The objective of The Queer Theory Working Group is to explore new turns and challenges in queer theory through an interdisciplinary approach, which values fluidity between fields and departments. Engaging recent publications in queer theory (published in the last three years), the working group will meet on a monthly basis to discuss broad and field specific implications of recent writings in order to question queer theory’s applicability to practice and lived experience. Analyzing and deconstructing unexpected intersections of queer theory and a range of disciplines including (but not limited to) theology, performance, archives and information, and geography this working group asks participants to explore queer theory as a space in which disciplines may unpredictably collide, overlap and productively contradict.
As queer scholar Jack Halberstalm articulates in The Queer Art of Failure (2011), queer theory challenges the construction and division of standard and stagnant academic disciplines. It asks where and why intersections occur among fields of study and refuses closed categorization of knowledge. With this in mind, the working group will explore diverse readings from various perspectives, and question how queer theory might work in concert with other theories addressing postcolonialism, crip studies and feminisms. Recognizing the ways in which queer theory, alongside many traditional disciplines, has privileged white able-bodied, cisgender male subjects, this working group will also open up the conversation to consider the experiences and practices of marginalized populations.
In addition to monthly meetings, an online portal will be generated to share updates, discussion notes and relevant upcoming events. This virtual space will allow for continued conversation beyond the monthly meeting. Through meetings and the online forum, this working group will provide a space for productive exchanges between faculty, graduate students, activists and artists interested in applied questions of queer theory.
Laine Zisman Newman, Ph.D. student, Drama Theatre & Performance Studies
Nikki Cesare Schotzko, Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies
Elizabeth Gould, Faculty of Music
Patrick Keilty, Faculty of Information
Larry Switzky, UTM English & Drama
Rinaldo Walcott, Women and Gender Studies
Laura Chait, Faculty of Information
Jeremy Gardiner, Faculty of Information
David Pereira, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Nicole Ritchie, Museum Studies, iSchool
Benjamin Walsh, Faculty of Information
GRADUATE STUDENTS OUTSIDE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
Moynan King, Theatre Studies, York University
Sheila Pardoe, independent scholar
Asli Zengin, postdoctoral fellow, Anthropology