**DEADLINE EXTENDED** - The 26th Annual Disjunctions Graduate Student Conference: "Read for Filth"

deadline for submissions: 
January 24, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
University of California, Riverside/English Department

DEADLINE EXTENDED for submissions: January 24, 2019

Contact email: disjunctions2020@gmail.com

Conference dates: April 16 and 17th, 2020

Location: University of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA

Keynote Speaker: Martin F. Manalansan, author of Queering the Middle: Race Region and a Queer Midwest (2014)  and Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (2003)


“Always read good books...and bad people.”

  • TS Madison, trans activist and social media influencer 

This year’s annual Disjunctions Graduate Conference is an invitation to explore possibilities of critique,reckoning and refusal as crucial forms of knowledge production.The phrase “read for filth,” which has gained more commercial popularity in recent years despite its long standing within Black and Brown queer vernacular, acknowledges possibilities that exist in excess to normative scripts and that contend with dominant oppressive discourses. This year we are interested in cultivating a conversation about the ways in which queer communities of color have produced a body of knowledge and methods to deal with, address, or critique forms of violence that trivialize the humanity of both racialized, gendered and sexually minoritized people. We invoke the term reading as an entrypoint for us as academics, artists, and activists, to explore the fierce potential of reckoning as a method of survival, self-care,  and validation. Similarly, we also invoke the terms refusal and critique as forms of boundary-making and as a method of tempering violence in service of self-affirmation. Put simply, we want to open up a conversation regarding the value of affects like anger and retribution as they are exercised and expressed by marginalized bodies. We are specifically focusing on the ways that LGBTQ+ individuals of color have blazed a trail that allows us to begin to address and confront insult or wrongdoing.

Potential topics of inquiry include but are not limited to:

  • Queer of Color Performance and Praxis: What are the complexities and nuances of queer of color performance that invoke a moment of reckoning with dominant structures? How might methods of critique (or reading) within queer performance be fetishized, co-opted, or operationalized by more privilege social spaces? 

  • Refusal, Trauma, and Relationality:  How might the practice of reading help to establish relational boundaries that prevents recurring violence? How does refusal through reading affect social economies? What risks to marginalized bodies face by (re)creating boundaries as a way to survive? 

  • Response and Fragility: How do we confront the complex questions around the politics of “respectability” and critique in our personal, social, academic, and professional lives? How is reading policed as a response to violence? 

  • Ethics and Alterity: What are the limits and possibilities of representations of alterity. How do we write about queer of color subjectivities? In what ways to engage with and navigate notions of otherness and “the Other?” 

  • New Media and Digital Communities: How does media and digital culture change reading as a method of critique? What is the role of queer digital culture and media in relationship to scholarly communities and institutional critiques? What, if any, roles can memes play in institutional critique? 

  • Archives and Citational Practices:  How might reading as a practice change how we interact with archival materials? What else can the methodological charge of reading within archives tell us about archival theory or field-based disciplinary approaches to recovering historical narratives?  

  • Glitching as In(queer)y: How can system failures (e.g., glitches, hoaxes, malfunctions) question possibilities of queer being and knowing? How does the accumulation and circulation of glitches queer the conditions of various digital spaces? 

  • Crude Aesthetics: How do obscene, obsolete, or repulsive objects trouble normative reading practices? Can junk, as a theoretical and artistic medium, be ethically reclaimed during a time of ecological crisis? How can we explore the relationship between bodies that matter and matter (e.g. man-made and/or natural material objects) that matters?

Submission Guidelines

Paper abstracts or creative project proposals (250-300 words) for 15-minute presentations may be emailed to disjunctions2020@gmail.com by midnight on January 24, 2020. We welcome academic papers, poetry, artistic, and audiovisual submissions. Submissions should be original work. The (dis)junctions committee will confirm receipt of all submissions, and will respond with official decisions by January 31, 2020.

In your submission, please include your name, pronouns, department, university affiliation, AV requirements (if you have any), any additional accommodations you may need, and a short bio (50-100 words).

Please direct questions to the Disjunctions committee at disjunctions2020@gmail.com

Key Terms:

  • Reading

  • Black queer Vernacular

  • Refusal 

  • Whiteness 

  • Memory

  • Anger

  • Rage

  • Appropriation

  • Relationality 

  • Boundaries

  • Exploitation

  • Academic Professionalism

  • Call Out Culture

  • Fragility 

  • Insult/Wounding

  • Embodiment

  • Filth

  • Fakeness

  • Matter (e.g. material objects) 

  • Materiality

  • Legibility

  • Failure

  • Alterity

  • Humor 

  • Retribution

  • Ecocriticism, Race, and Queerness 

  • Social Media 

  • Subtweeting 

  • Memes 

  • Archives/Archival Theory 

  • Recovery 

  • Queer of Color Performance  

  • Drag Performance and Culture 

  • Dance 

  • Spatiality 

  • Queer and/or Trans Necropolitics