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NYC Pride Parade 2018

Dr. S.M. Rodriguez, Director of the LGBTQ+ Studies Program;
The Department of Sociology and the Criminology Program; The Center for “Race,” Culture and Social Justice; Student Access Services and The Hofstra Cultural Center


“Deviant” Pasts, Subversive Futures?

A Virtual LGBTQ+ Studies Symposium

April 23, 2020, 12:30PM – 6:00PM

RSVP to Receive Event Link

In a sociological tradition, deviance describes nonnormative actions and performances by individuals. Queerness is one such form of deviance, as it describes counter-hegemonic sexual preferences, gender performances, and community formations. However, deviance can also be understood as a mobilized politic, one that necessarily resists a reductive social order (Cohen 2004).

Once a pejorative, queer as a politic or label has been embraced as a way to fight homogenization, exclusion, limitation and binaries. Queer signals a political presentation that seeks to undermine dominant ideologies – those which seek to correct, control and punish difference – and instead offers a way of “becoming undone with and through one another” (Bey 2019). Through histories of resistance, indefinability, and innovation, queerness and queer people have offered their futures – our presents – layers of richness that otherwise may not have been afforded.

Yet, in addition to acknowledgment and celebration of such deviant pasts, we must confront the current representational realities that flatten queerness into congealed identities, conditionally accepted into “the norm.” This strikes many as particularly pressing when such norms involve participating in or bolstering regimes of violence, such as (neo)imperialism (Massad 2002; Puar 2007), criminalization and militarization (Conrad 2012, Gossett 2013).

Therefore, in a moment when normativizing discourse, legislation and media popularize particular images of LGBT identities, histories and journeys, this symposium questions the future of queerness. In growingly assimilatory political paradigms, does a collective power remain for queer identities to subvert, challenge or destabilize the hegemon?

Queer Artistry, Performance and Subjectivity

12:30 PM – 2 PM Panel 1

  • Elise Armani, Scholar of Art History and Criticism, Stony Brook University
    • On the possibility of a queer echo: Sharon Hayes and the (Re)Enactment of Queer Subjectivities
  • Alan Pelaez Lopez, Poet and Ethnic Studies Scholar, University of California – Berkeley
  • Kirya Traber, Playwright and Cultural Worker, New York City
    • If This Be Sin: Gladys Bentley, from Riotous Queer Resistance in the 1930s to Defensive Conformity in the 1950s
  • Athena Belle-Fairplay, Author and Artist, New York City and London, U.K.
    • Nefelibata” Novel (2019), A Reading and Reflection

Decarcerating Disability, Abolishing Gender, and Decolonizing our Future

2:30 PM – 4 PM Panel 2

  • Liat Ben-Moshe, Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Marquis Bey, African American Studies & English, Northwestern University
    • Black Trans Ether: Toward A Kind of Gender Abolition
  • S.M. Rodriguez, Sociology, Criminology and LGBTQ+ Studies, Hofstra University
    • The Queer Politics of “Women’s” Encagement: Mis-Labeling Gender and Reproduction in Prisons
  • Kai Breaux, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Stony Brook University
    • Beyond the Death World: The Urgency of Radical Imagination in Decolonizing Trans of Color Futures

Re-envisioning Care, Nurture and Hope for a Queer Future

4:30 – 6:00pm Panel 3

  • Ren-yo Hwang, Gender Studies and Critical Social Thought, Mount Holyoke College
    • Deviant Care for Deviant Futures: QTBIPoC Radical Relationalism as Mutual Aid against Carceral Care
  • Liz Montegary, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Stony Brook University
  • Phillip Opsasnick, Philosophy, Stony Brook University
    • Deviant Hope: Rethinking Bloch and Muñoz on Queer Futurity

NYC Pride Parade 2018