Upcoming Symposium

Queer Migrations: Homeland Insecurities, Violence, and Belonging

Register here, watch our welcome video here, and see our full schedule of events.

The James J. Leos National Symposium at the University of Arizona
October 30 and 31, 2014

Queer migration scholarship critically explores how sexual and gender normativities shape, regulate, and contest contemporary international migration processes that stem from histories of colonialism, global capitalism, genocide, slavery, and racialized patriarchy. In recent years, scholarly works and organizing efforts, particularly by young queer migrants and those advocating on behalf of transnational families and intimacies, have generated a national conversation about the connections between queer genders, sexualities, and migrations. The symposium brings together activists, scholars, students, archivists, artists, and other interested groups in order to:

• Center queer migrant lives, experiences, cultures, struggles, and transformations;
• Connect queer migration experiences with contemporary struggles against (neo)colonialism, global capitalism, slavery, racism and (hetero)sexism, war, the prison industrial complex, and bio- and necro-politics;
• Make these connections at different scales (including local, regional, national, and transnational), and across different time periods;
• Problematize the idea that state border controls create safety, security and order, and instead explore how they legitimize the abandonment of racialized, queered, poor populations to precarious conditions and premature death;
• Ensure that nation-state migration and citizenship policies are addressed both on their own terms and in relation to wider scales, histories, and processes;
• Consider arguments and strategies that don’t involve winning privileges at someone else’s expense, and that seek to build bridges between struggles;
• Assess the current state of queer migration scholarship and activism, and imagine/envision future directions.

Confirmed speakers and events:
Click for more info on the speakers and talks.

  • Invented traditions: Borders, values and valorization by Jin Haritaworn, Assistant Professor, York University, Canada
  • My Undocumented and Queer Story Through Art by Julio Salgado, artist and activist. Major projects include I Am UndocuQueer; Undocumented Apparel; Dreamers Adrift; and I Exist.
  • The Queer Geopolitics of Birthright Citizenship by Siobhan Somerville, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • None on Record: A Conversation About Documenting Queer African Lives by Selly Thiam of None on Record: Stories of Queer Africa (on Skype)
  • Panel of local and national activists including Vikter Medina of 3rd Space and Association of Jotería Arts Activism & Scholarship, Raúl Alcaraz Ochoa of the Rainbow Defense Fund, Alex Soto of the Tohono O’odham Nation and Shining Soul, and Kathryn Rodriguez of the Colibri Center for Human Rights
  • Building Community through Queer-y-ing our Histories: Launch of the Queer Migration Archive, and discussion with Karma R. Chávez (U. of Wisconsin) and Jamie Lee (PhD Candidate, U. of Arizona) about queer archiving methods, challenges and possibilities
  • Summary given by Susana Peña, Associate Professor, Bowling Green State University
  • Other activities TBA

Important reminders:

** We want this to be a scent-free space, so please refrain from using perfumes or scented hair products.

** Please be very mindful of people’s preferred pronouns, names and gender identity. If you don’t know, don’t assume!

Information on travel and accommodations can be found here. If you’d like to get updates on facebook, you can join the event. The symposium twitter hashtag will be #queermigrations.

Symposium organizers: Eithne Luibhéid, University of Arizona, and Karma R. Chávez, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Sponsors include: UA Institute for LGBT Studies, James J. Leos, University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Science