Please see also: 2014 Conference Program
Current sessions under development for 2014 conference (and please check back for more in the near future):
- (Anti)Homophobic Discourse Analysis
David J. Peterson
- Erotic/Porn Socialities
Brian Adams-Thies & Robert Phillips
- Intersections of Language, Sexuality & Hip Hop Culture
- Intersexions: Language & Identity Nexuses
Tommaso M. Milani & Denis M. Provencher
- Language as a Means of Control: Monitoring Salvadoran LGBT Immigrants
Rafael A. Lainez
- Panel: Queering Heterosexuality and Challenging Normativities
(Anti)Homophobic Discourse Analysis
Sessions focusing on language and homophobia have been a regular feature of the Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference since 2003. Previous presenters have explored a wide range of linguistic-based issues regarding homophobia from a variety of approaches and methodologies (abstracts of previous papers on language and (anti)homophobic discourse are available on the conference website: www.american.edu/lavenderlanguages).
Prospective presenters are encouraged to review the recent special issue of Gender and Language 4.2 (2011) for an overview of the current state of linguistic-based research into homophobia.
Papers are invited on any aspect analyzing (anti)homophobic language use, including, but not limited to:
- (Anti)Homophobic Text-Making & Meaning-Making, e.g.
- Genre, lexical, syntactic choice
- Semantics & semantic relations
- Intertextuality, entextualization, and the circulation of homophobic messages “between” texts
- (Anti)Homophobic Discourses, e.g.
- (Anti)Homophobic Context, e.g.
- Social practices governing textual production and/or reception
- Social structures legitimating textual production and/or reception
- Approaches to, Methodologies for (Anti)Homophobic Language Studies
- (Anti)Homophobic Language Theory
Please submit abstracts of 300-500 words to David Peterson, session organizer, before November 1, 2013.
Contact: David J. Peterson, Department of English, University of Nebraska–Omaha
This panel explores the manner in which the erotic and porn function as socio-linguistic/social phenomenon. Studies of heterosexual porn and erotica have largely posited that porn is anti-social or constructs detrimental dominant-dominated socialities that reify patriarchal power configurations. The relationship of queer socialities to the pornographic/erotica has not been fully explored nor theorized. Porn/Erotica plays freely at gay bars, sex clubs and dance clubs. Porn/Erotica populates the screens of our televisions, computers and smart phones both in the privacy of our homes and now also in any public setting we might choose. Porn performers become idols and cultural referents that are discussed, critiqued and shared. The pornographic and the erotic seem to have a unique sociality within queer communities. This panel seeks to explore the construction of various queer socialities in relation to pornography/erotica. Some questions that might be addressed: Do LGBTQ communities have the same relationship to erotica and the pornographic? How are erotica and porn placed into and created out of discourses of queerness through our talk of porn, about porn, in porn?
Papers addressing the following are most welcome: linguistic interactions around pornography and erotica that produce/reinforce/challenge queer socialities; exploring how porn/erotica is used to produce/maintain/challenge queer socialities; engaging innovative methodologies in the research of erotica/porn; the relationships between porn/erotica and embodiment and embodied communication practices; the regulatory work of queer porn and messages.
Any paper addressing innovative analyses and methodologies in the realm of queer pornographies or eroticas will be considered.
PLEASE NOTE: In addition to the public presentation of papers, participants will meet for a half-day working session to share ideas about research methods and to discuss findings in greater detail.
Brian Adams-Thies, Drake University
Robert Phillips, University of Manitoba
Intersections of Language, Sexuality and Hip Hop Culture
Papers to be included in this session recognize that the linguistic practices of hip-hop culture are bound up with discourses of race, gender, class, and sexuality; and explore how hip-hop cultural producers use various kinds of linguistic practices to engage in a creative self-fashioning of their sexuality, as well as the sexuality of others. Of particular interest are papers offering nuanced approaches to studies of language, sexuality and hip hop culture, and that center discussions on hip hop’s unique ability to stretch the limits of language — and, perhaps, the limits of sexuality, as well
Studies dealing with hip-hop outside of the context of the United States are encouraged. Potential topics might include:
- Sexuality and Gender ideologies embedded in hip-hop historiographies
- Gay/Lesbian/Queer/Trans hip-hop lyricism
- Transnational hip-hop language
- Hip-hop's facilitation of African American English's movement of the context of African American speech communities
- Feminist, queer, trans readings of hip-hop lyrics
Contact: Nikki Lane, American University
Intersexions: Language & Identity Nexuses
Over the last few years, queer theory has gained considerable momentum as one of the main epistemological paradigms in contemporary scholarship on language and sexuality. Undoubtedly, such body of work has provided us with important insights into the ways in which gender and sexuality are "casually entangled in knots that must be undone" (Butler 1998: 225-226). Yet we still know too little about the ways in which gender and sexuality crucially intersect with other social categories giving rise to composite identity aggregates, which in turn are imbricated in complex relations of power.
With a view to unpacking such a Gordian knot of identity and power, this panel aims to re-cast the notion of intersectionality (Crenshaw 1989, McCall 2005, Nash 2008, Levon 2010) as an important heuristic lens through which to understand how identities and power operate through language and other semiotic means. We welcome contributions of an empirical and/or theoretical nature that engage with the notion of intersectionality. Through detailed empirical analyses, papers may showcase the relationships between language, sexuality, gender, race, social class, age, and disability, or other identity categories as well as the work of such nexuses in (re)producing or contesting power arrangements. Papers may also offer theoretical critiques of the notion of intersectionality and its applicability to the study of language and sexuality in society.
Tommaso M. Milani, University of the Witwatersrand, S. Africa
Denis M. Provencher, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Language as a Means of Control: Monitoring Salvadoran LGBT Immigrants
El Salvador’s civil war, which occurred from 1980 through 1992, began a migration trend which continues to force Salvadoran’s to seek a betterment of life outside of their home country. However, once in their new host countries, many Salvadoran LGBT immigrants are unwelcome into mainstream Latino communities because they are unable to conform to state mandates of “acceptable” Latinos, and are denied entry into mainstream LGBT communities because they are unable to conform to normative standards of “correct” LGBT people. The inability of Salvadoran LGBT immigrants to conform results in their denial of opportunities to access life resources, such as housing, employment, and social mobility.
This session interrogates how state mechanisms of control set forth mandates which appear inclusive of all immigrants, but in the Salvadoran case make allowances for a limited few Salvadoran LGBT immigrants who fit specific norms of sexual and bodily representations. Specifically, language is used as a tool which monitors Salvadoran LGBT immigrants unable to conform to state mandates. Salvadoran LGBT immigrants unable to conform to expected norms of bodily and sexual representation are then deemed as undesirable citizens. This results in the further marginalization of Salvadoran LGBT immigrants in their new host territories. Papers in this session will explore discursive challenges posed to Salvadoran LGBT immigrants, and how Salvadoran LGBT immigrants find agency by using discursive resources as a means to find inclusion in in their new social landscapes as they face these regulatory challenges.
Contact: Rafael A. Lainez
Panel: Queering Heterosexuality and Challenging Normativities
Though tacitly ever present in the field of language and sexuality since its inception, heterosexuality has often been overlooked as a primarily essentialized and monolithic categorization against which other sexualities and identities have been measured. Thus, while language and sexuality research has emerged as a field largely focused on non-traditional sexualities, especially those of gay men and lesbians, only recently have scholars begun to consider heterosexuality, both in terms of its own categorization, but also complications of what such a categorization ultimately entails. This panel seeks to continue the conversation about heterosexuality and heteronormativity, with a particular focus on challenges to normative understandings of these concepts, including considerations of intersectional categories such as race, class, gender, religion, etc. As opposed to complicating sexuality through an opposition to the categorization of heterosexuality, this panel seeks to understand challenges to and complications that arise within a heterosexual categorization. Panel submissions should consider the role of language in these challenges and complications to traditional notions of (hetero)sexuality, including gender non-conformity, issues of identity, desire, practice, and/or interpellation, and other factors. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged, and paper submissions are welcome from any area of linguistic inquiry. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Chris VanderStouwe, session organizer, by November 11, 2013.
Contact: Chris VanderStouwe, UC Santa Barbara