Queer Thanatologies

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies

For detailed information on how to submit papers to Whatever please check at https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/announcement/view/2

Themed Section: Queer Thanatologies

Guest editors: Anna Chiara Corradino, Carmen Dell’Aversano, Roberta Langhi, Mattia Petricola 

The expression ‘queer death’ could be said to describe two distinct yet deeply interrelated fields of inquiry. The first one is built around the study of the cultural performances related to death, the end of life, grief, and disposal from the perspective of peripheral, non-normative, and anti-normative identities —among which are those identities that fall within the LGBT+ spectrum. The second field of inquiry is devoted to the theoretical deconstruction of the polarity life/death itself, considered as one of the most fundamental constructs for the creation of all social entities, no matter how small or simple.

Our themed section seeks to explore both these declinations of queer death, taking into account real-life social constructs and practices as well as the representation of death/dying/grieving/disposal in fiction and the arts. How can queer theories and studies contribute to destabilise the polarity life/death and reshape the endless set of social practices that derive from it? In what sense can life and death be described as performances? How can queer help us deconstruct classical thanatological notions like that, among others, of ‘death denial’ or the Freudian idea of grief as the ‘overcoming’ of death?

Raising such questions implies adopting an extremely open, wide-ranging approach to queer death, spanning from the study of eroticised corpses in Renaissance and Baroque painting to the analysis of grief practices in 21st-century LGBT+ communities.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Queering the life/death polarity
  • Queering death in fiction (literature, film, comics, theatre, etc.) and the arts
  • Queering death in psychology, medical humanities, and the social sciences
  • Queering the anthropology of death
  • Queer approaches to bereavement and mourning
  • Queer death and the post-/non-/a-human
  • Queering the corpse
  • Death-related forms of desire and aesthetic contemplation