“The Realm of Possibility”:  A Gender and Queer Studies Symposium

The public awareness of the terms “queer” and “gender” has broadened in the last couple of years. More and more people openly live their queerness and call into question the general assumption that someone is straight unless stated otherwise; gender is no longer a just grammatical category but a space in which we can explore and name aspects of our identity. 

Gender and Queer Studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to the status quo and examines which structures have become naturalized, where power is located, and what social mechanisms assign people a fixed, specific role independent of their talents and needs. Essentially, Gender and Queer Studies dare to ask the question: what if? What if there is more than one way to be a girl in our society? What happens if a man is feminine? What if there are more than just two genders? By asking these questions, Gender and Queer Studies open up a realm of possibility for diverse ways of existing in this world.

The symposium seeks to examine these realms of possibility, as well as explore subversive, or deconstructive, readings of canonical media, including novels, theatre, film and television, poetry, paintings, clothing and other cultural objects. They are powerful storytellers of humanity past and present. Observing these objects through the theoretical lens of Gender and Queer Studies gives us a glimpse at the cultural consciousness, norms and values that inform our understanding of gender, sexuality and identity. The symposium will take place from 19-21 November 2020 via Zoom. We invite students of all levels, teachers and alumni to send in proposals for academic papers of 15-20 minutes.

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biographical note (of 3-5 lines, including your pronouns and your current field of studies) by 15 September 2020 to the following email address: ef@ibugi.de.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. There is no conference fee to be paid. 

Potential paper topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Examinations of places and spaces in film and television with regard to gender
  • Trans*identities in gay, bi and lesbian fiction
  • Asexuality in Art
  • Bisexuality – An invisible form of desire?
  • Gender roles in the queer community
  • The political aspects of drag performers
  • Queer coding in Shakespeare
  • Queerbaiting in Hollywood
  • Fantasy and Gender roles
  • Queerness in video games
  • Black Lives Matter and Pride Month – Allyship in times of Crisis