Since Spring 2003, the LGBT Studies Program at the University of Maryland has sponsored a spring lecture series, with the hopes of contributing important conversations to the campus community and to LGBT and Queer Studies more broadly.

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2015 QUEER SPECULATIONS

What if? And what then? The time and space of gender, sexuality, race, and empire are shaped by acts of speculation: both financial speculation on “futures” markets and the speculative imaginaries that invent, theorize, imagine, and enact different kinds of worlds. Queer theory, politics, and life have always engaged in speculative practice, demanding we attend to forms of kinship, politics, gender, sex, and sociality that exceed the logics of assimilation. In recent years, attention has turned both to the ways in which some queer formations can reinforce the logics of speculative capital, and to the work of speculative cultural production in imagining different, deviant worlds.

TAVIA NYONG’O
Deep Time, Dark Time: Kara Walker’s Anarchaeology

MIRANDA JOSEPH
Investing in the Cruel Entrepreneurial University

RAMZI FAWAZ
Stepford Wives and Female Men: The Radical Differences of Female Replicants

SHANTÉ PARADIGM SMALLS
Superheroes, Queerness, and Anti-Blackness: Storm, Django, and Michael Brown

JUANA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Feeling Queerly, Knowing Otherwise

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2014 QUEER INTIMACIES

Same-sex lovers touch. Or build a network of ties and commitments based on something other than biological kinship. These are queer intimacies. Trans people navigate a labyrinth of state regulations and religio-cultural codes concerning proper gender conduct in order to craft livable lives. Young LGBT African-American activists take to the streets, the pews, and their kitchen tables to organize support in the black community for a referendum affirming the right to same-sex marriage. These close encounters of bodies, church, community, and state are also queer intimacies.This lecture series focused on what happens to queer intimacy as the legal and social status of LGBT people and same-sex relationships undergoes change, in the US and throughout the world.

THE NEW BLACK | February 5
film screening and conversation with Yoruba Richen, Director/Writer/Producer

CAMILLE ROBCIS | February 27
Liberté, Egalité, (Hétéro)sexualité: The French Gay Marriage Debates

AFSANEH NAJMABADI | April 9
Verdits of Science, Rulings of Faith: Transsexuals in Iran

KATHERINE FRANKE | April 25
Gay Marriage 2.0: Divorce

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2013 DEBILITATING QUEERNESS

Queer theory in the twenty-first century has focused on a wide range of bodies and minds in a variety of states: failing, wounded, scarred, damaged, infected or infectious, diseased, mad, depressed, or traumatized. Only recently, however, has this focus engaged thickly with disability theory, making a crip turn to what Jasbir Puar describes as “questions of bodily capacity, debility, disability, precarity, and populations.” Debilitating Queerness aimed to both highlight and extend this turn. Some of the central questions throughout the 2013 lecture series were: If debility signifies infirmity, feebleness, or frailty, what happens to queerness when it is openly theorized through debility and disability? What might it mean to debilitate queerness? How might such a debilitation be opposed to the compulsory able-bodiedness of mainstream LGBT politics? What other critical projects might it be linked to?

ROBERT MCRUER | February 7
Queer Austerity and Excess: Cripping the Crisis; or, the Rise of Disability Capitalism

ELI CLARE | March 7
Yearning Toward Carrie Buck: Involuntary Sterilization, Our Bodies, and the Law

JASBIR PUAR | April 5
Bodies With New Organs: Becoming Trans, Becoming Disabled

HEATHER LOVE | April 25
‘I Am Here, Where Are You?’ Autism, Deviance, and the Observational Social Sciences”

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2012 CONTACT: 10th ANNUAL LECTURE SERIES IN LGBT STUDIES

Contact. Of bodies, worlds, orders, organisms. Of people, modes of being, ways of seeing. “Life is at its most rewarding, productive, and pleasant when large numbers of people understand, appreciate, and seek out interclass contact and communication conducted in a mode of good will,” declares Samuel R. Delany in Times Square Red, Times Square Blue. Contact is a theme that resonates throughout queer studies of intimacy, alterity, temporality, and globalization.

NAYAN SHAH | February 13
Stranger Intimacy, Transience, and Unsettling History

KARA KEELING | March 1
The Queer Place of Space: Afrofuturism and Speculations on ‘Africa’

ELIZABETH A. POVINELLI | April 5
On Social, and Other, Forms of Suicide

SAMUEL R. DELANY | April 20
Reading from Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders,
followed by a conversation with ROBERT REID-PHARR

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2011 QUEERING THE ARCHIVE / ARCHIVING THE QUEER

The 2011 lecture series highlighted that the archives of queer intimacies and subjectivities are everywhere and nowhere – in audio recordings, the chronicles of colonialism, the records of psychiatric hospitals and prisons, the ephemera collected by LGBT community history organizations. For the scholar of sex and gender variation, the encounter with the archive is often a matter of attending to patterns of silence and submersion, of reading evidence that is always under erasure. To queer the archive is to tease out those buried truths, but it is also to recognize the vexed nature of “truth” and to acknowledge that one’s own desires and fantasies shape and misshape what one sees in any collection of artifacts or records. In this fascinating series of lectures and conversations, scholars and producers of queer archives reflected on what they do, why they do it, and what is at stake in efforts to document queer identities, practices, and performances. Speakers led us in an expedition of the depths of a history that is no longer hidden but not yet fully in view.

ANN CVETKOVICH | February 17
Queer Ephemerality and the Counterarchives

SELLY k. THIAM | March 16
None on Record: Stores of Queer Africa

OMISE’EKE NATASHA TINSLEY | April 18
‘To Create Beyond Need’: Black Feminism, Caribbean (Trans)gender, and the Work of the Imagination

REGINA KUNZEL | April 29
In Treatment: The Queer Archive of Mid-20th-Century Psychiatry

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2010 BENT VOICES: QUEER OF COLOR INTERVENTIONS

Not content with troubling the norms of both hetero- and homo- sex and gender systems, the speakers in the 2010 series pushed beyond the limits of visibility and worked toward new imaginings of narrative and embodiment. Refusing to be bound by the established discourses of queerness or of queer of color critique, this audacious group of emerging scholars asked, What psychosocial possibilities come into view when queers trouble traditional forms of ethnic narratives? How does queer of color critique work when confronted with trans-embodiments? Can queer manipulations of place alter pre-fabricated imaginaries? Intervening in ongoing conversations about the interconnectedness of race and sexuality, this series aimed to show that “Bent Voices” come from many directions and compel us to new modes of listening.

ARNALDO CRUZ-MALAVÉ | February 16
Queer Latino Testimonio: Writing the Self and Community

MEL CHEN | March 4
Racial Animacies

JAFARI ALLEN | April 7
In the Life’ in Black Diaspora: Desire, Autonomy, Community

KAREN TONGSON | April 23
Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries