Call for Chapter Proposals, Edited Collection -- Queering Sharing: Toward the Redistribution of Resources around the University

deadline for submissions: 
October 16, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Matt Brim / CUNY
contact email: 

Call for Chapters, Edited Collection

Title: Queering Sharing: Toward the Redistribution of Resources around the University

Editors: Churnjeet Mahn, Yvette Taylor, and Matt Brim

Deadline for Abstracts: October 16, 2020

We invite submissions for an edited collection on redistributing resources with, as well as via, queer studies. Queering Sharing: Toward the Redistribution of Resources around the University aims to gather writing from across academic tiers and global contexts, and from emerging and established scholars, to make a significant contribution to the understanding of queer theory’s class politics in the university. We particularly welcome chapters that draw on feminist, decolonial and anti-racist intellectual traditions to create space for discussions of class in queer studies.

A number of contexts and tensions set the stage for this volume. If queer theory has been a major intellectual driver of liberatory politics in the university, and has benefitted (in terms of course offerings, degree programs and posts) from the strategic disinvestment in feminism in the academy, it has not been successful in challenging the increasing marketisation and capitalist instincts of higher education. With the stark inequalities in access to university in the US, where the ‘tyranny of selectivity’ (Davidson 2017) and long doctoral programs guarantee that a degree of personal wealth and/or educational privilege is a prerequisite for a ‘good’ education, does the intellectual pursuit of queer theory have a built-in class barrier? If not, where and how does the integration of queer theory not only counter institutional thinking but produce anti-racist, anti-classist structural reorganizations around questions of access, material support, and lived academic experience? By raising such questions, we hope to show the uneven and unexpected ways in which anti-poor financial university logics have impacted the practice and teaching of queer theory, and what a queer redistribution of resources might look, feel and act like, as ‘queer sharing’. To engage in ‘queer sharing’ involves a reckoning of the classing climate in, by and through university systems. Such reckonings have found space in academia through forums including Our Working Class Lives and, more recently, the UK Working Class Academics conference in July 2020 (#wcconf20).

COVID-19 has brought questions of class, race, and activism for queers into sharp relief, with a resurgence of grassroots activisms and mutual aid forms, on and offline.  Much of this renewed energy in the face of a global pandemic echoes back to longstanding feminist questions around care, responsibility, recognition and resource distribution. Queer feminist academics who raise such questions often occupy ambivalent positions in the academy (Ahmed 2017: 110), yet from those critical positions they stretch to take up space within the academy as disruptive and challenging presences. And in this same extended moment, the expansive social movements for Black lives that resist anti-Black violence have inspired research about race, class, and queerness (for example, through the Audre Lorde Project at Spelman College) that enables us to ask: what is to be done with, by, and through Universities as they negotiate the redistribution of resources called for in times of global and national crisis and connection?

The ambivalences that sustain class quietude in the academy provide another crucial context for Queering Sharing. Identifying oneself as poor, working-class or middle-class and working to write class inequalities, structures and subjectivities into – and arguably out of – academia, poses some prescient challenges in seeking to represent, authenticate and validate differently classed lives (Adair 2005, Russo and Linkon 2005). We view the potentially ‘excruciating’ process of writing about class (Skeggs 1997) as also a form of queer sharing, where such ‘sharing’ occurs inside and outside the university, notably on social media such as Twitter. Sharing is performed, mediated, amplified and silenced; it is practiced rather than passive, and this collection seeks to put redistributive concerns at the heart of our shared and sharable queer intellectual practices. In these efforts, the collection hopes to make queer contributions to ‘new’ working-class studies.

Guiding questions include but are not limited to the following:

  • What models of queer decolonial and anti-racist scholarship and activism can be brought to bear on the question of sharing educational resources across geopolitical fronts and institutional lines?
  • How has the marketisation of the university compromised radical queer thought, and in what ways has queer studies resisted the dangers of institutionalization?
  • What models of queer sharing across ‘non-peer’ higher educational institutions already exist, and how might those cases be adapted more generally in the service of anti-racist, cross-class collaborations?
  • How can theories and practices of queer sharing reconcile the deep divides in the U.S. between defunded public universities and private universities with enormous endowments?
  • What does queer studies have to say about transnational redistributions of university resources?
  • How does queer feminism help us to think about sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as historically gendered/feminized care work threatens to become more unevenly distributed as the university redefines domestic space as professional work site.
  • What pedagogies of queer sharing can support queer studies work across university tiers?
  • What are the differences between the redistribution of knowledge and the redistribution of material resources, and how do those difference complicate an emancipatory vision of queer sharing in the university?
  • How might advances in open access technologies, including the proliferation of open educational resources (OER) and no fee policies, be incorporated into models of queer sharing?
  • How has social media amplified queer sharing as an active process that extends through and exceeds university boundaries and traditional forms of scholarship?
  • How can queer community spaces provide sites for non-hierarchical queer intellectual and creative engagement? How can queer studies engage in issue of funding such community spaces outside the walls of the university?
  • How do queer studies scholars' individual class positions and identities mediate their institutional positions and inform their thinking about queer sharing?

Please send 500-word abstracts for proposed chapters to QueeringSharing@gmail.com by October 16, 2020. The deadline for full chapter drafts (6,000-7,000 words, including notes and works cited) will be June 2021. We look forward to reading your proposals.