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.
Discussion: Introduction to Queering Research
Monday, October 28, 4:00 to 5:30 p.m., Multicultural Center room 735 (Viking Union)
What is a queer methodology? How can we queer our research, our university, our worlds? What does ‘queer’ mean anyways? Join Associate Professor of Political Science Shirin Deylami and Associate Professor of History Josh Cerretti for an introductory discussion on queer methodology. We will discuss one classic and one contemporary piece of queer work that will be provided to discussion participants in advance. Please register for the discussion at https://westernwashington.pageuppeople.com/learning/1213 or email Langley at firstname.lastname@example.org to request copies of the readings. Students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines and at all levels of engagement with queer thought are welcomed to attend this session.
Kat Ray King (University of Louisville, KY)
February 19, 2020, 4:00 p.m., Biology 234
Kat is a Biology Education Researcher who studies how students’ understandings of sex/gender and biology fit (or don’t) with the ways that the science of sex/gender is traditionally taught. In collaboration with the Biology Department seminar series.
Emily Thuma (Assistant Professor in the Division of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, University of Washington, Tacoma)
February 20, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
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 the World Issues Forum.
Catriona Sandilands (Professor of Environmental Studies, York University)
First week of March 2020
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.
LGBT (Let’s Go Birding Together) with Seattle Audubon
April 23, 2020
Cleo Woelfle-Erskine (Assistant Professor, School of Marine & Environmental Affairs, University of Washington)
April 29, 2020