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Queer Theory Study Group

This group aims to provide a space for interdisciplinary discussion around Queer Theory and the application of Queer Theory to empirical study. We also incorporate queer cultural events into the group's activities.

The first meeting, held in December 2008, involved a lively discussion of the introductory chapter of Lee Adelman's (2004) book 'No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive' (Durham, Duke University Press).

For a list of subsequent events and activities, see the Past Events page.

There are currently no QTSG activities planned for 2011-2012, however a number of related initiatives are taking place across campus

Trans Geneaologies: Shifting Paradigms and Practice in Clinical and Therapeutic Contexts ESRC seminar series. Click here for further information on series.

Serena Bassi (Italiian Department) has organised a Reading Group on Sexual Citizenship: see details below. If you would be interested in organising an event, reading group session, film viewing, etc., or if you are already planning something which you would like to link to the Queer Theory Study Group, please contact Cath Lambert.

Reading Group on Sexual Citizenship

Reading Sexual Identity and Homonationalist Designs in Late Capitalism

CALENDAR (IAS Seminar Room, Milburn House, all meetings will start at 3 and end at 5):

26th October: ‘Sexual Politics, Torture and Secular Time’ (Frames of War, Butler 2010)
16th November: ‘Queer visibility in commodity culture’ (Profit and Pleasure, Hennessy 2000)
30th November: ‘Mapping US Homonormativities’ (Puar 2006)

(To access pdfs of readings click here)

Ground-breaking work in the field of LGBT and queer studies has complicated the idea that gay and queer subjects inherently carry a disruptive potential since they pose a challenge to ‘heteronormativity’. In fact, an increasing identification of the gay subject with the nation state and with dominant ideologies in the West is becoming possible now that such identification is, to an extent, no longer interrupted by homophobia. This interdisciplinary reading group is a space for discussion of the new political, social and cultural developments that have positioned gay and queer subjects closer to the centre rather than at the margins of social life in late capitalism. Since the 1990s, in certain locales within the West, hard-fought battles have led to political gains for LGBT citizens that were unthinkable only forty years ago (such as the right to civil partnership in the UK). The previous invisibility in the public sphere has given way to a significant new visibility for a variety of queer subjects, particularly in the Anglo-American media. However, the new inclusion is an ideologically loaded and historically bound process. One that is naturally fraught with problems. For instance, theorists have focussed on the commodification of queer and gay life styles and on the questions this poses with regards to class and sexual identity. Furthermore, the widespread phenomenon of the co-option of the struggle against homophobia for anti-immigrant and particularly anti-Muslim agendas in Europe, confronts us with a series of urgent questions on the exclusions that some discourses of equality may operate. These are some of the topics that we might discuss in the reading group:

Sexual identity and commodity culture
Homonormativity and homonationalism
Sexual identity and urban politics
Marriage and the sexual democracy
LGBT rights and the War on Terror
The ideological premise of “visibility” and “sexual freedom”
The political limits of “equality”
The metanarratives of “secularity” and “progress”



Oliver Davis (Department of French Studies at Warwick) has published an article: Ranciere and Queer Theory: on irritable attachment, in Borderlands 8 (2).

For more information about the Queer Theory Study Group please contact:

Cath Lambert, Sociology

For info on events happening outside Warwick click here