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Call for Abstracts: Affective Histories of Queer and Trans Activism: A Workshop with Elspeth Brown and Laurel Westbrook 5-6 May

11.1.2022 31.1.2022

Call for Abstracts
Affective Histories of Queer and Trans Activism: A Workshop with Elspeth Brown and Laurel Westbrook
5-6 May 2022, Tampere University, Finland

*** Deadline extended until January 31 ***

How have queer and trans activists challenged the repressive status quo in the past? Which forms have queer and trans activism taken over the decades? What role do emotions and affects play in activism – and how can affect theory be utilized in the study of queer and trans histories and temporalities?

These are among the questions that will be addressed in the workshop on affective histories of queer and trans activism, which is the first event to be organized by the Academy of Finland funded research project “Affective Activism: Sites of Queer and Trans World-Making” (2021-2025). The event, to be held at Tampere University on 5-6 May 2022, consists of public keynotes by Professor Elspeth Brown (University of Toronto, Canada) and Professor Laurel Westbrook (Grand Valley State University, Michigan, U.S.) and a two-day workshop where participants’ work-in-progress papers will be commented on by the keynote speakers, organizers, and fellow participants. We invite abstracts from scholars across multiple disciplines and career stages from Ph.D. students to established scholars. In the workshop, we will engage in  discussions on cutting-edge theoretical and methodological approaches to queer and trans histories, including e.g. affect theory, queer studies, trans studies, oral history, cultural history, social history, and contemporary history.

We invite submissions that address queer and trans histories from a variety of perspectives. They may include but are not limited to the following:

Historical struggles:
• Repressive laws: criminalization, propaganda laws, clause 28
• Discrimination and human rights: Wissenschaftlich-Humanitäres Committee, IGA, ILGA
• Black and Indigenous activism: pioneers, communities, historical erasure
• Health: depathologization, AIDS, gender affirmation, access to care
• Religion, spirituality: challenging conservative institutions, LGBTQ+ churches, MCC, etc.

Forms of activism:
• Organizing: founding and running of local, national, and international organizations and
movements, CCO, Federation of 1948, RFSL, Seta, ACT UP
• Publishing: books, journals, zines, music
• Early internet: LGBTQ+ presence in the early internet, online communities
• Protests and marches: Compton Cafe Riot, Stonewall Riots, Pride movement
• Events: Gay Games, Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, World AIDS Day, Transgender Day of

• Alternative forms of living: communities, Womyn’s land, etc.
• Current engagements with LGBTQ+ histories
• Archival activism, museum activism
• Artistic activism
• Memorials and monuments
• LGBTQ+ History Month, Queer History Month
• Studying LGBTQ+ histories as activism

The maximum number of accepted papers will be 12. Attendance is limited by registration only. Participation is free of charge, but participants are expected to cover their travel and accommodation costs,
as well as own meals.

The workshop is intended to take place in person, so in-person participation is prioritized (if allowed by the COVID-19 pandemic). If necessary, there will be a possibility for online participation as well. If you intend to participate online, please consider the time zone (from 9:00 to 17:00 EEST, UTC+03:00).

Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words) and a short bio (max. 100 words) by January 31, 2022 to affectiveactivism(a)tuni.fi. Decisions on acceptance will be made by February 11, 2022. The accepted participants are expected to submit a work-in-progress paper of 8-10 pages by April 19, 2022. The papers will be circulated among the participants, and all participants are expected to read and comment on them. We explore a possibility to co-edit a special issue based on papers developed in the workshop, to be published in a European queer studies journal.

For further information, please contact Dr. Tuula Juvonen at tuula.juvonen(a)tuni.fi and Dr. Varpu Alasuutari at varpu.alasuutari(a)tuni.fi. The workshop is organized by the research project “Affective Activism: Sites of Queer and Trans World-Making”, funded by the Academy of Finland (341571).


Tampere University


Affective Activism: Sites of Queer and Trans World-Making

Tuula Juvonen

Varpu Alasuutari