Queer Representation: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Event date: 
Tuesday 11 May to Friday 14 May
Queer Representation: Pasts, Presents, Futures

Queer Representation: Pasts, Presents, Futures Conference

When: 11th - 14th May 2021

Where: Online

Keynote Speakers: Prof Richard Dyer (King's College London and the University of St Andrews) and Dr Abigail De Kosnik (UC Berkley)

Institution: The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh

This conference examines how LGBTQ representation has changed through time, continues to evolve in the present, and what role it might play in the future. It draws on recent developments in queer representation in order to trace how LGBTQ media comments on both the current state of queer rights, as well as the possibility of queer futurity. The conference seeks to represent a multiplicity of queer experiences, spanning divergent historical and geographical areas of representation, as well as the plurality of ideas of what it means to identify as queer today, and what this identification might look like in the future. With our inclusive focus on transmedia representations of queerness, we aim to examine narratives of sex, identity, politics, family and gender across a broad range of contexts, mediums and artforms. We ask how queer representation has changed, what versions of queerness we remember today, and how that can manifest in our hopes or fears for the future. Through investigating which narratives of queerness persist, and how representational patterns have evolved, we hope we may learn about creative spaces in which queerness can thrive.


Keynote Speakers:

Richard Dyer is Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at King's College, London, and Professorial Fellow in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, UK. His work has made formative contributions to a number of areas in film and cultural studies, be it in relation to queer representation, celebrity studies, or representations of race. His many books include Stars (1979), White (1997), The Culture of Queers (2002), Nino Rota (2010) and In the Space of a Song (2012), and he is the author of BFI Film Classics on Se7en (1999), Brief Encounter (2002, 2015) and La Dolce Vita (2017). He has been honoured by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, and Turku and Yale Universities, and is a Fellow of the British Academy.

Abigail De Kosnik is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) and the Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies. She is also the Director of BCNM, and is the 2020-2025 craigslist Distinguished Chair in New Media. She is the author of Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom (MIT Press, 2016) and co-editor, with Keith Feldman, of #identity: Hashtagging Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Nation (University of Michigan Press, 2019). She has published articles on media fandom, popular digital culture, social media, and performance studies in Third TextCinema Journal (now Journal of Cinema and Media Studies), The International Journal of CommunicationModern DramaTransformative Works and CulturesVerge: Studies in Global AsiasPerformance Research, and elsewhere. She co-organizes The Color of New Media, a working group focusing on technology and intersectionality. De Kosnik is Filipina American.


Registration is free and can be done here until May 7th 2021: 


Conference Programme:

Tuesday May 11th 2021 

13:00 Panel I: Queering the Family 

Gina Marchetti, The Queer Gaze across the Gay-Straight Generational Divide: Mothers and Daughters in Small Talk (2016) and A Dog Barking at the Moon (2019) 

Kate McNicholas Smith, Lesbian Motherhood in The Fosters 

Olga Doletskaya, Queer parenthood in Russia: media representation of (il)legal families 

Billy Errington, Framing Queer Time through the Family in 1985 (dir. Yen Tan, 2018)   

Katie Hinders, Is it Really the Happiest Season? - Coming Out and Queer Futurity 


14: 15 Break 


14: 30 Panel II: Remembering Queerness I 

Christopher Pullen, Picture it - ‘London in the 1980s: a hopeful and yet naive young man arrives in the city’: Situating the queer self within the nostalgic media frame 

Richard Sawdon-Smith, Club 18-58: The Unknowing X of Pasts, Presents, Futures 

Kenneth Norwood, Look Back at It: Isaac Julian’s Looking for Langston and Marlon Riggs’ Tongues Untied and the origin of BQAR Resistance 

Anamarija Horvat, The Borders of Memory: (Re)imagining National History in International Queer Cinema 

Gareth Smith, Class, Consumerism and Colonialism: Sexual Citizenship and the Post-War Homosexual Novel 


15:45 Break 


16:00 Keynote Speech 

Professor Richard Dyer, The Marginality of Marginality and the Case of La dolce vita 


17:15 Close 


Wednesday 12th May 2021 

13:00 Panel I: North American Queer Television 

Kinga Erzepki, The Harbingers of Change, Guides, and Innovators: The State of Non-Binary Television Representation in the US after Four Years 

Michael Goddard, A Doomed Metamorphosis?: Gregg Araki from Transgressive Queer Cinema to Apocalyptic Television 

Jacqueline Ristola, “We’ve made something entirely new”: colour design labour and queer representation in contemporary animation  

Abigail JenkinsSteven Universe (2013 - 2019), Steven Universe Future (2019-2020), and Kid Cosmic (2021-): Lifting the Burden of Gendered Certainty in Children’s TV 

Sarah E. S. Sinwell, “You Cannot Put A Fire Out”: Revisiting Queer Female Histories in Anne with an E and Dickinson 


14: 15 Break 


14: 30 Panel II: Queer Representation Across Borders I 

Jana Jedličková, How contemporary Czech retro TV series discovered gay people 

Arianna Bussoletti, The changing landscape of gender non-conforming characters: Non-binary Narratives and Representations in Land of The Lustrous 

Rafael Ventura, Vítor Blanco-Fernández, and Juan-Jose Sanchez-Soriano, Breaking down the spiral of silence: Trans visibility and socio-cultural impact of Spanish TV-series Veneno 

Tatiana Klepikova, What’s Straight about Russian Queer Theatre Now? Fabulations of Gender and Sexuality under Putin and Their Discontents 

Bianca Jasmina RauchFutur Drei - a queer, post-migrant perspective   


15:45 Break 


16:00 Panel III: Remembering Queerness II 

Dagmar Brunow, Queering the archive? How (not) to deal with the ambivalence of LGBTI+ visibility in digital film collections 

Antoine Damiens, Film festivals and 1970s gay film studies/criticism: inventing “gay cinema”   

Bridget Kies, Murdering Our Queer Past on Television 

Ellie Turner-Kilburn, 'The stories we tell make us the people we are': Exploring fannish histories and archontic archives in Robin Talley’s Pulp and Todd Haynes’ Carol 

Diana W. Anselmo, Kindred Spirits: Queer Female Desire in Early Movie Scrapbooks 


17:15 Close 


Thursday 13th May 2021 

13:00 Panel I: Queer Representation Across Borders II 

Rachel Milne, ‘Fun, Fierce and Frivolous’: Afrobubblegum and the Possibilities of Queer African Love in Rafiki 

Hongwei BaoEast Palace, West Palace: Performing Queer Desire in Theatre of Cruelty 

Geoffrey Maguire, Futurity, Fin de siglo and New Gay Realism 

Javier Pérez-Osorio, Screening through silence: the representation of queerness in Retablo (2017) 

Federico PicerniTame the hooligan: LGBTQ representations in China’s pink capitalism 


14: 15 Break 


14:30 Panel II: Queerness Across Platforms 

Collier Nogues, Together in the Future Wilderness: CAConrad’s Queer Appearances   

Giuseppe Zevolli, “Trans Futurity” and Popular Modernism in Experimental Electronic Music   

Andrea Jacoby, Memeing through the Loneliness: Queer Longing for Belonging on Tumblr 

Han Hongzheng, Radical Self: Queer Asian Art in the face of White Supremacy  

Avery Dame-Griff, Warning Warning Warning: Locating the Obscene in English-language Transgender Homepages 


15:45 Break 


16:00 Panel III: Adaptation and Fanfiction 

Alice M. Kelly, True Love’s Kiss: Once Upon a Time’s Compulsory Heterosexuality and Queer Female Desire in ‘Swan Queen’ Fanfic 

Suzanne R. Black, Looking back to go forward: How fanfiction queers historical narratives  

Inmaculada N. Sánchez García, Sapphic Juliets: Queering Romeo and Juliet in contemporary European cinema 

Christine Roulston, From Anne Lister to Gentleman Jack: Queer Temporality and the Losses and Gains of Adaptation 

Christina Wilkins, Recalling the (queer) Body 


Friday 14th May 2021 

13:00 Panel I: Queer Space 

Carissa Foo, Flushed Out: An Examination of Spatial-Sexual Discipline in Toilet Narratives 

Adam Vaughan, Temporary Paradise: Queer Time, Space and Pastoral Visions in Call Me By Your Name 

Candice D. Roberts, Embracing Joy and The Queer Body: Media World-Building and Mapping Queer Space in Schitt’s Creek 

Jeniece Lusk, Bibles and Bathrooms: Intersex Awareness Among College-Aged American Christians 

Aleksandra Gajowy, Where is the Muranów Lily? Unearthing traces of queer Jewishness in contemporary Warsaw 


14: 15 Break 


14: 30 Panel II: (Un)Seeing Queerness: The Legibility of Representation 

Zoë Shacklock, The Category Is: Queer Media and the Algorithm 

Gilad Padva, Screening Insistent Faggotry: The (In)consistent Cinematic Representation of Sissyness and Effeminate Theatricality in Pretending-to-Be-Gay Films 

Odhran O’Donoghue, Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet and the subversion of ‘just happen to be’ queer narratives 

Clara Bradbury-Rance, ‘There is a sex scene in the film… maybe you haven’t seen it’: Lesbian legibility and queer legacy in Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) 

Barbara Plotz, The Contemporary “Odd” Gay Romance 


15:45 Break 


16:00 Keynote Speech 

Dr Abigail De Kosnik, Queerness + Fandom + Piracy 


17:15 Close 

Poster Presentations: 

Kate Manlik, ‘Maybe We Don’t Exist’: The Erasure of Lesbian and Queer Women in It’s a Sin 

Dawn Woolley and AC Davidson, Bois of Isolation (BOI): queering gender binaries in the confines of the pandemic 

Jordan Fraser Emery, Virtual and immersive restitution of research in a queer context  

Lucy Mooring, ‘Nowt as queer as folk’: understanding the relationship between queer women and rural space 

Veronica G. Llamas, Queer Fashion: Examining LGBTIQ Identity, Aesthetics and Commerce in London as a Global City 

Danilo Barauna, Besideness: distance and proximity as orientations to inhabit the space in projective moving image art installations 

Barbara Wolfram, Missing Out: A quantitative analysis on queer (non-)representation in Austrian feature films from 1997-2017 

Ray Liehui Wang, Translating Homosexuality into Chinese: Case Studies of the Chinese Translations of Andre Aciman’s Male Gay-themed Novels 

Sergio Rodríguez-Blanco, The party as a space for the repoliticization of queerness: performance and sexual dissidence through documentary photography in Mexico 

Antoine Badaoui, Online disruptive visibility: LGBT social media activism in Lebanon 

Seray Hekimoğlu, Representations of Queer Spaces and Identities in Turkish Cinema 

Connie van Gils, Men with moustaches: gay guys depicting their dream guy in the eighties - or what a visual presentation of the history of gay nightlife in the Netherlands can teach us 

Divya Garg, The Limits of Media Fandom’s Queer Politics: Reading Queer/Disabled Subjectivities in Marvel fanfiction

Ricardo Ramirez VallejosChilean Gays and Lesbians Evaluating TV Representations of Homosexuality: The Construction of The Possible And The Real 

Lena Meyskens“RU-VEAL YOURSELF!” Queer coding in Louise Narbone’s 2014 stage direction of Vinci’s Artaserse  

Organisers: Dr Anamarija Horvat (anamarija.horvat@ed.ac.uk) and Dr Alice Kelly (dr.alice.m.kelly@gmail.com)