[csaa-forum] Remembering Eve Sedgwick seminar, Aug 28

Melissa Gregg mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Fri Jul 24 14:07:02 CST 2009

Remembering Eve Sedgwick: The beginnings, present and future of queer theory

A half-day symposium


Melissa Hardie
Anna Gibbs
Elizabeth Stephens
Elizabeth McMahon
Chair: Melissa Gregg

2-5pm, August 28, New Law School Seminar Room 442, University of Sydney

Supported by The Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at The University
of Sydney, The SOPHI Gender and Modernity Group, and the ARC Cultural
Research Network. 

Cultural theories of identity and subjectivity in the Humanities have been
significantly influenced by critiques of binaristic thought, including those
pioneered in Eve Sedgwick's writing. This legacy provides the foundation for
the work of a number of feminist and queer scholars featured in this
workshop, which aims to reflect on Sedgwick¹s intellectual contribution in
the wake of her death in April 2009.

Despite the amount of cultural research now exploring issues of identity
relating to gender, sexuality and the body‹and the institutional contexts of
women's and gender studies departments in the academy today‹young
researchers are somewhat historically distant from the material and
political conditions informing these theoretical interventions of previous
decades. Additionally, young scholars pursuing these topics beyond major
capital cities generally miss out on discussions with a critical mass of
scholars with expertise and international interdisciplinary experience in
the area. This seminar offers a valuable opportunity for an extended
discussion of queer identity and scholarship for researchers in a range of
The workshop will be held at The University of Sydney as part of the
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies¹ regular seminar series. The event
will extend beyond the usual timeslot for these seminars to a full day¹s
In the morning session, postgrads and early career researchers will meet as
a group and spend time introducing themselves and their research topics. The
discussion, which will be led by Dr Melissa Gregg and Dr Anna Hickey-Moody
from the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies, will also cover the
impact of Sedgwick¹s work, the ways in which queer theory is taught and
understood in respective institutional settings, and the context for local
queer politics and activism in various cities and states. This get-to-know
you session will give ECRs a chance to develop links with each other and
knowledge of key disciplinary and intellectual precedents heading in to the
public seminar. 
Lunch will be provided.
The afternoon session, from 2-5pm, will be a seminar featuring guests from a
range of universities. Dr Melissa Hardie (USyd) will present a feature
discussion paper, the "Extinction of the Closet", analysing Sedgwick's
_Epistemology of the Closet_ and its subsequent impact. This will be
followed by a series of shorter reflections from a range of invited
scholars: Associate Professor Anna Gibbs (UWS), Dr Elizabeth McMahon (UNSW)
and Dr Elizabeth Stephens (UQ). These will examine the different strands of
Sedgwick's thought, including personal reflections on the trajectory of
queer theory and its prospects during the past decade.
To benefit from this collection of speakers and the morning introductory
session, eight interstate ECRs and postgraduates will be selected for travel
and accommodation support in Sydney for one night. Selection will be based
on competitive application demonstrating the workshop¹s relevance to current
research. A one page justification and brief CV should be sent. Attendees
will have the opportunity to meet speakers, ask questions and participate in
general discussion during the event.
A networking drinks function following the seminar will offer further
opportunities for ECRs and other guests to interact and build connections
after the formal proceedings conclude. This event will also serve as the
launch for the Gender and Modernity Research Group based in the Department.

For more information, inquiries and to submit an application for funding
support, please contact Melissa Gregg: mgregg at usyd.edu.au
Applications will be due by 5pm on August 12.

**Please feel very welcome to circulate this event to colleagues and

Dr Melissa Gregg

Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Quadrangle Building A14
University of Sydney NSW 2006

p 02 9351 3657 | m 0408 599 359 | e mel.gregg at usyd.edu.au


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