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Queer Times


Please note this conference has been postponed to 2021, and some details may change.


April 2021

Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

For all its other faults our current era continues to witness rapid social, legal, political and cultural change in terms of how we live and experience queer as a condition, a perspective, an identity or a practice. Queer is all of these things and many more. It can be a way in, a way out, or offer another way of being altogether. We can think of queer as an alignment, a divergence or an in-between space. These are queer times. These continue to be times in which queer is at once too open and too specific, too undoing and too tight a fit, too vague and all too identifying. What to make of the all queerness all around us? Queer Times offers an occasion to think in particular about how we use the academy as a space in which to reflect on these questions. It is a conference at which we will be celebrating two years of intensive work by lgbtQ+@cam to build research links across the university and beyond, including links between the academy and the archive, the museum, the cinema, the theatre and our built environment. Let’s be clear, we’re going to be vividly queer. This is an occasion to think not only about the content of our work – our concepts, analytics, semantics and critiques – but also our style of practice. What difference does a queer perspective make to the work we do – in our classrooms and our departments, in our disciplines and our faculties, and in our own work as individual writers, artists and creative thinkers?

Over the course of two days we have assembled a series of themed panels that will both showcase and celebrate queer-inspired research across the disciplines. In partnership with colleagues we have worked with to build the lgbtq+ programme from within and outside Cambridge we will be reflecting together on the way queer changes not only what we do but how we do our work. Together we want to both reimagine and change the kind of work the academy can do, now that it too can be vividly queer.

In thinking about what it means to be critically aware agents of change within our own institutions, we are also asking what it means to be intersectionally queer. To the extent queer represents an interruption in the reproduction of the canon, the discipline, the department, the university, the academy – or the process of producing knowledge – it cannot be based on the reproduction of the same familiar privileges that hold familiar walls in place. Instead it must open up new corridors, and break through walls as well as ceilings. We look forward to the opportunity to reimagine change, and build transformational alliances at an event that will also celebrate queering the academy from inside and out.


The conference will include an opening panel and keynote on day 1 and three panels followed by a performance and a book launch on day 2. Lunch, tea and coffee are provided. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible and reduced price or free tickets are available. Parts of this event will be filmed.

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lgbtQ+@cam is an initiative launched in 2018 to promote interdisciplinary research, outreach and network building related to queer, trans and sexuality studies at the University of Cambridge.

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