Queering Paradigms Network

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 this context, 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.

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 Sciences, 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.

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 the article on QP in e-IR.

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).

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:

Queering Paradigms 3

7-9 April 2011, State University of New York/ SUNY – Oneonta, (New York)

Professor 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 |.

Queering Paradigms 4

(25-28 July 2012, Rio de Janeiro)

QP came to the ‘Global South’ and troubles the linguistic hegemony of English-speaking academia. QP4 was organised by a multi-university team led by Rodrigo Borba, Elizabeth 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.

Elizabeth Lewis, Rodrigo Borba, Branca Fabrício and Diana Pinto also edited the QP4 volume in Peter Lang’s book series, published 2014.

Queering Paradigms 5

(20-22 February 2014, Quito, Ecuador)

QP5 again took place in South America, his time in the Andean Region in Quito, Ecuador organised by Maria-Amelia Viteri and Manuela Picq at FLACSO. The particular focus of QP5 lay on activism, art and the decolonial/postcolonial queer. QP5 prominently featured the Art activist (‘artivist’) exhibition ‘The Queer Body, the Construction of Memory / El cuerpo queer, la construcción de la memoria’, curated by Anamaría Garzón at Arte Actual, FLACSO.

Previously, Maria-Amelia Viteri had already organised a successful QP colloquium (Primer Coloquio Internacional “Queer” Interdisciplinario: Pensando lo "queer" desde y en América Latina, 25-27 October 2012) combining academic presentations with activism featuring a queer flashmob at Quito’s Plaza Foch. Maria-Amelia Viteri and Manuela Picq also edited the QP5 volume in Peter Lang’s book series, published 2015.

Since the original colloquium and the conference, the QP5 organisers have remained vocal, for example by lobbying for equal marriage in Ecuador. QP5 co-organiser Manuela Picq made international headlines when she was forced to leave Ecuador after being beaten, detained and threatened with deportation in relationship with her Human Rights Activism.

Queering Paradigms 6

(23-25 July 2015, Canterbury)

QP6 came back were it all started, in Canterbury and was once again organised by QP founder Professor Scherer. QP was part-merged with the VariAbilities II conference (organised by Professor Chris Mounsey), and started out at the University of Winchester. As part of QP6, an Emerging Scholars day took place at the University of Kent (organised by Dr. Declan Kavanagh).

The theme of QP6 was the intersection of disability (variability) and queer studies; the keynote panel on Queer Religion featured Prof. Melissa Wilcox (Whitman) and Prof. Carol Anderson (Kalamazoo).

The QP6 book, edited by Professor Scherer in Peter Lang’s book series, is due to be published autumn 2016.

Videos of Day 1

Videos of Day 2

More information about QP6 can be found on this page. 

Queering Paradigms 7

(11-12 June 2016, Cayman Islands)

Queering Paradigms 7 is to take place in the Cayman Islands and a local group of LGBTIQ+ activists under the sponsorship of Canterbury Christ Church University, UK will organise the event. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Alan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham, and Professor emeritus Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni, Justice of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, will be the key speakers.

The event has already been attracting much attention in local news.




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.

4. Queering Paradigms IV: South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms, edited by Lewis, Elizabeth Sara; Borba, Rodrigo; Fabrício, Branca Falabella and Pinto, Diana de Souza, 2014

5. Queering Paradigms V: Queering Narratives of Modernity, edited by María Amelia Viteri and Manuela Lavinas Picq, 2016


Last edited: 13/12/2018 17:01:00