Queer Cultures Seminar

Broadly historicist in approach, the seminar is intended to provide an interdisciplinary forum for discussion between visiting academics, faculty members across the arts and humanities, and graduate students.

The sessions endeavor to broaden the remit of contemporary Queer Studies, aiming to attract those interested in sexuality and gender studies, but also those with a particular interest in deviant, covert and criminal cultures, in the aesthetics of transgression, in illicit discourses, and, more broadly, in what Christopher Isherwood once termed ‘the market value of the Odd.’

Wednesdays 4.30pm-6.00pm, English Faculty Boardroom

1 February: Dr Zach Blas, Goldsmiths, University of London: "Informatic Opacities"

Blas is an artist and writer whose practice engages technics and minoritarian politics, who has exhibited and lectured internationally. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. His recent works respond to technological control, biometric governmentality, and network hegemony. Facial Weaponization Suite (2011-14) consists of “collective masks” that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition software. Contra-Internet (2014-present) explores subversions of and alternatives to the internet. Blas is producing two books, Escaping the Face, an artist monograph to be published by Sternberg Press, and Informatic Opacity: The Art of Defacement in Biometric Times, a theoretical study that considers biometric facial recognition as an emerging form of global governance alongside aesthetico-political refusals of recognition, such as masked protest.


15 February: Dr Fintan Walsh, Birkbeck, University of London: Dramaturgies of Disorientation and Contemporary Queer Performance

1 March: Dr Shamira Meghani, University of Cambridge: Metaphors of Queer Intimacy in the Politics of South Asian Dissent: Snapshots from the Late Nineteenth and Early Twenty-First Centuries

More details regarding recommended reading and viewing material will be provided before certain seminars. All welcome!