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Queer Theory Rewilded II

Faculty: Jack Halberstam, Tavia Nyong’o, and Damon Young
July 5-14. 2021, Lisbon 
Tuition: €650 

Queer Theory Rewilded is back for a second run! Queer theory has from the outset raised the question of its own proper subjects and objects, and its ongoing project includes rethinking its foundations, genealogies, and trajectories. This seminar will take up the problem-space of queerness at a time of escalating global crisis. How has queer theory contributed to the decentering of the Western liberal subject, and to the emergence of new imaginaries and forms of solidarity? What can “queer” mean or do at our current conjuncture? What methods and counter-methods are called for to respond to the emergencies of the present?  

Through collective readings of classic and new texts in the history of sexuality and theories of the body and power, we will explore how the encounter between “queer” and “theory” generates possibilities for examining the world and forging a new one. Topics might include queer futurity; kinship; wildness; collectivity; digitality; post-humanism; archives; and fabulation. Halberstam, Nyong’o and Young will offer readings and exercises drawn from a rangy archive of queer theory, and engage seminar participants in debate, thought experiments, writing projects and rigorous discussion filtered through a series of readings, online performances, and images.

The seminar offers an opportunity for students, artists, and faculty at all levels to dive into or immerse themselves further in the questions and methods of queer theory. As the systems that structured the “normal world” reveal their incapacity in the face of global climate and economic crisis, join us in an experimental foray into the intellectual wilds of a “field” that has resisted that denominator and been invested, from the outset, in exploring what lies outside the realms of the apparently possible.

All instruction will take place on site at Fábrica Braço de Prata, and tuition includes full lunch and full dinner from Fabrica’s restaurant on days of instruction. If extensive Covid restrictions remain in place, we will try to hold the event while respecting social distancing measures. Zoom participation is possible if you cannot travel, so please apply if that interests you.   

To apply, please send a letter of interest, your cv, and a sample of your writing or art or other representative work to Please also put “Queer Theory Rewilded II Application” in the subject line of your email and combine all written files, including the letter of interest, into one pdf.)  

Applications are rolling but please apply (or signal your intention to do so) as soon as possible or by early April to guarantee full consideration and in order to arrange institutional funding if applicable. Note that the Institute of Speculative and Critical Inquiry is unable to provide financial aid. 

About the faculty:

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University and the author of the books Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of MonstersFemale MasculinityIn a Queer Time and PlaceThe Queer Art of FailureGaga Feminism: Sex, Genderand The End of Normal, and, most recently, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the built environment. Halberstam also recently published Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire and is currently working on a companion volume titled The Wild Beyond: Art, Architecture, and Anarchy.  

Tavia Nyong’o teaches black and queer studies at Yale University, where he is Professor of African American Studies, American Studies, and Theater & Performance Studies. He is the author of two books, The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory and Afro-Fabulations: The Queer Drama of Black Life, along with numerous articles in academic and art venues. He co-edits the book series Sexual Cultures for New York University Press. 

Damon R. Young is Associate Professor of French and Film & Media at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also teaches in the Program in Critical Theory, Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Making Sex Public and Other Cinematic Fantasies and the co-editor, with Nico Baumbach and Genevieve Yue, of “The Cultural Logic of Contemporary Capitalism,” a special issue of Social Text, and, with Joshua Weiner, of “Queer Bonds,” in GLQ.