Queer Asia as Method: Roundtable and Townhall 2021

Call for Expressions of Interest

Roundtable and Townhall date: 4-5 September 2021, @King’s College London

King’s College London and ‘Queer’ Asia are excited to invite expressions of interest for a two-day virtual roundtable on thinking ‘Queer Asia as Method’ on 4 and 5 September 2021. We ask that interested participants consider in their expression of interest the following questions. What is Queer Asia as method? How has the commingling of queerness and disciplinary projects in Asia inflected each other, and how do they enable a transgressive and transnational praxis that is critically informing the work of diversity and inclusion in the arts and humanities? Moreover, how does queerness in resistance/rupture and/or reparation inform the work of decolonising the curriculum? This Queer Asia as Method roundtable aims at exploring ‘What is queer?’, ‘What is Asia?’ and ‘What is “Queer Asia”?’. By pairing queer studies with area studies, this workshop endeavours to approach both queerness and Asianess as ‘a placeholder that might partly express a promiscuous or incoherent desire or a desire whose content continues to be under erasure’ (Arondekar and Patel 2016: 154). 

As an emerging debate, queer Asia as method is built upon the larger discourse of Asia as method. As scholars including Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Chen Kuan-hsing, Shih Shu-mei, and Stuart Hall argue, diversifying and decolonising our epistemes and methods of knowledge production are not merely a matter of collecting cultural objects and values into our research and pedagogy. This is because to do so, we often risk reframing these discourses within the established Euro-American (and colonising) frameworks and adopting the position of an unnamed ‘European subject’ that treats Asian practices and lived experiences as its technology of recognition. In other words, without fully rethinking what it means by Asia (and in our case, Queer Asia) as method, we can easily appropriate these epistemes for the purpose of reinforcing the myth of European universality.

The roundtable on the first day and townhall meeting on the second day seek to enable participants to collaboratively think together about the questions raised by examining ‘Queer Asia as Method’ and the praxis informing the work of decentering and decolonising the globalised formation of queerness, and reflecting the inter-referencing intra-regional interaction process in Asia. We encourage practitioners, activists, academics, and early career scholars to apply with their expression of interest.

Submission Process and Key Dates

Please use this form to upload your expressions of interest.

Alternatively please email a 200-250 word abstract or a 5 minute video outlining your thinking on the topic of Queer Asia as Method, with a brief biography of no more than 150 words by Sunday 15 August 2021 to queerasia@gmail.com.

Presenters will be emailed about their invitation and participation at the roundtable and townhall by Tuesday 17 August 2021.

Following this roundtable, we will produce blog entries and a special journal issue. Participants will be invited to submit full-length papers to be considered for publication as part of a special issue collection in a leading academic journal.

Keynote Speakers

Anjali Arondekar (Associate Professor, Feminist Studies Department, and Co-Director Center for South Asian Studies, UC Santa Cruz)

Geeta Patel (Professor of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures and Women, Gender & Sexuality, University of Virginia)

Petrus Liu (Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, World Languages and Literatures, Boston University)

Song Hwee Lim (Professor, Cultural and Religious Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Organisers

 J. Daniel Luther (LSE Fellow for Gender, Film and Media, Department of Gender Studies, London School of Economics, and Co-founder of ‘Queer’ Asia)

Liang Ge (Doctoral Researcher, Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London)

Victor Fan (Reader in Film Studies, Department of Film Studies, King’s College London, and Film Consultant, Chinese Visual Festival London)

Indicative bibliography

Arondekar, A., Patel, G.(2016). Area Impossible: Notes toward an Introduction. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 22, 151–171. 

Chen, K. H. (2010). Asia as method: Toward deimperialization. Durham: Duke University Press.

Chen, K.-H., Morley, D. (2006). Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues in Cultural Studies. London: Routledge.

Chiang, H., Henry, T. A., & Leung, H. H. S. (2018). Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans: An Introduction. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 5(3), 298–310.

Chiang, H. & Alvin K. Wong (2017). ‘Asia is burning: Queer Asia as critique’ Culture, Theory and Critique, 58:2, 121-126.

Eng, D. L., Halberstam, J., and Munoz, J. E. (2005). ‘Introduction: What’s Queer about Queer Studies Now?’ Social Text 23:3–4, 1–17.

Fan, V. (2015). Cultural Extraterritoriality: Intra-Regional Politics in Contemporary Hong Kong Cinema. East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, 1(3), 389–402.

Luther, J. D. & Jennifer Ung Loh (ed.). (2019). ‘Queer’ Asia: Decolonising and Reimagining Sexuality and Gender. London: Zed Books.

Martin, F., Jackson, P. A., McLelland, M., and Yue, A. (ed). (2008). AsiaPacifiQueer: Rethinking Genders and Sexualities. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Shih, S.M., Tsai, C.H., and Bernards, B. (ed). (2013). Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader. New York: Columbia University Press.

Spivak, G. C. (2008). Other Asias. Oxford: Blackwell.

Yue, A., and Zubillaga-Pow, J. (ed.). (2012). Queer Singapore: Illiberal citizenship and mediated cultures. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.