Queer Ethics / Queer Embodiments (International Conference, Université de Montréal)

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Équipe de recherche en études queer au Québec

Call for Papers

Queer Ethics, Queer Embodiments

International Conference, Université de Montréal

7- 9 march 2024

This call for papers for Queer Ethics, Queer Embodiments invites scholars to propose reflections on the intersections between queer embodiment, ethics and the epistemologies of care. In thinking about these intersections, a first historical trajectory might involve Foucault’s seminal work The Care of the Self (1984), where he highlights that, while the codes “that concern the economy of pleasures, conjugal fidelity, and relations between men may well remain analogous” in the future, “they will derive from a profoundly altered ethics and from a different way of constituting oneself as the ethical subject of one’s sexual behavior” (239-240). As the works of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, Michael Warner, José Estaban Muñoz’, Jack Halberstam, Ann Cvetkovich, Heather Love, Sara Ahmed, Roderick A. Ferguson, Elizabeth Grosz, and others have explored over the years, the queer constitutions of the self that are variously and discursively situated, moving, unsettling and recomposing received subjectivities and boundaries of normativity, sex, gender, class and race also have deeply ethical concerns regarding the interface of self and society, forms of kinship, family, and care.

Drawing on Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology (2006), Judith Butler’s recently published work What World Is This? A Pandemic Phenomenology (2022) raises a number of questions about what it means to orient the self—queer and otherwise—within a spacial, social, and even planetary context, that is, within a world in which, as the pandemic demonstrated, the boundaries between the human and the nonhuman are increasingly blurred and in which precarity, poverty, racism, transphobia, and sexism, in their multiple forms, are rampant. Under such conditions, Butler asks— “what makes a life livable?... how long can I live like this?” (29)

The move towards making an “inhabitable world” in common understands both the self and the social in fundamentally ethical terms. For, on the one hand, as Butler argues, “To be a body at all is to be bound up with others” (37) and “to regard this “being bound up with one another” as a fundamental feature of who I am” (39). How might we discuss and articulate queer, gender and sexual orientations within disorienting and constantly shifting spaces of power and resistance? These are some of the questions our colloquium seeks to address.

This international conference explores the plurality of ethical possibilities enabled by reflections and analyses from multiple queer points of view. We propose to address questions of the constitution of the self as an ethical queer subject, including questions around biopolitical, geopolitical and necropolitical discourses of the individual or of communities within social, social media, political, and cultural constraints. We would therefore like to think about subjectivity, subjugation, intersubjectivity, power, domination, submission and resistance as they impact the formation of queer and ethics. The colloquium seeks to generate a dynamic exchange about the

various conjunctures of queer ethics, embodiment, and care, for all three terms tend to question norms, normativity and normalization, as well as the limits of representation. By reading embodiment through queer theory and ethics, and vice versa, the colloquium investigates the ways in which individual and social constructions of gender identity, gender expression and performance –in intimate, public and global spheres—and sexual experiences and practices in different cultural contexts, unsettle and shape emerging “inhabitations” (Butler) of social and even planetary spaces.

Topics may include but are not limited to the following :

  • Ethics
  • Corporeality and Embodiment
  • Gender Studies
  • Queer Studies
  • Ethics of care
  • Constitutions of self
  • Subjectivity, subjugation and intersubjectivity
  • Intersectionalities of sex, gender, class, race and racilization
  • Parenting and family
  • Phenomenology
  • Planeetarity
  • Human and non-human
  • Sexuality, orientations, and practices
  • Power, domination, submission and resistance
  • Biopolitics, geopolitics, necropolitics
  • Literature, cinema, media, engaged art, social discourse

For this colloquium, we accept proposals for papers, roundtable sessions, and workshops in French or English. 250-word proposals must indicate the name of the researcher, institutional affiliation, and email address. The proposals must be sent by 15 january, 2024 to the members of the organizing committee:

Domenico Beneventi < domenico.beneventi@usherbrooke.ca >

Jorge Calderón < calderon@sfu.ca >

This colloquium is organized as part of the research activity of the “Corporality and Queer Sexualities in Canada and Quebec” group, which is financed by the FRQSC. The group consists of professors from l’Université de Sherbrooke, l’Université de Montréal, the University of Ottawa, the University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University.