Intersectional Queer Sexualities
Analysis of the Cultural Configurations of Queer Sexuality
in Quebec and Canada
Université de Montréal, Canada
June 16, 17, and 18, 2022
Starting from the premise that human sexual diversity exists, it goes without saying that such diversity is also intersectional. This observation is of crucial importance in order to understand queer sexualities, which are themselves plural, heterogenous, and multidimensional, when it comes to race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, and physical ability, among other factors. Queer sexualities should therefore avoid homonormativity – to quote Jasbir Puar in Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer times (2007). Homonormativity presupposes that sexual diversity is fundamentally conceived as being white, bourgeois, and ableist. This colloquium invites university researchers to move past a homonormative lens to apprehend the complexity of queer sexualities through an intersectional analysis.
In her article “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex : A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics” published in 1989, Kimberle Crenshaw develops the concept of intersectionality in order to show the different ways in which gender and race interact and influence the multi-dimensionality of the experiences of black women on the job market (p. 139). Crenshaw defends the thesis that in order to understand discrimination against black women, we should not consider motives based on gender and race as independent axes, but that the reality of being both a woman and a person of colour creates a unique and particular life experience that cannot be understood by examining the two dimensions separately. However, the intersection of gender and race in the case of Black women creates a singular experience of discrimination, that we could call systemic, because this discrimination exists within a system in which the institutional structures legitimate and justify differentiated treatments based on the intersectional social position of an individual. Take, for example, the fact that trans women of colour are victims of the highest rate of aggression and homicides in Canada (Conseil québécois LGBT, 2017; McInnes, 2017).
Therefore, intersectionality can be considered as a key concept in order to understand the multiple ways in which the intersection of gender, race, age, corporal capacity, socioeconomic status, etc. produces various configurations of discrimination and oppression, which has a direct impact on the construction of queer sexualities. For instance, an Arab-Muslim queer woman from an underprivileged background, will constantly face systemic barriers interweaving race, religion, sexuality, and social class. Queer sexualities are therefore dependent on the entanglement of racism, ageism, ableism, classism, etc.
This colloquium will focus on queer sexualities from an intersectional perspective. We will look at the way in which queer sexualities are socially constructed, configured, performed, discriminated, devalued, marginalized, stigmatized, and excluded. As we deal with queer sexualities from an intersectional perspective, we will also aim to analyze the ways in which the human subject builds its subjectivity, its agency, its performativity, perhaps even its identity, in literary, artistic, cinematographic, theatrical, and cultural media productions. Therefore, we welcome proposals pertaining to the intersectionality of queer sexualities based on certain axes of reflection:
- Queer sexualities and oppression (racism, ableism, ageism, classism, sexism, fatphobia, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, lesbophobia, etc.)
- Queer sexualities and privilege (male, white, ableist, etc.)
- LGBTQ2+ racialized, “cripped” and/or socio-economically disadvantaged identities
- Construction and performance of intersectional queer sexualities in literature, cinema, visual arts, the documentary, and social media (Tinder, YouTube, blogs, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Grindr, etc.)
- Queer sexualities and critical pedagogies (approaches, strategies, theories)
For this colloquium, we accept proposals for papers, roundtable sessions, and workshops in French or English. 250-word proposals must indicate the name of the researcher, institutional affiliation, and email address. The proposals must be sent by December 1, 2021 to the members of the organizing committee:
Domenico Beneventi < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Jorge Calderón < email@example.com >
Hasheem Hakeem < firstname.lastname@example.org >
This colloquium is organized as part of the research activity of the “Corporality and Queer Sexualities in Canada and Quebec” group, which is financed by the FRQSC. The group consists of professors from l’Université de Sherbrooke, l’Université de Montréal, the University of Ottawa, the University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University.
Conseil québécois LGBT. (2017). Rapport sur le racisme systémique vécu par la communauté LGBTQ+ montréalaise. Accessible en ligne : http://www.midi.gouv.qc.ca/publications/fr/dossiers/valoriser-diversite/rapports/RAP_Conseil_Quebecois_LGBT.pdf
Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1989(1), 139-167.
McInnes, S. (2017). Violence against trans people in Canada: A primer. Accessible en ligne : https://policyfix.ca/2017/01/30/violence-against-trans-people-in-canada-a-primer/
Puar, J.K. (2007). Terrorist assemblages: Homonationalism in queer times. Durham: Duke University Press.
Sensoy, O., & DiAngelo, R. (2011). Is everyone really equal? New York: Teachers College Press.