Uneasy Queer Art Histories

Session Convenor

Greg Salter, University of Birmingham g.j.salter@bham.ac.uk

Session Abstract

In the UK in 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales was marked with celebratory media coverage, academic publications, and high-profile exhibitions (including Tate’s ‘Queer British Art’, ‘Coming Out’ at Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and the National Trust’s ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme). The presence of queer art histories and queer histories in major museums was framed as reflecting social progress and the increasing cultural acceptance of LGBTQ identities.

While these gains are notable and worth celebrating, wider work in queer theory has begun to seek to address elements of queer histories that have been ignored or forgotten in more recent years. In response, this session focuses on uneasy queer art histories; queer art histories which may be disturbing, disruptive, difficult, disavowed, or rooted in failure. It seeks uneasy queer art histories in response to queer theorist Kadji Amin’s call for queer scholars to ‘inhabit unease’ rather than seeking to avoid it. In addressing what might be uneasy, this session aims to expand and disrupt queer art histories beyond narratives of progress and beyond purely UK or US contexts, and to reflect on how we do queer art histories and queer histories more widely.

his session seeks papers from any period and location that explore how queer art histories might have uneasy connections with, for example, racism, colonialism, violence, failure, loss, pederasty, fascism, and homonationalism.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenor, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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