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Reinstating Transgression Conference


Please contact:

Gordon Brent Ingram

William L. Leap

AU Anthropology


CAS Dean's Office
Fax: 202-885-2429
Battelle-Tompkins, Room 200

CAS Dean's Office
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20016-8012
Reinstating Transgression:<br />Emerging political economies of queer space

Conference Goals

Mindful of the conference commitment to build tighter connections between political economy, queer theory, and studies of sexual and spatial transgression, presentations and discussions at "Reinstating Transgression" will use case studies of neighbourhoods and broader metropolitan areas to address two general themes:

  • When and why are certain groups and individuals tolerated, often only as exceptions, while others are reconfirmed as deviant, and often made abject, re-marginalized by the state often through less overly repressive means?
  • How are more privileged and better-protected strata of sexual minorities competing with and sometimes being used by other local interests, and by aspects of state authority, in contest with more vulnerable social groups, e.g the impoverished, the disabled, migrants and natives?

By doing so, these discussions will explore new theory, research methods, and measures for understanding how both networks of sexual minorities and broader communities are being reconstructed through emerging forms of tolerance and repression, visibility and erasure, place-making and evacuation, and localism and globalization.

Conference Philosophy

Over the last half-century, a large and growing portion of communities have been transformed, sometimes radically and more often subtly, by assertions of women and sexual minorities for more equitable distribution of space, resources, social and economic opportunities, and social services. Much of early transgendered and homosexual political work focused on survival and self-protection and then shifted to insuring civil rights including equal access to medical treatment and information as has been so crucial for stemming the AIDS pandemic. Current movements to challenge persisting obstacles to individuals in same-sex marriages have extended human rights activism as new organizing has shifted to building a diversifying array of communities and social infrastructure defined by intersections of gender, sexuality, class, nationality, ethnicity, religion, culture, capabilities and disabilities, physical environments, and communications.

"Reinstating Transgression" explores the more recent reconstructions and re-inscriptions of queer political economies, often based on more tolerance and partial human rights protections, within the dynamic and unstable structures of state, administrative, and financial power. As communities are transformed by more accurate conceptions of gender, sexuality, propriety, and acceptability, notions of transgression, and questions of exactly who are the outlaws and oligarchs, remain unresolved. Even in the more tolerant and supportive environments for gender dissidents and sexual minorities, the state continues to mediate in ongoing contests between social groups played out through media, policy, courts, government programmes, land economics, public health, culture, and public (and private) space. And the increasing tolerance of sexual minorities, in many parts of the world, can mask persistent and even emerging obstacles for less privileged networks of sexual minorities to define themselves, survive, make contact, communicate, and transform their communities.


April 17–18, 2010
American University,
Washington, DC
(Conjoined with the annual
Lavender Languages & Linguistics
, April 16–17)

***Available for Download

(All revised 4/12)
Conference Program
Conference Abstracts
Confirmed Contributors

Submit Abstracts

Please submit abstracts for conference presentations to Gordon Brent Ingram by March 15:

The presentations in the colloquium are intended for a university press anthology. Discussion at this colloquium will support contributors in developing their papers into chapters for the book.


Campus Directions
AU on Google Maps

Conference Hosts

Anthropology Department
College of Arts & Sciences