Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CFP: Delany at 70


Delany at 70: 
Honoring the Life & Work
of Samuel R. Delany
The Fifth Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium
University of Maryland, College Park
Friday, April 20, 2012

Deadline for submission of materials: February 6, 2012

We invite proposals for presentations at DELANY AT 70, the 5th Annual DC Queer Studies Symposium at the University of Maryland. The symposium will be a daylong series of conversations in critical queer, race, and gender studies inspired by the multifaceted cultural work of author, literary critic, and professor Samuel R. Delany, whose seventieth birthday is April 1, 2012. Events will include paper sessions featuring faculty and graduate students. The day will culminate in Mr. Delany reading from his new novel, Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders, and engaging in conversation with Robert Reid-Pharr, Distinguished Professor of English at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

In recognition of Delany’s wide-ranging influence on queer studies scholarship, the symposium takes themes prominent in his work as its point of departure. We are eager to invite papers dedicated to Delany’s diverse body of writings, but we also encourage proposals that address any of the following (or related) points of contact with key preoccupations of Delany’s work:

• Black and queer cultural politics
• Crossing boundaries:  cross-class contact, private/public divides, the dynamics of normativity and respectability
• Landscapes: utopia, dystopia, heterotopia, desire, lust
• Queer time: futurity, potentiality, paradox, anniversaries, commemorations
• Queer/ing visions: reflection, refraction, mythology, memory, language, perception
• Geographies of power: settler colonialism, racialization, territorialization, gentrification
• World-making and undoing: fantasy, performativity, self-elaboration, autobiography, selfhood, abjection

Proposals for 15-minute presentations should include name, affiliation, e-mail address, title of paper, a 250-word abstract, and a 1-2 page CV. Please send materials by e-mail attachment (Word or PDF only) by February 6, 2012 to lgbts-dcqueers@umd.edu. Put “Submission for Delany at 70” in the subject line of your message. For more information, contact JV Sapinoso at sapinoso@umd.edu. Selected participants will be notified by February 27, 2012.

In the words of Jeffrey Allen Tucker, Samuel R. Delany is “the ideal postmodern intellectual.” Delany is known for his long and well-established career as a writer of science fiction, fantasy, and memoir as well as his critical work in literary, African American, urban, and LGBT/queer studies. Speaking about the significance of his work, Delany says, “Science fiction isn’t just thinking about the world out there. It’s also thinking about how that world might be -- a particularly important exercise for those who are oppressed, because if they’re going to change the world we live in, they -- and all of us -- have to be able to think about a world that works differently.” Exercising the need to “think about a world that works differently” might well be adopted to describe the projects of both LGBT and queer studies.

DC Queer Studies is a group of faculty from schools in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area formed in 2006 to discuss new works in the field and to exchange, support, and cultivate new ways of engaging with LGBT/Queer/Sexuality Studies across the disciplines and across institutions. The DC Queer Studies Symposium is hosted and sponsored by the University of Maryland and co-sponsored by American University, Georgetown University, and the George Washington University. For event updates and further information, click here.

All symposium events will be free and open to the public.

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