Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence

Collaborations Archive


A Willesden Liederkreis (‘A Willesden Song-Cycle’)

Magid El-Bushra

Wed 22, Fri 24, Thur 30 March, 7.30pm

The Marlborough Pub & Theatre, 4 Princes Street, Brighton, BN2 1RD


Willesden Liederkreis is a funny, provocative and touching musical mash-up from acclaimed countertenor Magid El-Bushra, based on Schumann’s famous opus 39 song cycle. The show touches on themes of gender, sexuality, loneliness and Baklava, and features an eclectic soundtrack of music – from Handel and Schumann to Weill and Sondheim, Bjork and Nina Simone. Bringing his “vocal beauty and fine presence” (Opera Magazine), Magid tells the story of a lonely Muslim boy, trapped in 1980s suburbia. Inspired by the pop icons who connect to him through his TV, the boy’s blossoming imagination ultimately arms him with the courage to propel himself out into the world.

Magid El-Bushra was born in Sudan and grew up in Willesden, London. He studied Music at Oxford University and singing at the Royal College of Music and the Flanders Opera Studio in Ghent. He has pursued an active career as a countertenor, singing at the Royal Opera House, the Paris Opera, the Teatro Real in Madrid, Glyndebourne, and at many concert halls and festivals across Europe. A Willesden Liederkreis, which fuses various musical genres, is his first self-produced cabaret piece.

There will be a Q&A after the show on Thur 30 March with Dr. Rachel O’Connell, co-director of the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence




Intersectionality and Brexit: Analyses and Strategies

Wed 30 Nov

Jubilee 155, 3pm-5pm

A Collaborative Event organised by the Centre for Gender Studies and the Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence

Dr. Nadine El-Enay (Birkbeck), Prof. Gurminder Bhambra (Warwick), Prof. Anne-Marie Fortier (Lancaster)

Chair: Dr. Naaz Rashid (Sussex)

This event explores the raced, gendered and sexual impacts of the result of the EU referendum. It aims to respond to Brexit as an urgent and rapidly developing issue and context. The panel will feature several short, informal presentations by thinkers and activists in the areas of migration, diasporas, austerity, postcolonial studies, race, gender, class, and queer theory. The event will be open-ended, with time for discussion and responses and opportunities for all attenders and participants to offer ideas and strategies. The objective will be to identify what questions and impacts are likely to arise from Brexit, and what intersecting issues we will need to focus on and take action on in the coming months and years.

Dr. Nadine El-Enany joined Birkbeck as Lecturer in Law in 2013. Between 2010 and 2013 she lectured at Brunel University, London where she also co-directed the Brunel Human Rights Centre. After graduating with an LLB in 2006 from the London School of Economics, she completed her doctoral thesis in the field of EU and UK refugee law at the European University Institute, Florence. She has taught EU law at the London School of Economics, where she is presently a research fellow in the Migration Studies Unit. She was Guest Lecturer in European and Public Law on the London School of Economics Executive Education programme in May 2010. Nadine is currently Recent Developments Editor for the International Human Rights Law Review. Nadine was selected to join the Runnymede Trust Race Equality Forum in 2012 and is a member of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights. She is on the organising committee of the Defend the Right to Protest campaign and has published several comment pieces in The Guardian.

Professor Gurminder K. Bhambra's research addresses how, within sociological understandings of modernity, the experiences and claims of non-European 'others' have been rendered invisible to the dominant narratives and analytical frameworks of sociology. While her research interests are primarily in the area of historical sociology, she is also interested in the intersection of the social sciences with recent work in postcolonial studies. Her current research project is on the possibilities for historical sociology in a postcolonial world. She is editor of the new monograph series, Theory for a Global Age, published by Bloomsbury Academic.

Professor Anne-Marie Fortier. The overarching question that connects my work concerns the relationship between individual subjectivities and cultural, social and political formations. My research examines processes of subject formation in relation to governing practices that seek to stabilise identities in the face of migration. I have explored these processes in contexts such as migrant community formation; multiculturalism, cohesion and integration; queer diasporas; national genetic genealogies; and, currently, the citizenship naturalisation process in England (funded by the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust).

Dr. Naaz Rashid is currently a Teaching Fellow at the School of Law, Politics and Sociology at the University of Sussex. She previously worked in central government and has held positions as a Research Associate in the Sociology Department at the University of Manchester and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she completed her PhD in 2013. She has also previously studied at Birkbeck College and SOAS at the University of London and at the University of Cambridge. Her research interests include ‘race’, gender, religion, urban studies, and social policy. She has had her work published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, as well as in Open Democracy and The Guardian.


After PrEP: Ethical Sexualities, Viral Memories, and New Socio-Medical Landscapes in HIV Prevention

Cheryl Overs (IDS visiting research fellow), Alex Pollard (BSMS), akshay khanna, Alvaro Martinez Lacabe (Sussex), Paul Boyce (Sussex)

Thu-Fri 2-3 June, Venue TBA

Co-sponsored with the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the University of Sussex School of Global Studies.

DOWNLOAD THE CfP HERE (Deadline 14 Feb)

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is marking a milestone in contemporary HIV prevention technologies and strategies globally. Questions emerge as to how imaginaries of sexual rights and freedom are being advanced by the synergy of community activism on PrEP, public health objectives, sexual rights rhetoric, state and extra-state governmentalities, and biomedical marketing. This workshop will explore how such concerns map differently over the bodies and experiences of differently gendered and sexual experiencing subjects, with regard to different sexual practices and relations, in respect of race and ethnicity, in different country, cultural, and socio-economic contexts.

For further information contact: prepsussex@gmail.com


Kate Bornstein: “Hello Cruel World: Survival Tips for Trans & GNC Youth”

Fri 19 Feb, The Marlborough Theatre, Brighton, 3pm

Co-sponsored with Pink Fringe.

Renowned trans* author, performance artist and theorist Kate Bornstein will be holding a very special workshop where ze talks about how to make life worth living, far beyond sex or gender. Kate has written numerous books including Gender Outlaw (1994), A Queer and Pleasant Danger: A Memoir (2012) and My New Gender Workbook (2013).

For tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2485848 

Pink Fringe

Please note: this event has strictly limited spaces.

Kate Bornstein

Kate will also be performing ‘On Men, Women and the Rest of Us’ at Brighton Dome on Thu 18 Feb, 8pm.

Tickets: http://brightondome.org/event/8775/on_men_women_and_the_rest_of_us/


Along the Psychic Highway: Black Women Visionaries and Utopias of Feeling

Jayna Brown (University of California Riverside)
Wed 17 Feb (more details TBA)

Co-sponsored with the School of English.

Jayna Brown is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at University of California Riverside. She researches performance and culture in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Diaspora, with a focus on vernacular expressive forms and the body. She earned her PhD at Yale University’s African American Studies department, and was awarded a Rockefeller Award for the Study of Black Culture at Stanford Humanities Centre. Her publications include Babylon Girls: Black Women Performers and the Shaping of the Modern (2008).



Co-Sponsored Symposium 

PRIDE and its Precursors: Political Mimesis, Nostalgic Dissidence and Popular Film

Fri 4 December, Birkbeck Cinema, Bloomsbury, London, 6pm-9pm (Screenings and Roundtable)

Sat 5 December, Birkbeck Cinema, Bloomsbury, London, 10.30am-5.30pm (Screenings, Symposium and Roundtable)

Co-sponsored with Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image (BIMI) and Birkbeck Institute of Gender and Sexuality (BIGS).

Organisers: Catherine Grant (University of Sussex), Frances Hubbard (University of Brighton) and Diarmaid Kelliher (University of Glasgow)

This two day event will examine the 2014 film PRIDE against some of its queer video precursors, including the 1983 video Framed Youth: the Revenge of the Teenage Perverts. Past and present Sex Diss academics such as Lucy Robinson, Mandy Merck, Michael Lawrence, Frances Hubbard and Catherine Grant will present alongside other academics and original members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners in what promises to be a lively and fascinating two days of discussion.


'Force in Progress': Prof. Leo Bersani (University of California, Berkeley)

Wed 7 October, Fulton A, 5pm-7pm

Co-sponsored with the Centre for Creative and Critical Thought

Sussex welcomes renowned psychoanalyst and queer theorist Leo Bersani, who will be speaking on (amongst other things) Lacan, Lawrence, Beckett, Peirce’s 'Boys Don’t Cry' and von Trier’s 'Melancholia', followed by a discussion.

Leo Bersani is Professor Emeritus of French at the University of California, Berkeley. He has also taught at Wellesley College and Rutgers University, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1992. His landmark publications include: Is the Rectum a Grave? And Other Essays (2010), Intimacies (with Adam Phillips, 2008), Forms of Being: Cinema, Aesthetics, Subjectivity (with Ulysse Dutoit, 2004), Homos (1995), The Freudian Body: Psychoanalysis and Art (1986), Baudelaire and Freud (1977), and Balzac to Beckett (1970).


Robert Glück: Reading and in Conversation

Fri 2 October, Shawcross AS02, 4pm-6pm

Bob Gluck Poster

Co-sponsored with the Centre for American Studies

Robert Glück will be reading extracts from his works of poetry and fiction, followed by a conversation.

Robert Glück was a founding member of the New Narrative literary school, formed in San Francisco in the late 1970s. He is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction, including two novels, Margery Kempe (1994) and Jack the Modernist (1995) and a collection of stories, Denny Smith (2003). His work has appeared in The Faber Book of Gay Short FictionThe Norton Anthology of World LiteratureVillage Voiceartforum internationalTLS, and The Review of Contemporary Fiction. Glück was Director of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State, where he is Professor of Creative Writing. In 2016 Semiotext(e) will publish his Collected Essays.


How to Take a Flying Leap: No Word is an Island

Thursday 19 February, Creativity Zone, Pevensey III, Room C7, 4pm-6pm

Justin Vivian Bond Tree

Co-sponsored with the University of Sussex Department of Drama, Pink Fringe, and Arts Council England.

A workshop presentation with international cabaret legent and 'trans-genre' artist, Justin Vivian Bond, on writing for performance, in conversation with Sara Jane Bailes (Department of Drama).


Justin Vivian Bond, 'Love Is Crazy'

Wednesday 18 February, Brighton Dome, 8.30pm

Co-sponsored with the University of Sussex Department of Drama, Pink Fringe, and Arts Council England. Presented by Pink Fringe, Brighton Dome, Southbank Centre and Contact.

Justin Vivian Bond

After sold-out shows in Paris and New York, cabaret legend and trans-genre artist Justin Vivian Bond celebrates Valentine’s with Love is Crazy, a seductive musical evening of songs and stories about love. Expect the unexpected with original compositions, songs associated with Bond’s stage and film appearances and tracks originally made famous by The Cure, The Divine Comedy, Pet Shop Boys, Patti Smith and more.