28 aug 02 sep

Queer, Trans, Sexual Archives

What makes an archive “queer” or “trans”? What practices of archival reading are being developed in Queer and Transgender Studies?

How can queer, trans, sexual histories – from the archives of 1970s and 1980s sexual liberation movements, through archives of colonial sexual practices, to legal and medical archives productive of gender and sexual formations – help us navigate contemporary sexual politics?

If we understand modern gender and sexual categories as effects of colonialism, are their non-normative and transgressive forms, such as transgender and queer, anticolonial or also colonial? How do archives shine light onto these questions?

Sexuality as identity has been assumed (and archived) intersectionally alongside gender and race as sexual identities, but where does that put libidinal sexuality or unconscious desire which does not have discrete objects in the form of “identity”?

Twelve years after the first NOISE summer school devoted to lesbian and gay sexualities and Queer Studies in Europe, this year’s NOISE returns to the topic while engaging with key transformations in the study of sex, sexuality, and sexual politics. By now the field of Queer and Lesbian & Gay Studies has been reshaped by the emergence and consolidation of Transgender Studies and by an ongoing process of critical clarification (and transgression) of the boundaries between queer and trans. Is there any difference between Queer Studies and Transgender Studies? And how does each field engage with the study of sex and sexuality? Additionally, Queer and Transgender Studies have been increasingly rethinking their objects – gender, sex, sexuality – through the kaleidoscope of colonial histories and racial formations. In the past twenty years, queer and trans of color critiques and postcolonial/decolonial analyses have been moving, if precariously, from margin to center within the field. What are the effects of this shift on the theory and politics of sexuality?

This edition of the NOISE summer school will introduce students to key debates and interventions at the crossroads of these developments, paying particular attention to the relations between queer, trans, sexual archives, ongoing processes of field formation in Queer Studies and Transgender Studies, and contemporary sexual politics.

The themes addressed through the 6-day program will be:

  • Archives of solidarity, on the histories of the gay and lesbian Left;
  • AIDS as archive, critically reframing a key genealogical anchor point for Queer and Transgender Studies;
  • Archives of radical feminism, foregrounding their complex relations with lesbian, queer, trans formations;
  • Post/colonial archives, exploring what reading practices might allow us to access them as sites of sexual subject-formation and resources for contemporary sexual politics;
  • An/aesthetic archives, emphasizing the affective dimension running through the heterogeneous archival field, from medical to artistic archives.

Deadline for registration: 30 April 2023

Tuition fee is € 500,-.