About the conference

 

The first Queering Paradigms international conference came about as an academic, political and scientific reaction to a homophobic policy decision (since revoked) on the Canterbury Christ Church University campus, in England, in 2008. With an explicitly inter/multidisciplinary objective, the Queering Paradigms (QP) conferences, founded by Dr. Burkhard Scherer, aim to discuss and problematize processes of normatization and marginalization in contemporary societies. Since the first conference, the discussions have revolved around (non-normative) identity issues and the theoretical, analytical and methodological implications involved in studying these identities in various academic fields. The ethos of QP is a friendly, collaborative space for both established and aspiring scholars to exchange insights and co-create new knowledge.

Thus, following the success of the three international Queering Paradigms conferences held thus far (at Canterbury Christ Church University, United Kingdom, in 2009; Queensland University of Technology, Australia, in 2010; and the State University of New York – Oneonta, USA, in 2011), the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Applied Linguistics at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), the Graduate Program in Social Memory at the Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) and the Brazilian Association of Applied Linguistics (ALAB) have the honor of organizing Queering Paradigms IV, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the 25th to the 28th of July, 2012.

The aim of the conference is to analyze the status quo and the future challenges of Queer and LGBTIQ Studies from an ample, inter/multidisciplinary perspective, in order to problematize/destabilize (i.e. to queer) discourses and paradigms of the inter-disciplines. The papers, panels and roundtables will address the possibilities and potentials of queer theoretical, analytical and methodological approaches in the social sciences and humanities, and the challenges such approaches pose to research, political activism, education, health, law, religion, language and other social institutions. As such, the conference is meant to attract contributions from various disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, language studies, theology, political science, law, social medicine, philosophy, geography and social psychology. Another goal is to bring together researchers from various countries via the international appeal of Queer Theory and LGBT Studies, thus constituting a fertile environment for collective learning, the development of theoretical-methodological agendas for research in different fields and the problematization of social, scientific and academic processes for the production of norms and margins.

As in the QP1, 2 and 3 conferences, we use the term 'queer' to refer to an indefinite, borderless domain of non-normative genders, sexualities and bodily practices that also "flags an affiliation with critical analytic approaches", as Ara Wilson (2006) describes. As such, for the purposes of the conference, 'queer' is used in accordance with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick in her essay "Queer and Now" (1994):

'queer' can refer to: the open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning when constituent elements of anyone's gender, of anyone's sexuality aren't made (or can't be made) to signify monolithically. (p.7)

'Queer' is, therefore, understood as questioning, contrasting, challenging and transforming heteronormativity in particular, although not exclusively; it thus directs its theoretical, analytical and interventionist efforts towards any kind of norm (and, dialogically, the margins produced by them). As such, the international Queering Paradigms conference intends to discuss paradigmatic challenges and social and scientific changes made possible by the contemporary impact of Queer Theory on the most diverse areas of knowledge and political activism.

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