Updated: Apr 18, 2021
In 2020, queer theory celebrated its thirtieth birthday. This contentious and contested body of thought has come a long way since Italian feminist theorist Teresa de Lauretis proposed the phrase ‘queer theory’ at a conference in Santa Cruz, California, and then used it more
expansively in a special issue of differences which came out a year later. She later disavowed the phrase, but by then it had gained its own momentum and significant disciplinary and geographical reach.
Thirty years on, queer theory can’t be contained within a single explanatory rubric or associated with a single field or form of knowledge. ‘Queer Epistemicides’ starts from the premise that queer knowledge produced outside the Anglosphere is indispensable. Conference participants consider a wide range of queer knowledges, cultures, objects, and practices and engage with an equally wide range of languages, creoles without formal status, and language areas. Their interventions are informed by queer of colour critique as well as by queer and trans critiques of homonationalism, homocapitalism, and homonormativity.
Queer rubrics are not inherently democratic, but while the conference can’t aim to overturn
existing formations of dominance, it can offer opportunities for their contestation. Engaging
in this kind of contestation means reflecting on – and reckoning with – what we call ‘queer
The conference has been made possible by the support of the IMLR’s Regional Conference Grant Scheme which aims specifically to promote inter-institutional collaboration outside the London area. We are very grateful to the IMLR for funding this event and for their very constructive practical advice and assistance throughout.