillance
  • Queer interventions in religion, philosophy, and theology
  • Narratives of resistance, captivity, and those that are hidden, silenced, or hitherto untold
  • Translation and cross-cultural, cross-national, cross-species communication
  • Bare life and non-life
  • Historical engagements with pathologization of Queer identities and practices
  • Contemporary cultural studies and the cyber-culture of queer
  • Fleshed experience of gender, sexuality, and race in a global arena
  • Sovereignty and the bio(necro)politics of the vulnerable
  • Liminal existence and the well-being of vulnerable communities.
  • Migration and transmigration, embodiments of resistance and refugee status
  • Sociology and gender and sexuality


Please submit abstracts of 250 words for individual papers, presentations, posters, or panel proposals, along with a brief CV or bio, and any questions to:    gendersexualityqueertheory.ucm@gmail.com


For more information, please visit our website at: http://queerinterventions.ucmerced.edu.


The deadline to submit a proposal is Feb 5th 2017. The conference will be held on March 18th 2017 at the University of California, Merced.

***Presenters will be invited to publish polished drafts of their papers in 'AffrontS' UC Merced's upcoming e-Journal for Interdisciplinary Conference Proceedings.

[1] Butler, Judith. Frames of War pp34.

[2] Rodriguez, Juana Maria. Queer Latinidad.