Lavender Languages Institute 2020

deadline for submissions: 
April 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Florida Atlantic University Lavendar Languages Institute
contact email: 

LAVENDER LANGUAGES INSTITUTEJune 14-23, 2020 at Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL United States)

The third annual Lavender Languages Institute at Florida Atlantic University offers 10 days of in-class class discussion, research opportunities and informal conversations exploring topics of current interest in language and sexuality studies, queer linguistics, and various lavender language themes. The institute begins with a day-long orientation session on Sunday, June 14th. This session includes Institute faculty presentations exploring current debates in queer theory and queer linguistics.

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COURSE DESCRIPTIONSQueer/Language/Ethnography 

Like queer theory, ethnography is an approach to social inquiry. In earlier times, ethnographic inquiry concerned “at the site” observation, ‘face-to-face” interviewing and other forms of text-collection at first hand. Now ethnographic inquiry also includes the collection/analysis of linguistic data through archival research, as well as language use in print, visual, digital and (other) social media. As before, ethnographic research includes delicate negotiations: gaining access to speakers willing to address difficult topics, resolving problems of appropriate translation, securing permission to quote or reprint, enduring backlash when research is made public. But ethnographic research can serve as the basis for voicing disidentification and refusal, for broadening local agency, and for promoting acts of political change. In this course, we consider how ethnographic research enhances the point(s) of view on data collection, analysis and interpretation that queer theory /queer linguistics bring to language and sexuality studies. Our goal is to help participants develop their own framework for a queer/linguistic/ethnography, as relevant to each participant’ s particular research needs.     

Hate speech / Critical Discourse Analysis

This course considers forms of hate speech that target people who engage in nonnormative gendered/sexual behaviors or who identify (or are identified by others) as nonnormative We explore current and emerging theories and methods suitable for conducting analysis hate speech. While we explore how hate speech expresses disdain, disgust, or hatred (i.e.,‘wounding words’), then we move beyond this general model to more complex ones grounded in critical discourse analytic approaches that help us better understand hate speech’s ideological functions and how these functions vary according to context.

Tranimacies: Language, Trans and Animal Studies

This course explores how language, animal studies, and trans studies intersect through examining language as/and activism, the speaking subject and self-articulation, and the rhetorical construction of the self, the human, and the subhuman.

Language, Sexuality, and Anti-imperial Critique

This course will interrogate how colonial and postcolonial power relations are organized and articulated through interrelated discourses of language, gender and sexuality. We will consider two broad themes: 1) how the production of gender and sexual normativities lies at the heart of colonial racial projects; and 2) the ways colonialism, anticolonialism, decolonization, and diaspora are unevenly experienced by those deemed gender and/or sexually deviant. Throughout our study, we will analyze language, gender and sexuality as sites of both imperial and nationalist discipline, and also of possibility for new encounters with difference. 

Citizenship’s Queer Exclusions: Migration, Sexuality, and the Legislation of Queer Language

Using the present moment as a starting point, we will historicize and interrogate the composition of queer migrant subjects in the U.S. national imaginary. Engaging texts such as the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Boutilier v. INS (1967), Jaime Cortez’sSexile/Sexilio, Gloria Anzaldúa’s “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” and 1964’s Homosexuality and Citizenship in Florida—the infamous “Purple Pamphlet—we will consider how cultural, theoretical, literary, and legal texts have simultaneously constituted and competed in the production of U.S. queer language through the legislation of migration.

Language and Ecologies of Desire

In this course, we will analyze the language of love, desire, and intimacy, as we highlight Southern and decolonial epistemologies such as what Rita Segato calls "pedagogies of cruelty" that also question the (unequal) production and circulation of knowledge and discourse, how these are interpreted, and their impact on people, particularly the most vulnerable, such as LGBT immigrants.  We will map the ecologies of desire that emerge from the lived experience of Latinxs, paying close attention to contested understandings around identity and belonging, as geographies and territories are constantly shifting.

NOTE: With sufficient interest, this class will be taught in Spanish.

Quare Linguistics

Whether “throwing shade,” relaxing with one’s “children,” or “sipping tea” while others engage in conversations about members of the “family,” many people have come into contact with phrases and language practices borne out of black queer life and experiences in the US through popular culture. In this seminar, we will closely examine the language practices and language ideologies associated with black queer people in the US. Borrowing from E. Patrick Johnson's notion of "quare” which "offers a way to critique stable notions of identity and, at the same time, to locate racialized and class knowledges” (Johnson 2001, 3) and Leap’s consideration of the importance of the analysis of “situated language use” (Leap 2003), we will develop a “Quare Linguistic” framework whereby we can analyze texts to reveal the way subjects navigate, linguistically, a complex matrix of exclusion within a racist, sexist, homophobic society. With a particular emphasis on the American South, we will engage texts by and about black queer people in the US, including memoir, fiction, social media, music, and film.