The elision in ev’ry gestures in multiple ways: to the bodies that have been exempted in various iterations of sexuality studies, and to our quixotic desire to (re-)emplace them. It refers as well to the shifting and ever-proliferating fact of bodies: the way that apparent gaps may not represent incompleteness, but point instead to troubled standards of perceiving or evaluating wholeness; that filling a gap can thus provisionally flesh out bodies that are at once legible and illegible. Our apostrophe calls to a multitude of bodies, recognizing the potential for thinking through, substituting, re-visioning, and, ultimately, holding space for, bodies that exceed categorical legislation and rhetorical disciplinarity. We also note that embodiment is not everyone’s cup of tea. We flag the body, ev’ry body, because sensuousness has too often been left out of considerations of sexuality and politics. Simultaneously, we wonder how given languages about sex and meaning work in relation to disability, debility; in the realm of the digital; under the aegis of asexuality?
This Time means both that we view this as a conference that belongs to a history of academic conferences in queer studies and that we view this as a conference that is happening in a perilous present moment. How is the critical study of sexuality evolving and in response to what imperatives? What is the relation of this time to other times (and places) and how are the particular urgencies of this time tied to other moments? Is the critical study of sexuality always explicitly about sexuality, now?
In conjoining Ev’ry Body and This Time, we issue a challenge (one with a dash of utopianism in it) to ourselves and to the conference participants: What future do “we” want looking forward from where we stand?
The conference will feature both panels assembled in response to an open call for abstracts, as well as invited speakers who currently include: Qian Wang, Gemma Romain, Qwo-li Driskill, Amy Sueyoshi, Gloria Wekker, Nayan Shah, Omi’seke Natasha Tinsley, Amber Musser, alongside panels, workshops, and events. Please stay tuned for further announcements concerning additional speakers, the call for papers and abstract submission, accessibility information, and how to reserve a spot for conference attendees.
This event will be held at Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley.
Hosted and sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Sexual Culture; co-sponsored by the Program in Critical Theory.