The First International Queer Death Studies Conference: CfP deadline 30 June!

The First International Queer Death Studies Conference:
“Death Matters, Queer(ing) Mourning, Attuning to Transitionings”

4-5 NOVEMBER 2019,
KARLSTAD UNIVERSITY,
SWEDEN

Radomska - short lichen
Photo: Marietta Radomska

ORGANISERS:
Queer Death Studies Network
Centre for Gender Studies, Karlstad University
Tema Genus, Linköping University

[for CfP – see below. Deadline for abstracts: 30 June]

Official conference website: https://www.kau.se/en/centre-gender-studies/date/first-international-queer-death-studies-conference-death-matters

In the context of the current environmental crises, the degradation of natural resources transforms certain habitats into unliveable spaces, while social and economic inequalities and geopolitical, social and symbolic violence expose differential vulnerabilities of communities and individuals. Both global and local mechanisms of necropolitics (Mbembe 2003) exert their power over the lives and deaths of populations, making some deaths more grievable than others (Butler 2004). Simultaneously, unsustainable living conditions and environments contribute to increased mortality rates and the extinction of species.

While natural sciences emphasise the interdependence of human and the environment, Western cultural imaginaries keep drawing a dividing line between humans and nonhuman others, particularly visible in the context of death. The division is combined with a dual approach to death – human death in particular – namely, Western cultural frameworks tend to present human death either as a step towards a disembodied afterlife (Christian tradition), or as something to be eradicated in favour of survival (secular biomedical perspective).

Arguably, the questions of death have been present in Western philosophy since antiquity. While these perspectives explore both ontological and axiological aspects of death, they are primarily concerned with the death of human individuals, seen from the perspective of the sovereign subject. Furthermore, questions around death, human remnants and the cultural and medical aspects of dying have been studied from anthropological, sociological, historical, and psychological perspectives, next to the biomedical ones. Since its establishment as a research field in the 1970s, Death Studies has drawn attention to the questions of death, dying and mourning as complex and multifaceted phenomena that require interdisciplinary approaches.

Yet, the engagements with death, dying and mourning constitutive of conventional Death Studies’ research, have left many questions open insofar as they have often been governed by the normative notions of: the subject; continuing bonds; family relations and communities; rituals; and experiences of mourning, and bereavement. Individuals who do not fulfil the conditions of the normative idea of the human (usually imagined to be white, middle-class, heterosexual, cis-gendered, able-bodied) tend to be ignored in dominant stories on death, loss, grief and mourning. Moreover, the current environmental crisis seems to produce a growing consciousness about living in ecological and social proximities to death, which also gives rise to demands for more diverse, nuanced and inclusive stories of death, dying and mourning.

The emerging field of Queer Death Studies (QDS), which the conference creates an arena for, aims to fill these gaps in traditional Death Studies, by attending to issues of: diverse cultural, socio-political, historical, and economic conditions; entangled relations between human and the environment in the context of the Anthropocene; differential experiences of marginalised communities and individuals excluded from the hegemonic discourses on death, loss, grief and mourning, associated for example with the heteronormative model of family bonds; and, contemporary forms of necropolitics: mechanisms of power that force certain bodies into liminal spaces between life and death.

Against this background, QDS emerges as a transdisciplinary field of research that critically and (self) reflexively investigates and challenges conventional normativities, assumptions, expectations, and regimes of truths that are brought to life and made evident by death, dying and mourning. By bringing together conceptual and analytical tools grounded in feminist materialisms and feminist theorising broadly speaking (e.g. Braidotti 2006; MacCormack 2012), queer theory (e.g. Haritaworn, Kuntsman & Posocco 2014) and decolonial critique (e.g. Fanon 1965; Mignolo 2011), QDS strives to advance methodologies and understandings that critically and creatively attend to the problem of death, dying, and mourning in the current environmental, cultural, and socio-political contexts.

In order to search for broad inspirations for alternative articulations and stories which queer, that is, unpack and question the normativities (Chen 2012; Sandilands & Erickson 2012) that often frame contemporary discourses on death, dying and mourning, The First International Queer Death Studies Conference Death Matters, Queer(ing) Mourning, Attuning to Transitionings mobilises a transdisciplinary engagement involving not only academics, but also activists, artists and other practitioners. In the context of the conference, to queer issues of death, dying and mourning means to unhinge certainties, “undo normative entanglements and fashion alternative imaginaries” beyond the exclusive concern with gender and sexuality, often associated with the term “queer” (Giffney & Hird 2008, 6). In particular, the conference calls for papers within the following three overall themes: (1) death matters and materialities, (2) queering mourning, and (3) attuning to transitionings run through both days and all keynote lectures.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

Stine Willum Adrian (Aalborg University, DK) – “Stitching Stories of Broken Hearts: Rethinking technologies of Death and Dying at the Beginning of Life”

Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University, UK) – “Embracing Death, Opening the World”

Kira O’Reilly (independent artist, Helsinki, FI),
“An un’seaming mourning
(second iteration)
a year later”

C. Riley Snorton (University of Chicago, USA) – “Mud: Queer Death and Teeming Forms of Wildlife”

CALL FOR PAPERS:

The First International Queer Death Studies Conference: “Death Matters, Queer(ing) Mourning, Attuning to Transitionings” aims to create an arena for critical discussion of death, dying and mourning that goes beyond the dual approach to death – human death in particular – that is common within Western cultural frameworks of Christian tradition or secular biomedical perspectives. As such, the conference invites scholars who work with death, dying, mourning and afterlife in relation to: diverse cultural, socio-political, historical, and economic conditions; entangled relations between human and the environment in the context of the Anthropocene; differential experiences of marginalised communities and individuals excluded from the hegemonic discourses on death, loss, grief and mourning, associated for example with the heteronormative model of family bonds; and, contemporary forms of necropolitics: mechanisms of power that force certain bodies into liminal spaces between life and death (for instance, refugees whose lives in detention camps turn into the state of “social death” (Mirzoeff 2019)). Interventions that focus on practices that resist hegemonic norms, as well as queer and decolonialise mourning and remembering are also welcome.

In order to search for broad inspirations for alternative articulations and stories which queer, that is, unpack and question the normativities (Chen 2012; Sandilands & Erickson 2012) that often frame contemporary discourses on death, dying, mourning and afterlife, the conference is based on a transdisciplinary engagement involving not only academics, but also activists, artists and other practitioners. In the context of the conference, to queer issues of death, dying, mourning and afterlife means to unhinge certainties, “undo normative entanglements and fashion alternative imaginaries” beyond the exclusive concern with gender and sexuality, often associated with the term “queer” (Giffney & Hird 2008, 6). In particular, the conference will call for papers within the following three overall themes: (1) death matters and materialities, (2) queering mourning, and (3) attuning to transitionings run through both days and all the keynote lectures.

The conference invites individual papers (length: 20 min) that engage with – but are not necessarily limited to – the following themes:

– Queer methodologies of researching death, dying, mourning and afterlife
– Queering and decolonialising practices of mourning, bereavement and remembrance
– Materiality of death and corpses
– Queering philosophies of death
– Death/life ecologies
– Necropolitics and borders
– Queer and trans necropolitics
– Un/grievable lives and deaths
– Death and biotechnology/biomedicine
– Queering cancer and other life-threatening diseases
– Suicide
-Technologies of life/death
– Queer widowhood
– Decolonialising death
– Illness narratives and death
– Ethico-politics and practices of killability
– Nonhuman death and dying
– Extinction and annihilation
– Death and acts of resistance
– ‘Slow death’
– Queering temporalities of death
– Queer spiritualities
– Death, ghosts and hauntology

Please, send a 300-word long abstract, accompanied by a 100-long bio to: qdsconference[at]gmail.com .

Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2019

Call for Contributions to the Edited Volume of the InterGender Research School!

Editors: Edyta Just, Maria Udén, Vera Weetzel, Cecilia Åsberg

What is Gender Studies to you? How can Gender Studies contribute to society, academia and the state of our world at large? What is your view to the interdisciplinarity of Gender Studies? How has Gender Studies changed your career, your life, your world? How could Gender Studies change the world, or, perhaps better be changed with it?
Your situated knowledges count!
With this edited volume we would like to bring forward the importance of Gender Studies as an academic discipline in general and Gender Studies research training (PhD training) in particular using as an example the InterGender Consortium and Research School in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. In this sense we would like this volume to be of an academic and political significance especially in the light of the current attacks on Gender Studies. The import of Gender Studies research training and as such of Gender Studies can be demonstrated on two, nonetheless intersecting, levels. The first level
corresponds with the significance of research in the field and its transformative power in and, crucially, outside the academia. The second relates to the value of networking/community building for professional and personal development. The idea is that chapters in this volume are written by current and recently graduated PhD candidates and advanced MA students that have participated in InterGender
activities. We also plan to include in the volume interviews with senior Gender Studies professors and their reflections regarding this field of study and its integration and developments.

Therefore, we would like to invite current PhD candidates, recently graduated PhD candidates (up to 6 years after obtaining a degree) and advanced MA students, who have participated in the InterGender activities: courses and cohort meetings, to send us their ideas for contributions.
For this volume we welcome contributions in different formats: academic papers, poetry, short literary stories that address, discuss, reflect on and also problematize and complexify:

  • the significance and transformative power and potential of theories and methodologies developed within the field of Gender Studies for academia and society (you, as a prospective author, are especially invited to refer to/mention a particular InterGender activity: a course and/or cohort meeting and write from the perspective of your own research interests!).
  • the value of networking and community building during Gender Studies research training (you, as a prospective author, are in particular invited to refer to, or, mention a given InterGender activity such as a course and/or cohort meeting that made an impact on your life!)

Interested? Of course! This is your chance to tell the stories of your Gender
Studies training, networking and how it affected you, and thereby tell
something about the state of Gender Studies today!
Please send us your idea for contribution!

What do I need to do?
What we need is an abstract of 500 words excluding references – please indicate the format of the contribution (i.e., paper, poetry, literary story).

Extended Deadline: 5 May 2019.

Please send your idea for contribution to Edyta Just, edyta.just[at]liu.se

We, the editors, look very much forward to your contributions.

Welcome to the Edited Volume of the InterGender research school!

CfP:”Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practice”: Conference in Växjö,

Call for Papers:

Multispecies Storytelling in Intermedial Practice“: Conference in Växjö,

January 23-25, 2019 (from Wednesday 1- pm to Friday 1 pm)

This transdisciplinary conference is hosted by the Centre for Intermedial and Multimodal Studies, Linnæus University, Sweden, in collaboration with the Laboratory of Aesthetics and Ecology, Copenhagen/Berlin.

It is generously funded by the Seed Box. Deadline for abstracts: 15 August 2018.

See the full call for papers here.

Full Multispecies Storytelling-page-001
CfP: Multispecies Storytelling

QUITE FRANKLY: It’s a Monster Conference University Club of Western Australia 18-19 October 2018 (DEADLINE EXTENDED until 7th April)

2017-08-30-Quite-Frankly-web-banner-900x300Image source: https://www.conferenceonline.com/abstract/alogin/?clear=1&warehouse_id=1423

Quite Frankly: It’s a Monster Conference presented by SymbioticA and
Somatechnics will be held in the University of Western Australia on the
18-19 of October 2018.
2018 marks 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s
Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Shelley’s “Creature” is usually
conceived as a human creation, the stitched-together, tragic victim of
scientific and technological experimentation. We rupture these stitches,
revealing that the Creature is more than the sum of its parts. We invite
papers, panels, and artistic and scientific provocations to explore the
dynamic ecosystems evolving within and from the gaps between the
Creature’s fragments.
Keynote speakers are Karen Barad, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Kira O’Reilly and
Fiona Wood.
For more see:
http://www.symbiotica.uwa.edu.au/activities/symposiums/quite-frankly-2018

You can find the call for papers here. The submission deadline has been extended until 7th April 2018.

Quite Frankly conference is part of the Unhallowed Arts Festival which
includes a series of exhibitions (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts,
WA Art Gallery, Cullity Gallery, MOANA, Paper Mountain and Old Customs
House Fremantle), a day-long Film Festival and other performances. For
more information, see the developments of the Unhallowed Arts site:
http://unhallowedarts.org/

 

What’s Up at the Hub?

2001-09-14 20.48.22
Here we  share with you news and updates on new jobs, visiting scholars at the Posthumanities Hub, various events, seminars, and workshops that are organized by the Hub or its mothership, Tema Genus (the Gender Studies at the interdisciplinary department of TEMA, at Linköping University, Sweden).

News

  • Our warmest congratulations on their great success to the amazing Marietta Radomska and Lisa Linden, both of TEMA LIU, who received VR grants! Marietta will be working on her project entitled ”Dödens ekologier: miljön, kroppen och etik i samtida konst” and Lisa on “Empowerment och stigmatisering: Patientorganisationer, gynekologisk cancer och identiteter i omvandling.”
  • Congratulations to “hubbers” Desirée Ljuncrantz (Tema G, Liu) and Marianna Szczygielska (Central European University, visiting PhD student at Tema G in 2015/16) who successfully defended their PhD theses!
  • A special issue of Angelaki on “Tranimacies: intimate relations between animals and trans*studies” edited by our fantastic colleagues Marianna Szczygielska, Eliza Steinbock, and Anthony Wagner is now out! With contributors from our hubbers, Marietta Radomska and Vera Weetzel, and our Tema Genus Professor Madina Tlostanova, among others, this issue is pushing the boundaries of thinking beyond the human/animal binary.
  • Congratulations to Christine Daigle from Brock University and to her team for receiving a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) partnership development grant to support Posthumanism Research Network. We’re happy and proud to be Posthumanities Research Network partner and collaborator and we’re thrilled about these new opportunities to work together.
  • Have a look at this, it’s from our friends in international posthuman studies: The 9th Beyond Humanism Conference https://vimeo.com/228020059
  • We recommend you look up Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities‘ website for more information on interdisciplinary relations between geography and arts and humanities scholarship and practice; blog, forum, call for papers, and more!

Call for papers

  • We are pleased to announce that a call for abstracts intended for a special issue of an environmental humanities journal on a theme of “Plantarium. Human-Vegetal Ecologies” is now open. For this special issue, edited by Olga Cielemecka and Marianna Szczygielska, we invite contributions that look into human-botanical ecologies, relationalities, and histories.  We seek both traditionally academic submissions, as well as visual materials, provocations, review essays, activist reports and commentary pieces, and other varying genres. Please submit abstracts (500 words) to plantarium2017[at]gmail.com as word documents (.doc or .docx) until September 29, 2017. Call available here.

Upcoming Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events

  • Curated talks around Automata, a thought-provoking performance on stage at Orionteatern in Stockholm are now available online here. A a recording of a discussion “Free-spirited cyborgs and controlled bodies” is also available online. Chaired by Carl Åkerlund this panel discussion between Samira Ariadad, Helena Granström, Waldemar Ingdahl and the founder and director of Posthumanities Hub, Cecilia Åsberg, took place on May 6th in Orion Theatre following a staging of Automata.

Recent Past Events

  • A two-day workshop Eco/Decolonial Arts: Open-ended Poetic/Philosophical Forays whose aim was to develop transversal dialogues between various ways of engagement with both ecocritical/ecological and decolonial perspectives took place at Tema G on June 28 and 29.
  • A Seed Box funded workshop “Plantarium: Re-Imagining Green Futurities” organised by Olga Cielemecka and Marianna Szczygielska took place in June, 1st-2nd, at Linkoping University. It brought together activists, artists, practicioners, independent researchers, and academics to rethink the generative potentialities of the botanical. More about the event. Many thanks to our invited keynote speakers Cate Sandilands and Michael Marder, Mirko Nikolic for a plant yoga session and Christina Sadlbauerand Regula Heggli for vegetal speed dating, and all participants for making it such a special event! Now we’re planning to work on a CfP for a special issue, intended for one of the top environmental humanities journals, on the theme of hum-vegetal ecologies. Stay tuned!
  • Professor Cecilia Åsberg, director and founder of the Posthumanities Hub, gave a keynote lecture at the 8th Annual Conference on the New Materialisms “Environmental Humanities and New Materialisms: The Ethics of Decolonizing Nature and Culture.” The conference took place at Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris on June 7-9, 2017. Professor Åsberg gave a lecture entitled “A Thousand Tiny Anthropocenes” on ecological humanities, mapping out their challenges and potentials as feminist posthumanities.

For archives of our news and events earlier in 2017, click here.

Iceberg
Iceberg 1999 by M A Felton