The Queering Paradigms network is dedicated to examining the current state and future challenges of queer studies from a broad trans-disciplinary and polythetic perspective, and by interrogating numerous social, political, cultural and academic agendas.
Queering Paradigms is an Applied Queer Studies network founded by Professor Scherer (contact by email).
The title ‘Queering Paradigms’ sums up the aims and objectives of the work quite succinctly. Here, ‘paradigms’ relates to the diverse, though taken-for-granted, methodological and philosophical frames of scholarship within diverging and converging academic disciplines, and which provide the research and knowledge agendas within these disciplines. ‘Queer’, in the context of this book, is not restricted to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) issues, but 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. (Sedgwick 1994, p. 7)
In this sense, ‘queering’ can also be understood as a verb. It denotes querying, contrasting, challenging, and transforming both heteronormativity and homonormativity, and transcending the binary axis of homo- vs. heterosexuality.
Thus, queering a paradigm means to challenge unconscious heteronormative and gender binarist - as well as homonormative - assumptions of any given academic or social discourse. The narratives of any scholarly discourse touched on are seen to benefit widely from the impact of this queering and this interrogation, as do the various political, social, research, and knowledge-producing ‘agendas’ that they represent.
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The network and conferences aim to provide a friendly, inclusive, open and constructive atmosphere; they form an academic “safe space” where engaged and idealist academics listen, learn and discuss and produce and enhance knowledge and understanding of the wealth, complexity and disturbance that is queerness. Senior and junior academics of all disciplines successfully challenged by the notion of “Queer” come together to collaborate and exchange and further Applied Queer Studies.
Participants come from a broad range of academic disciplines including Social Scientists, History, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, Arts, Media and Film Studies, Geography, Political Sciences, Psychology, Medicine and Health Studies, Education, Law, Criminal Justice.
The conferences are workshops of academic advance which is inseparable from activist advance.
High standards of academic quality are achieved by the established peer-review processes for proposals and submissions; still, the conference’s aim is decidedly not to become yet another stage of academic vanity or yet another market place for careerists. Rather, the spirit of true scholarly co-creation and activism is fostered.
In this way, the Queering Paradigms impulse includes queering academia and the neoliberal university ‘business.’
Read Liz Morish blog about QP3 here.
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The Queering Paradigms concept, network and conference series developed from an impulse of scholarly activism here at Canterbury Christ Church University (UK). Unfortunately, in 2007, our Anglican Foundation university attracted national attention for attempting to ban Civil Partnership ceremonies at our main wedding venue, the St Martin’s Priory in Canterbury. This move was unanimously condemned by the university’s then Equal Opportunities Committee and the ban was subsequently abolished.
As an visible signal of defiance against homophobia in the academy, the queer and genderqueer Buddhist activist and scholar, Professor Scherer, actively supported by Equality and Diversity Department and its Manager, Moira Mitchell, organised an interdepartmental colloquium - “Que(e)r(y)ing Culture” - for LGBT History month, February 2008. From this one day event, the idea of a large, international Queer Studies conference arose.
Read an interview with Professor Scherer about the history of QP here (or in Portuguese here).
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Queering Paradigms 1 (27 Feb-1 March 2009, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK)
With great support from the university community and after an intense year of preparation, in February 2009 the first Queering Paradigms conference took place and attracted 30-40 presenters from four continents.
The set-up of the conference allowed the QP signature workshop atmosphere to take form, with internal and external, senior and junior academics listening, learning and discussing in a relaxed, supportive and truly collaborative, interdisciplinary way. Scholars from the “Lavender Language” network headed by Professor William Leap (American University, DC) and from Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia) contributed significantly to the success of the conference.
When the idea of the continuation of the series was discussed, the Australian friends agreed to take over the torch and bring QP to Brisbane. An annual global conference, travelling from continent to continent, was born.
As academic conference output, a peer-reviewed edited book offers the opportunity for both aspiring and established academics to showcase their research in a multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary setting. Professor Scherer edited the first book, which appeared with Peter Lang (Oxford) within ten months of the conference in December 2009 (official publication year: 2010).
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Queering Paradigms 2 (7-9 April 2010, Queensland University of Technology,(Brisbane)
QP2 took place in Brisbane in April 2010; organised by Dr Sharon Hayes, Dr Matthew Ball and Dr Angela Dwyer, this event set new standards in hospitality and professionalism. It attracted many Australian and international scholars and featured a high-profile appearance of retired Australian High Court Justice, Michael Kirby. Distinct postcolonial accents emerged. Distinguished African Studies scholars from SUNY Oneonta were able to offer taking over the torch for 2011.
The editing of the QP2 volume was greatly aided by the generous support of QUT Law Faculty, which provided a substantial budget for a dedicated research assistant, Dr Jessica Rodgers. The editing tasks were ultimately shared between Dr Matthew Ball and Professor Scherer. The book, Queering Paradigms II: Interrogating Agendas is forthcoming (May 2011) with Peter Lang (Oxford).
Additional information on this conference:
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Queering Paradigms 3 (7-9 April 2011, State University of New York/ SUNY – Oneonta, (New York)
Dr Kathleen O’Mara and Dr Betty Wambui (SUNY Oneonta) organised QP3. The conference took place April 2011 and, once again, introduced new standards of hospitality and scope. Naturally, North-American scholars had a significant, yet not hegemonic voice. The wide interest for QP3 had necessitated a deviation from the philosophy of plenary sessions only; still, with only one concurrent slot materialising, the conference successfully retained the intensity of the workshop atmosphere. Cultural performances and high-profile activist panels from the global south added significantly to the conference’s currency and relevance.
At the end of QP3 it was agreed to put every effort into continuing QP as an annual conference series.
Dr O’Mara, Dr Liz Morrish and Professor Scherer are currently editing the QP3 volume. Peter Lang has now established the QP books as a formal book series (with Dr Scherer as the series editor).
View the QP3 website here.
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Queering Paradigms 4 (25-28 July 2012, Rio de Janeiro)
Finally, QP has arrived in the ‘Global South’ and troubles the linguistic hegemony of English-speaking academia. QP4 was organised by a multi-university team led by Rodrigo Borba, Elisabeth Lewis, Branca Fabrício and Diana Pinto.
Queering Paradigms 4 in Rio de Janeiro saw more than 300 papers, arts and activists’ performances and workshops, and a strong representation of leading Queer theorists from Annemarie Jagose to Lisa Duggin and Jack Halberstam. QP4 has transformed the grass root QP network into a powerful voice of global academic Queer activism!
Follow QP4 on twitter @QueeringP4
QP 4 on Facebook
Read an interview with Professor B. Scherer about the history of QP and QP4 in Rio here (or in Portuguese here).
QP - Associated Colloquium (25-27 October 2012, Quito)
Primer Coloquio Internacional “Queer” Interdisciplinario: Pensando lo "queer" desde y en América Latina
Organised by Maria-Amelia Viteri, Santiago Castellanos and Diogo Falconí
NEWS! QP 5 dates confirmed:
Queering Paradigms 5 (20-22 February 2014), Quito
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The book series
Series Editor: B. Scherer, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK
Queering Paradigms is a series of peer-reviewed edited volumes and monographs presenting challenging and innovative developments in Queer Theory and Queer Studies from across a variety of academic disciplines and political spheres. Queer in this context is understood as a critical disposition towards the predominantly binarist and essentialising social, intellectual, political, and cultural paradigms through which we understand gender, sexuality, and identity. Queering denotes challenging and transforming not just heteronormativity, but homonormativity as well, and pushing past the binary axes of homo- and hetero-sexuality.
In line with the broad inter- and trans-disciplinary ethos of queer projects generally, the series welcomes contributions from both established and aspiring researchers in diverse fields of studies including political and social science, philosophy, history, religious studies, literary criticism, media studies, education, psychology, health studies, criminology, and legal studies. The series is committed to advancing perspectives from outside of the ‘Global North’. Further, it will publish research that explicitly links queer insights to specific and local political struggles, which might serve to encourage the uptake of queer insights in similar contexts. By cutting across disciplinary, geographic, and cultural boundaries in this way, the series provides a unique contribution to queer theory.
1. Queering Paradigms, edited by B. Scherer, 2010.
2. Queering Paradigms II: Interrogating Agendas, edited by B. Scherer and Matthew Ball, 2011.
3. Queering Paradigms III: Queer Impact and Practices, edited by Kathleen O’Mara and Liz Morrish, 2013.
NEWS! Queering Paradigms IV in progress in two volumes (English and Portuguese-Spanish) edited by Rodrigo Borba, Elisabeth Lewis, Branca Fabrício and Diana Pinto! Publication date 2013/2014. Watch this space...
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