Queer Theory

Queer Theory Research Focus Group


Mireille Miller-Young, Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s Studies, Mireille_lorien@hotmail.com

Horacio Roque-Ramirez, Assistant Profess, Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, roqueramirez@chicst.ucsb.edu

The Research interests of the group

For the 2005-06 academic year, the Queer Theory Research Focus Group (QTRFG) will dedicate itself to examining “Deviant Sexualities.” The group will engage the following themes:

• The rigorous interrogation of intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and deviance.
• Discourses of marginalized sexual communities, including media and public cultural practices and (re)presentations of deviant sexualities.
• Theorizing HIV/AIDS politics in marginalized communities.
• Deviant sexualities in relation to the State, social institutions and the economy.
• Examining the intersection of queer and diaspora theories.
• Sexual/Gender performance praxis
• Queer gender and sexual cultural formations
• Pornography, sex work, and sexual economies
• Feminist theories of embodiment
• Subversive or alternative sexual identities, geographies and social movements

The names of conveners of the group, as well as the names of the faculty and graduate students who have agreed to participate in the group and/or strategies for identifying and recruiting members:

Mireille Miller-Young (Women’s Studies), convener
Ellie Hernandez (Women’s Studies)
Leila Rupp
Grace Chang
Eileen Boris
Roberto Strongman
Guy Mark Foster
Horacio Roque Ramirez
Darieck Scott (English)
Johari Jabi (Religious Studies)
Stephan Miescher (History)
Karl Bryant (Sociology and Women’s Studies)
Jessi Quizar (Sociology)
Nikki Jones
Heather Tirago Gilligan
Tania Israel (Counseling/Clinical/School Psychology)
Verta Taylor
Mashey Bernstein (Writing Program)
Aaron Belkin (Political Science)
Paul Amar (Law and Society)
Jackie Stevenson

Activities Planned

• Presentation of new research and works in progress for review, reading and discussion of cutting edge scholarship on the topic, and welcome guest speakers to address the group.
• Our focus on “Deviant Sexualities” references our interest in developing and participating in the most current scholarship in the fields of Sexuality Studies and Queer Theory.
• Following Cathy Cohen’s interrogation into “deviance as resistance,” this group will examine the multiplicity of ways in which deviant sexual constructions and practices elicit resistive, autonomous, defiant, or self-constituting behaviors and subjectivities.
• Organize and sponsor events for World AIDS Day, Dec 1, 2005, with the intention of raising awareness among members of the university and broader community about the exigencies of the HIV/AIDS pandemice and its devastating effects on the marginalized communities.
• One-day conference on the topic of “Deviant Sexualities” to occur in the Spring Quarter of 2006.

Activities, 2002-2003

In 2002-2003, the IHC Research Focus Group Queer Theory (hereafter RFG) organized four seminars with pre-circulated readings, one informal talk, and one public lecture. The public lecture by Joanne Meyerowitz, Professor of History, Indiana University, and Editor of the Journal of American History, attracted an audience from across caII1pus. The RFG plans to continue meeting in 2003-2004.

Fall 2002

Thursday, October 24,2002,
Leila Rupp, Women Studies, and Verta Taylor, Sociology, gave a talk about their forthcoming book, Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret (University of Chicago Press).

November 17,2002
Mattie Richardson, doctoral fellow, Women’s Studies, led a discussion about representations of African-American lesbians in film and literature (work-in-progress). Readings were precirculated.

Winter 2003

January 30, 2003
Alison Kafer, doctoral fellow, Women’s Studies, led a discussion about the intersection of queer studies and disability studies. Readings were pre-circulated.

Spring 2003

April 10, 2003

Robert Caputi, graduate student, Sociology, led a discussion about queer identities in “bear communities” of Southern California. The RFG read his dissertation proposal, “The Bears: Exploring the Alternative Sexual Aesthetics of a Gay Male Subculture.

May 12, 2003
IHC, McCune Conference Room
RFG Queer Theory Annual Lecture
“Rethinking Sex: The Case of Christine Jorgensen”
Joanne Meyerowitz, Professor of History, Indiana University, and Editor of the Journal of American History
This well attended lecture was co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Hull Chair in Women’s Studies

May 13, 2003
Joanne Meyerowitz, Indiana University, led a discussion about methodological and theoretical issues encountered in exploring the history trans sexuality. The RFG read excerpts from her new book, How Sex Changed–A History of Trans sexuality in the United States (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002)
Stephan F. Miescher, History
Ellie Hernandez, Women’s Studies