Centre for the Study of Sexual Dissidence

Queory Archive 2009

A list of previous Queory seminars over the Centre's history. If anybody knows of any Queories that have been missed, please get in touch with us!


Wednesday 9 December 2009

Male Bodies that Won’t Do: Dandies in Late 18th and Early 19th-Century Satirical Poetry

Gilbert Pham-Thanh (Université de Paris XIII (Nord)), Silverstone Building Lecture Theatre 121, 5pm.


Wednesday 18 November 2009

From a Label there is no Escape: The Homosexualisation of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Mrs. Dalloway

Dirk Schulz (University of Cologne), Silverstone Lecture Theatre 121, 5pm.

Originally triggered by their conspicuous number of recent rewritings, this seminar brings together The Picture of Dorian Gray and Mrs. Dalloway, two classics which have not been aligned with each other critically. Separately both narratives do have an abiding history of being scrutinised with regard to their portrayal of same-sex desire, and their authors both have gained iconic status for contributing to the representation of same sex desire long before so-called Gay Liberation. But as becomes evident, it is precisely the narrative’s classification and categorisation resulting from Oscar Wilde's and Virginia Woolf's highly mythologised biographies that has obstructed the view on their communal strategies of undermining heteronormativity. It is ironic, but indicative, that, although to different degrees, Wilde's and Woolf's efforts at undermining dichotomies apparently need to be corrected. Most readings and rewritings insinuate that the undecidability of The Picture of Dorian Gray and Mrs. Dalloway is a deceit, not an effort to ridicule the deceit of performativity as such. What the seminar endeavours to show, then, is that a combined reading of the two texts brings to light numerous shared semiological and ideological concerns that anticipate Roland Barthes' considerations of textual—as well as Judith Butler's notion of sexual—performativity.  Read through these post-structuralist frames, it is the "original" novels, rather than their current adaptations and investigations, which articulate a queer contestation of textual and sexual identity. 


Wednesday 11 November 2009

Why is Development Work so Straight? Heteronormativity in the International Aid Industry

Susan Jolly (Institute of Development Studies), Silverstone 121, 5pm.

Heteronormativity is a promising frame for understanding the work of international development. The concept can help illuminate trends and instances where development work has either reinforced or challenged inequalities related to gender and sexuality. This seminar will describe heteronormativity in relation to three areas in which struggles around sex and gender orders have been most salient and visible: in household models and family/domestic forms, HIV/AIDS, and in gender and development. 


Thrusday 15 October 2009

Speaking the Unspeakable: The Politics of Lesbian Sexual Dissidence in Contemporary South African Theatre

Marcia Blumberg (York University, Toronto), Arts A1, 5pm.

Louise du Toit, in her 2009 book A Philosophical Investigation of Rape, cites statistics from Interpol: “South Africa has the highest rate of rape in the world, as well as the highest incidence of HIV. An estimated 41% of the national figure, that is about 700,000 victims annually, are under the age of 12.” The unspeakable in this lecture examines the phenomenon of rape in South Africa focusing upon two groups: children and lesbians. Whether the rape involves babies or adults, especially what has been termed the “corrective” rape of lesbians, these egregious events produce trauma in the victims and fear in society. Examining the context of rape in postapartheid South Africa, the lecture foregrounds the theatricalization of these instances of rape through the plays Tshepang (Hope) (2003) and Ncamisa (The Kiss): Women (2009)and analyses a politics of lesbian sexual dissidence. Ultimately the paper asks how successfully theatre can speak about the unspeakable.


Wednesday 11th March 2009

Postcolonial Sexual Politics: Principles for Intervention

Richard Phillips (University of Liverpool), EDB 121 Lecture Theatre, 5pm.


Wednesday 4th March 2009

Queering Philomela's Voice: Timberlake Wertenbaker's Play with Sophocles and Ovid

Anne Tomiche, Université de Paris XIII (Nord), EDB 121 Lecture Theatre, 5pm.

Since the early 1980s, the mythological story of Philomela and Procnehas focused feminist critics' attention (Jane Marcus, Nancy K. Miller, Patricia Klindienst Joplin, et al.) stressing Philomela's status as victim of the patriarchal order and violence, embodied by Tereus, and her resistance against the patriarchal order which takes the form of a tongueless voice, the 'voice of the shuttle.'  Hence, Philomela is often read as 'an appropriate metaphor for the silencing of the female, for rape and male violence against women' (Marcus); while at the same time, 'Philomela and her loom speak to us because they represent an assertion of the will to survive despite everything that threatens to silence us, including the male literary tradition and its critics who have preserved Philomela's "voice" without knowing what it says' (Joplin).

Written and first performed in 1988 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, and first published in 1989, Timberlake Wertenbaker's play The Love of the Nightingale explicitly refers to two different versions of this mythological narrative--Sophocles' version (of which only fragments remain from his lost tragedy Tereus), and Ovid's version from Metamorphoses (Book VI).  Playing with material she takes from both Sophocles and Ovid, introducing a play within a play (Euripedes' Hippolytus) that is neither in Sophocles' nor in Ovid's versions of the Philomela story, Timberlake Wertenbaker's Love of the Nightingale revisits the ancient myth in order to raise contemporary questions about politics, ethics,and feminism.  No more loom in this version, no more weaving, and no more 'voice of the shuttle,' what 'voice' does Wertenbaker's Philomela find to revive the myth, which the play defines as 'the oblique [queer] image of an unwanted truth reverberating through time'?


Wednesday 18th February 2009

Queering the Other: Gender Trouble and Postcolonial French Cinema

Bridget Rollet (University of London Institute, Paris), EDB 121 Lecture Theatre, 5pm.


4th February 2009

Gendering/Queering Border Studies: HIV/AIDS in South Africa and Emerging Sites of Transnational Queer Politics

William Spurlin (University of Sussex).


Wednesday 28 January 2009

Cruising Utopia: Thinking Beyond the Anti-Relational in Queer Critique

José Esteban Muñoz (New York University), EDB 121 Lecture Theatre, 5pm.