LBGQT Studies Program
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Abstracts and Biographies

Thursday January 25  (6-9 pm)
7:00-7:30pm     The Critical Polyamorist 100s by Kim TallBear
7:30-9:00pm     La Chica Boom and Laura Gutiérrez

Friday January 26th (9am-6pm)
10:00-11:30am  Queer Arousals in Contexts of Racialized Harm by Ernesto Martínez with Julie Minich and Karma Chávez 
11:45-01:00pm  Awkwardness by Josh Guzmán and Chad Bennett
2:30-4:00pm     The Bookshop of Black Queer Diaspora by Rod Ferguson with Lyndon Gill and Omi Tinsley                         
4:15-5:15pm     Tipi Confessions: A Research-Creation Laboratory by Kim TallBear with Ann Cvetkovich

Thursday January 25th (6pm-9pm)

7:00-7:30 pm
Kim TallBear and Ann Cvetkovich on decolonizing sexualities
Reading/Performance (followed by talk/discussion on Friday)

The Critical Polyamorist 100sIn Kim TallBear's translation, polyamory is not only about human or sexual relations. She also focuses on prairie relations and other land and water loves. While TallBear loves sex unapologetically, her Indigenization of the erotic does not privilege sex among intimacies. The Critical Polyamorist 100s are creative vignettes and commentary that focus on nonmonogamy as a form of decolonization. The 100s make place-body connections and draw on experiences with human and other-than-human loves. Written for her blog by the same name, the 100s document the most moving and insightful moments of her multiple relations. The Critical Polyamorist 100s Blog:
To be followed by Tipi Confessions: A Research-Creation Laboratory on Friday 4:15-5:15pm

BiographyDr. Kim TallBear is an Associate Professor of Native Studies at the University of Alberta and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Peoples, Technoscience & Environment. tallbearTallBear’s work focuses on indigenous people’s engagements with science and technology as those fields and projects serve Indigenous self-determination.TallBear studies the ways in which genetic science is co-constituted with notions of race and indigeneity and has just published a book on the subject, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (Minnesota, 2013). More broadly, TallBear is interested in the historical and ongoing roles of science and technology (technoscience) in the colonization of indigenous peoples and others. Yet because tribes and other indigenous peoples insist on their status as sovereigns, TallBear is also interested in the increasing role of technoscience in indigenous governance.

7:30-9 pm
Xandra Ibarra (La Chica Boom) and Laura Gutiérrez
Flesh: A Performance Lecture and Conversation with Xandra Ibarra (La Chica Boom) and Laura Gutiérrez

Abstract coming soon!

BiographiesXandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist from the US/Mexico border who sometimes works under the alias of La Chica Boom.Ibarra uses hyperbolized modes of racialization and sexualization to test the boundaries between her own body and coloniality, compulsory whiteness, and Mexicanidad. Ibarra close up mouth Her practice integrates performance, sex acts, and burlesque with video, photography, and objects. Throughout her multiple works, she teeters between abjection and joy and problematizes the borders between proper and improper racial, gender, and queer subjects. Ibarra’s work has been featured at El Museo de Arte Contemporañeo (Bogotá, Colombia), Broad Museum (LA, USA), Popa Gallery (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Joe’s Pub (NYC), PPOW Gallery (NYC), and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF).  

Laura G. Gutiérrez is the Interim Chair and Associate Professor in the lauraDepartment of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies. Herprimaryresearch and teaching areas of interest are: Latin American, Mexican and Latina/o embodied practices, gender and sexuality, and questions of nation, modernity and the transnational. Gutiérrez is the author of Performing Mexicanidad: Vendidas y Cabareteras on the Transnational Stage (U Texas P, 2010), which won The Ninth Annual MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies.

Friday January 26 (9am-6pm)

9:00-10:00 am
Breakfast and Political Feelings

Join us for breakfast tacos and a discussion of the current state of the world, and LGBTQ responses to it, with emphasis on how it feels to be queer right now and strategies for survival both inside and outside the university. Facilitated by Ann Cvetkovich with some of our featured guests.

10:00-11:30 am
Ernesto Javier Martínez (with Julie Minich and Karma Chavez) on arousals and apprehensions
A talk with responses

Queer Arousals in Contexts of Racialized Harm: In this talk, Martínez engages a subset of Latino cultural texts that depict queer arousals in contexts of racialized harm and that do so in ways that challenge conventional expectations of liberatory activity in response to oppression. “Queer arousals,” for the purposes of this project, are defined as emergent, non-normative erotic states of psychological and physical awareness. They are forms of embodied consciousness with respect to how marginalized men negotiate pleasure and identity in oppressive contexts. Rather than understand queer arousals as conclusive states of achieved erotic consciousness or wisdom about oneself and one’s surroundings, he explores how these cultural texts deploy such arousals tentatively through rhetorics of apprehension. The term apprehension connotes understanding and fearing. In this way, rhetorics of apprehension is an analytic that helps him to capture the embodied experience of, on the one hand, coming to understand oneself as an erotic being in contexts of heteropatriarchal, racialized violence and, on the other hand, experiencing apprehension (i.e., experiencing anxiety) particularly as one desires or identifies in ways not too clearly congruent with one’s aspirations, needs, and cultural expectations. This less conclusive understanding of "arousal" and “consciousness” becomes a framework through which queer Latino cultural producers explore behaviors and desires not easily understood as healthy or liberatory.

Biographies: Ernesto Javier Martínez is Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Oregon. His writing on identity, experience, and subjugatedmartinez has appeared in journals such as PMLA, Signs, Aztlán, and the International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations. He is the author of On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility (Stanford UP, 2012), as well as the co-editor of Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader (Duke UP, 2011) and The Truly Diverse Faculty: New Dialogues in American Higher Education (Palgrave, 2014). He is the writer of the forthcoming children’s book When We Love Someone, We Sing to Them, illustrated by Maya Christina González (Reflections Press, 2018), as well as the writer and co-producer of the short film La Serenata,directed by Adelina Anthony. Martínez currently serves as the ex-oficio co-chair of the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship (AJAAS), a queer Latinx organization dedicated to producing art and analyzing culture and politics in the context of activism. Before earning tenure at the University of Oregon, Martínez served for over ten years as a member of the Coordinating Team for the Future of Minority Studies (FMS) research project, a mobile “think tank” with a primary interest in minority identity, education, and social transformation.

Julie Minich holds a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from Stanford University and a BA in Comparative Literature from Smith College. She is the author of Accessible minichCitizenships:Disability, Nation, and the Cultural Politics of Greater Mexico (Temple University Press, 2014), winner of the 2013-2014 MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latina and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies. Drawing from Chicana/o studies and disability studies, this book works against the common assumptionthat disability servesprimarily as a metaphor for social decay or political crisis, engaging with literary and filmic texts from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in which disability functions to extend knowledge of what it means to belong to a political community. Additionally, Dr. Minich’s articles have appeared in journals such as GLQ, Comparative Literature, the Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, MELUS, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies. 

Karma Chávez’s scholarship is primarily informed by queer of color theory and women of color feminism. Methodologically, Chávez is a rhetorical critic who variously utilizes textual and field based methods and who is interested in studying social movement building, activist rhetoric, and coalitional politics. Chávez’s work emphasizes the rhetorical practices ofkarma marginalized within existing power structures, but also rhetoric produced by powerful institutions and actors about marginalized folks and the systems that oppress them (e.g., immigration system, prisons etc.). Chávez’s first book Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities (Illinois, 2013) examines coalition building at the many intersections of queer and immigration politics in the contemporary United States. Chávez has also co-edited two volumes, Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method and Standing in the Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices in Communication Studies and is currently working on a new manuscript, AIDS Knows No Borders, which explores AIDS activism and organizing on the issue of immigration and within immigrant communities during what is often described as the height of the AIDS pandemic in North America (1981-1995).

11:45-1:00 pm
Joshua Javier Guzmán and Chad Bennett on awkwardness
A joint presentation

Awkwardness: A Conversation: Untoward, perverse, intractable—what does it mean to be awkward? Perceived to be in need of management, the awkward evince a difficult or bad fit with their bearing, affect, language, sense of self, surroundings, or social world. Understanding awkwardness as the sign of an anxiously desired—yet precarious—social connection, in this conversation we imagine the awkward serving an important, queer diagnostic function, drawing our attention to where, how, and why everyday scenes of social interaction go awry, and hence to how we might transform them.

The embarrassment, visible discomfort, unnerving reserve, or stumbling comportment exhibited and effected by the awkward individual disrupts assumptions about how one should behave and live with others. This quiet ability to perturb social norms has made it a particularly significant experiential and aesthetic phenomenon for queer and other minoritarian communities. As Lauren Berlant writes, “the affective experience of sexual or any non-knowledge is not usually a blockage or limit but is actually the experience of the multiplication of knowledges that have an awkward relation to each other, crowd each other out, and create intensities that require management.” Awkwardness, in this account, “can provide a space of interest within which other rhythms and therefore forms of encounter with and within sexuality can be forged.” Our conversation inhabits this space of interest. Together, we assemble and discuss—in a series of awkward rhymes—a little archive of visual artworks, poems, and performances that exemplify, meditate on, and draw out the value and implications of queer awkwardness.


Joshua Javier Guzmán is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at UCLA. He received his Ph.D. in Performance Studiebennetts at New York University, and is a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow from UC Berkeley’s Department of Gender and Women’s a special issue of Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory entitled “Lingering in Latinidad: Aesthetics, Theory and Performance in Latina/o Studies.” Joshua is currently working on a book-length project tentatively titled Suspending Satisfaction: Queer Latino Performance and the Politics of Style, which examines stylized modes of Latina/o dissatisfaction with not only the US nation-state, but also the activism that emerges in response to systemic state violence in a very contentious post-1968 Los Angeles.

Chad Bennett is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in English from Cornell University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. bennet His first book, Word of Mouth: Gossip and American Poetry (forthcoming, Johns Hopkins University Press)divulges the dynamic relationship between modern American poetry and the queer art of gossip. His critical work has appeared in ELH, Twentieth-Century Literature, Modern Drama, Arizona Quarterly, and Cinema Journal, and his poetry has appeared in journals such as Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, The Offing, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Volta, and others. He is currently at work on a book-length study, tentatively titled Nice Poem, which presents a queer reimagining of “avant-garde” or “innovative” poetics in relation to the seemingly incompatible experiential and aesthetic phenomena of the nice, the quiet, the shy, and the awkward.

1:00-2:30 pm
Lunch and Small Discussion Groups

Lunch will be provided and there will be one or more small discussion groups facilitated by UT faculty, which graduate students are particularly encouraged to attend.

2:30-4:00 pm
Rod Ferguson (with Lyndon Gill and Omise’eke Tinsley) on the black queer bookshops
A paper with responses

“The Bookshop of Black Queer Diaspora:” This talk (with responses from Lyndon Gill and Omise’eke Tinsley) tells the story of how black queer diasporic activists and artists challenged neoliberalism in the nineteen seventies and eighties in North America and the U.K. The talk tells this story through a series of visits to an imaginary black queer bookshop and the artifacts contained within it.

Roderick A. Ferguson is a faculty member in the Department of African American Studies and the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.rfurgus He is the co-director of the Racialized Body research cluster at UIC. Prior to his appointment at UIC, he was professor of race and critical theory in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, serving as chair of the department from 2009 to 2012. He is the author of We Demand: The University and Student Protests (California, 2017), The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (Minnesota, 2012), Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (Minnesota, 2003), and articles on race, social theory, cultural formations, sexuality, and feminism. He is the co-editor with Grace Hong of the University of Minnesota Press series Difference Incorporated. Also with Hong, he is the co-editor of the anthology Strange Affinities: The Gender and Sexual Politics of Comparative Racialization (2011). From 2007 to 2010, he was associate editor of the American Studies Association’s flagship journal American Quarterly. He is the president-elect for 2017/2018 of the American Studies Association.

Lyndon K. Gill was born in New York City and raised on all the Trinbagonian culture Jamaica, Queens would allow.lyndon He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a B.A. in African & African American Studies. He received his Ph.D. in African American Studies and Anthropology (with a Secondary Field in Studies of Women, Gender & Sexuality) from Harvard University. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton University's Center for African American Studies and in the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Anthropology and Center for Africana Studies. Dr. Gill is currently an Assistant Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. (Photo by Hakeem Adewumi)

Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley is Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, where she specializes in Black Feminism and Black Queer Studies. She teaches the nation’s first “Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” class, which BuzzFeed rated #1 in its 2014 list of Celebrity College Classes You’ll Want to Enroll in. She researches and publishes on queer and feminist Caribbean performance and literature. She is the author of Thiefing Sugar (Duke, 2010). Her articles appear in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Feminist Studies, and Small Axe. Her forthcoming book, Ezili’s Mirrors: Imagining Black Queer Genders (Duke, 2018), explores spirituality and sexuality in 21st century queer Caribbean literature, dance, music and film. She is a contributor to Time, Ebony, The Advocate, and Huffington Post. Her artistic work includes performance and collaboration with Ananya Dance Theatre as well as a novel in progress entitled Water, Shoulders, Into the Black Pacific, which explores relationships between black female shipbuilders during World War II.

4:15-5:15 pm
Kim TallBear and Ann Cvetkovich on decolonizing sexualities
Presentation and conversation

Tipi Confessions: A Research-Creation Laboratory: Tipi Confessions is comprised of sexually-themed performances that take creative research methodologies to the stage. Three Indigenous women from the University of Alberta—Professors Kim TallBear and Tracy Bear, and social media maven Kirsten Lindquist produce several Tipi Confessions shows annually in Edmonton, across Canada, and internationally. With advising from University of Alberta drama faculty, and with mentoring from the original Bedpost Confessions™ in Austin, Texas, Tipi Confessions Indigenizes sexy storytelling and performance. The show is a key initiative of ReLab, a research-creation laboratory founded by Dr. TallBear at the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. Foregrounding Indigenous analytics, standpoints, and contemporary practices, the ReLab produces research, performance, and art. With good relations in mind, that research and creative practice intersect two areas of inquiry, Indigenous sexualities and Indigenous “naturecultures.” (A continuation of The Critical Polyamorist 100s reading on Thursday evening.)

Biography: Ann Cvetkovich is Ellen Clayton Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is theanncvetkov of Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism (Rutgers, 1992); An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke, 2003); and Depression: A Public Feeling (Duke, 2012). She co-edited (with Ann Pellegrini) “Public Sentiments,” a special issue of The Scholar and Feminist Online, and (with Janet Staiger and Ann Reynolds) Political Emotions (Routledge, 2010). She has been coeditor, with Annamarie Jagose, of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Her current writing projects focus on the current state of LGBTQ archives and the creative use of them by artists to create counterarchives and interventions in public history. Cvetkovich is the director of the LGBTQ Studies Program at UT Austin. (Photo Courtesy of Video Data Bank,, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

5:15-6:00 pm 
Wrap-Up Discussion

Description coming soon!