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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Conference Information



Full Title: Queer, Semiotics and Space: Understanding Queer Identities through Language and Space

      
Location: London, United Kingdom
Start Date: 26-Aug-2014 - 29-Aug-2014
Contact: Tommaso Milani
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL: http://www.zebracki.org/cfp2014queer
Meeting Description: Queer, Semiotics and Space: Understanding Queer Identities through Language and Space
Annual International Conference, London, 26-29 August, 2014
Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with Institute of British Geographers (IBG)
Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group (SSQRG)

Convenors:

Martin Zebracki & Tommaso M. Milani
University of Leeds, United Kingdom & University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

To date queer geography has induced critical debates about a variety of topics, which include but are not limited to: heteronormativities and homonormativities (e.g. Seidman 2001; Podmore 2013), sex/sexuality and space (e.g. Hubbard 2011), queer epistemology (e.g. Binnie 1997), feminism (e.g. Wright 2010), queer space (e.g. Oswin 2008), sexual citizenship (e.g. Mann 2013), queer liberalism (e.g. Eng 2010) and homonationalism (e.g. Puar 2007) in the light of the everyday represented and experienced identities of the sexual dissident, i.e. queer. These queer identities intersect with sex, gender, class, race, age, religion and ability/disability (cf. Brown 2012) across time, as implied in socio-historical understandings, current praxes and imagined futures, and across space, ranging from the home (e.g. Gorman-Murray 2008) to public life and governance (e.g. Bell & Binnie 2004) and online communities (e.g. O'Riordan & Phillips 2007).

Queer identities, and the everyday practices and performances associated with them, cannot be dissociated from the ways in which they are expressed by language-in all its subtleties and implicit associations as well as explicit self-reports-as situated in dynamic contexts of social norms and values, politics, power, ideology and various media (cf. Cameron & Kulick 2006).

We, a collaborating geographer and a semiotician, conceive of what we term as 'queer semiotics' as a frontier of knowledge that can further frame and challenge (predominant) discursive notions of the queer-space-identity nexus, as well as the language that scholars from diverse epistemological and lingual settings use to understand this relationship. Queer, in this sense, should not only be considered a subject of study but also a critical academic disposition in poststructuralist research on sexuality.
Linguistic Subfield: Pragmatics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 25.312


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