Keynote Abstracts

Jasbir Puar (Rutgers University). Homonationalism in Trump Times/ Homonacionalismo en tiempos de Trump 15/09/2017. 18:30. La Sala

In this talk I reflect on the last ten years of homonationalism and its effects. I am especially interested in what the Trump presidency and other right-wing governments might suggest about the successes and failures of LGBTQ human rights platforms and about the elasticity of homonationalism. Finally I suggest that U.S. driven queer theoretical projects need to account for the U.S. as a generator of permanent war both globally and within its own boarders.


Cesare Di Feliciantonio (National University of Ireland Maynooth). Researching HIV-positive gay migration through an intersectional lens. Theoretical, methodological and political implications/ Investigando la migración de gays VIH positivos a través de una mirada interseccional. Implicaciones teóricas, metodológicas y políticas 15/09/2017. 09:00. La Sala

In this paper I discuss some of the main concerns raised by my ongoing research on HIV-positive gay migration in different European cities, mainly aimed at investigating the relation between the configuration of the welfare regime and the decision to migrate for HIV-positive gay men through an intersectional perspective. In theoretical terms my research questions the limits of the hegemonic debate around metropolitan homonormativities that has mostly ignored the experiences of HIV-positive gay men. Methodologically it challenges the persisting othering, neutrality and ‘right distance’ characterizing most research around HIV-positive people in social sciences, thus reflecting on which research strategies might favour a more horizontal and non-pathologizing approach. Politically it calls for the need to engage more seriously with the everyday materiality of HIV-positivity and the configuration of the welfare regime, while advocating for the free access to PrEP.


Eleanor Wilkinson (University of Southampton). The Lonely Queer / El queer solitario 14/09/2017. 09:00. La Sala

The boundaries and markers of romantic love have shifted considerably in recent decades. Most notable is the way that the heterosexual couple is no longer always seen as the only measure of ‘appropriate’ intimacy, something demonstrated by the increasing state recognition that has been granted to same-sex partnerships. Yet although it may appear that we have slightly more choices about who and how we love, there is still an underlying assumption that everyone desires to be in some form of romantic relationship. Long-term singleness is still often depicted as unhappiness and unfulfillment, and a life without romantic love is seen as a life incomplete. Perhaps then, increasingly it may not matter so much who we love, only that we love. Yet what might it mean to desire solitude? To chose to live our lives without romantic love? This talk draws upon empirical fieldwork conducted in Britain with those who defined themselves as content in their single status, many of whom claimed to have no future desires to find a partner or start a family. Of interest then, is the ways in which singleness might pose a challenge to both heteronormative and homonormative conceptualizations of the way in which a life should unfold. In this talk I outline how the figure of the queer single could be read as an anachronistic figure, one who is posited as somehow out-of-sync with the present. How then, might these stories of single-life challenge contemporary liberatory narratives of LGBT progress? The paper concludes by examining some of the queer potentialities of singleness, and asks whether it is possible to claim the solitary figure as a potential site of queer resistance.


Gavin Brown (University of Leicester). A geopolitics of sexual orientation and gender identity for a new world / Geopolítica de la orientación sexual y la identidad de género para un nuevo mundo 14/09/2017. 16:30. La Sala

On 30 June 2016 the United Nations Human Rights Council created an Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. This decision was the culmination of years of lobbying and negotiations. Even so, the post remained controversial and various countries belonging to the UN’s Africa Group and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation attempted to delay the ratification of Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn in the post. This keynote lecture uses the debates surrounding the appointment of the Independent Expert at the UN to explore the place of the politics of sexual orientation and gender identity in contemporary international relations. The election of Trump and the trajectories of Brexit (amongst other trends) complicate simplistic analyses that have pitted ‘progressive’ nations in the Global North against ‘homophobic’ countries in the Global South. In the current political context, this paper argues that the geographies of sexualities might benefit from a broader and more sustained engagement with the conceptual vocabulary and intellectual practices of critical and feminist geopolitics. Empirically, the paper analyses key documents produced by United Nations’ bodies about sexual orientation and gender identity; considers voting patterns at the UN Human Rights Commission; and, examines the popular geopolitics of how the resolution was reported after the vote. In doing so, the paper teases out the place of different institutional actors and tendencies with contemporary SOGI geopolitics to complicate some of the taken for granted assumptions that have underpinned previous geographical work in this field.


Larry Knopp (School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma). Shifting Ontologies of LGBTQ Space: A Pilot Study/ Ontologías Cambiantes del Espacio LGTBQ: un estudio piloto 15/09/2017. 09:00. La Sala

In this paper we report on the initial stages of a research project focused on documenting and interpreting shifting spatialities of LGBTQ life in four U.S. cities over 50 years.  This is important because there exist no large-scale, longitudinal, and geographically extensive studies of LGBTQ spaces or spatialities.  Rather, most research focuses on particular spaces/kinds of spaces, at particular points in time, using case-study or other case-specific methodologies.  In this project we analyze data regarding LGBTQ venues listed in the only continuously published sources to record such venues in the U.S. since the mid-twentieth century (Bob Damron’s Address Book, later known as The Damron Men’s Travel Guide and its companion, the Damron Women’s Traveler).   While clearly representing only some aspects of the spatiality of LGBTQ life, such venues are widely recognized in the literature as the building blocks for what were eventually to become one important LGBTQ spatiality: “gayborhoods”.   We focus on the changing ways in which the venues are coded and categorized by the guides’ publisher over time.  These codings and categorizations reflect evolving materialities as well as imaginations regarding what constitutes not just LGBTQ space but the changing and intersectional relations between homosociality and heteronormativity undergirding “LGBTQ” in the first place.  This study is the first step in a much larger project in which additional data from various sources, for cities and countries around the world, can be added to the database and analyzed in terms not just of shifting spatial ontologies, but changing spatial patterns as well.


Lucas Platero (CSIC – Spanish National Research Council). Trans* parents in Spain, resistance and invisibility / Madres y padres trans* en España, resistencia e invisibilidad 14/09/2017. 09:00. La Sala

Despite the growing visibility and achievement of rights by trans* individuals in Spain during the last ten years, when it comes to the different realities they face besides their gender identity experience, for example the intertwined experiences linked to age, race or parenting, there are little achievements to report.

Researching what social sciences, social movements and public policies in Spain are offering, the results are that nowadays they are not tackling the needs of trans* families in Spain, in which at least one parent is trans*. But, are their needs different somehow to those of cis families? The transition process, the experience of passing (or its absence), the possible conflict with a partner because of the non-conforming gender identity, the stigma linked to transgenderism, or the lack of visibility of trans parents and the legal difficulties to access certain sexual and reproductive rights makes their experience certainly unique and meaningful.

Using a critical approach to these experiences and the role played bypublic institutions, we conducted a series of interviews with trans* families during 2016 and 2017 (including their children and partners). What these interviews revealed was that they were capable individuals that displayed coping strategies,that the majority had social support and their children accepted their gender identities, and that the major problem the faced was transphobia. Some other trans* parents did not have support and have a difficult relationship with their ex-parents and children, although some came into terms with them later on. These findings are in line with international literature, and move away from the recurrent interrogation “are the children ok?”, and rather we wonder what the material conditions and protection factors are which are linked with wellbeing and acceptance in trans* families.