Monday, 19 September 2011

Call for Papers: Queer Radicalism(s) (Deadline Due)

Readers may be interested in this CFP reminder.  It sounds a great issue.

Radicalism is in a state of crisis, as it perhaps must be in an age of economic and political precariousness. The various ways of thinking and forms of activism that have traditionally defined themselves as "radical" (or radically progressive) are losing ground as the criteria for radicalism become increasingly dubious and unstable. Radicalism seems to oscillate between the apparent opposites of negativity and utopia, represented in the queer context by Lee Edelman and José Esteban Munoz, but isn't this oscillation itself too radical, paradoxically rendering the radical impulse impotent?

Queer theory and activism have long posed as "cutting edge" or avant-garde positions, directed against both the heteronormative society at large and the assimilationist (or homonormative) practices within the LG(BTI) movements. But aren't these claims to radicalism in themselves reproducing an elitist self-elevation that simultaneously degrades or abjects all those who "lag behind"? Who can afford (materially, symbolically, or even psychologically) subversion, transgression and radical opposition as long-term life- and political strategies? How can we prevent their deteriorating to mere rote? Who at all has access to articulations of "a radical position"? In short, is it even radical anymore to have a radical position? On the other hand, in the face of an expansion and solidification of capitalism's neoliberal regime that invades deep into our everyday lives, coupled with a revival of (neo)conservative authoritarianisms that effectively use populist rhetoric to mobilize social discontent, we (radicals?) are in dire need of decisive actions and clear visions for an alternative. (The popular protest movements across the world, such as the street fights in some European countries or the Arab revolutions, seem to suggest that the world-system is on the verge of a profound transformation.)

One such alternative, and a possible ally of queer, seems to come from critical postanarchism; but then again, could this alliance (or other similar alliances) offer an effective means of resistance (if resistance is what we want, after all), beyond a purely theoretical proposition? Other questions for consideration include (but are not limited to): -- re-inventing viable queer radicalisms while deconstructing the traditional radicalism vs conservatism binary and recognizing the dangers of fetishizing radicalism or making it into a normative rule -- queer and radical political theories/movements: (post)anarchism, (post)Marxism, situationism, etc. -- how is queerness being deployed in the moulding of societies and populations into classes, races, ethnicities, nations, genders, sexual orientations? how could it implicitly comply with systems of biopolitical control and various neocolonial enterprises? (cf. Jasbir Puar's work on homonationalism); how does the "queer cause" relate to other "progressive" causes? -- radicalism *versus* or *as* institutionalization (a case in point: is gay marriage a transgressive and radical gesture of symbolic and structural re-appropriation or rather a reinforcement of the conservative agenda?) *The deadline for abstracts is 30/09/2011. For further information see:

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