For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and LGBTQ+ Western are excited to present a series of interdisciplinary talks, discussions, and workshops on Queering Research. Check back here for information about particular events as they are scheduled.
Queer methods have been said to “offer a framework for ‘making space for what is’ as they illuminate the messy and chaotic interstices across theory, lived experience, and practice” (Brim and Ghaziani 2016, 17). With a commitment to making space for what is and what is possible, the Queering Research series invites the Western community to critically examine the ways colonialism and normative understandings of sexuality, gender, race, ability, economic power, and knowledge acquisition and production inform relationships of social and administrative power. What can the un-settlings offered by queer methods teach us about power, desire, resistance, and the possibilities for individual and collective efforts to do justice within our disciplines and our lives? How, in turn, can these insights inform the teaching of research methodologies and the canons of research contained in the curriculum? Please join us for these explorations.
Events in the series are intended for people with varying levels of familiarity with queer theory and methods. All events are open to all students, faculty, and staff. For disability accommodations please contact LGBTQ@wwu.edu.
Unfortunately, Spring quarter events are postponed due to COVID-19.
Winter Quarter Events
Discussion: Intimacy, Embodiment, and Resistance
Wednesday, January 29, 12:00 p.m., Multicultural Center 735
Join us for a wide-ranging discussion on interspecies intimacy, queer kin and marginalization, and anti-violence resistance. We will be discussing selections from Catriona Sandilands and Emily Thuma, two of our Queering Research speakers in Winter 2020. Students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines and at all levels of engagement with queer thought are welcomed to attend.
Kat Ray King (Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Biology, University of Louisville, KY)
In partnership with the Biology Department, Kat Ray King will visit campus February 19-20 to provide workshops for students and faculty, give a public talk, and meet with students.
Brown bag lunch and research workshop with students
Wednesday, February 19, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., Biology 415
All students are invited to this research workshop.
Public talk — From Beliefs to Reality: How Undergraduates Understand Sex/Gender (And Why We Should Care)
Wednesday, February 19, 4:00 p.m., Biology 234
Science is for everyone. So why are some groups, like LGBTQ+ people, under-represented in STEM and how can scientists and educators change that? One barrier LGBTQ+ people face is how they are represented (if at all) in the body of scientific knowledge. Why and how this happens intersects with other influences that drive people away from science. From Beliefs to Reality uses a queer theory lens to examine the intersection of social/personal experiences, science knowledge and authority, and sex/gender beliefs. By knowing what undergraduates believe about sex/gender and how college biology textbooks reinforce or counter those beliefs, educators can create changes to make the classroom inclusive for all students.
Workshop for faculty
Thursday, February 20, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Biology 415
The workshop will provide attendees a hands-on experience with recognizing gendered and other non-inclusive language in material presentations. With an emphasis on the natural sciences, it will draw examples from across disciplines such as Anthropology, Biology, and Psychology. Attendees can also bring their own materials to be evaluated as well.
Emily Thuma (Assistant Professor in the Division of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, University of Washington, Tacoma)
Thursday, February 20, at 4:00 p.m., Academic West 205
Professor Thuma will discuss the methods in her recent book, All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence (University of Illinois Press, 2019). During the 1970s, grassroots women activists in and outside of prison forged a radical politics against gender violence and incarceration. All Our Trials explores the work of these activists who placed criminalized women, and the multiple violences they confronted, at the heart of their organizing. Drawing on extensive archival research, Professor Thuma traces the making of this anticaraceral feminism at the intersections of movements for racial and economic justice, prisoners’ and psychiatric patients’ rights, and gender and sexual liberation. In the process, she illuminates a crucial chapter in a struggle that continues in today’s movements against mass incarceration and for transformative justice. This talk is presented in collaboration with American Cultural Studies and the Center for Law, Diversity and Justice.
Planting Queer Intimacies
Catriona Sandilands (Professor of Environmental Studies, York University)
March 5, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., Multicultural Center 735
This presentation will examine interspecies intimacy with mulberries in order to consider the historical and ongoing biocolonial linkages between the regulation of mulberry intimacies (with other mulberries, with silkworms, with people) and the regulation of human intimacies (e.g., compulsory heterosexuality, destruction of Indigenous family forms, and the institution of “population”). Mulberries are not a metaphor: they are plants that invite and thrive on multispecies intimacies that are sometimes congruent with forms of biocolonialism (e.g., the silk trade), and sometimes disruptive of it (e.g., Eurowestern understandings of stable species identities within enumerable biodiversity). As such, mulberries are particularly good “kin” to think with: they invite a specific, concrete, feminist analysis of the idea of kinship with plants; they demand attention to the central role of intimacies, including multispecies intimacies, in the ongoing unfolding of biocolonialism; and they invite, with their especially juicy, queer and trans embodiments, understandings of vegetal intimacy that support precious relations of both intra- and inter-species care.