Queer Forum 2021
Our first Queer Forum - which is destined to become a biennial event - took place online in spring 2021. The day-long event brought together scholars, musicians, composers, and interested parties to explore workshops, readings, and group discussions with a view to imagining queer futures and new ways of knowledge-building both within and outside the academy. The day was structured with a view to practical action to empower participants to enact change.
Each session began with an introduction by a member of the LGBTQ+ Music Study Group committee, using poetry, music, and music videos to introduce the session’s theme. Starting with detoxing and venting, each group explored texts by José Muñoz and Susan Stryker in the context of personal experience, from the impact of neoliberal modes of education to assimilation, cultural hegemony, and the necessity of anger.
We then moved into body and health, exploring anger further and contextualising personal expression in wider contexts with the help of Sara Ahmed's 'Selfcare as Warfare'. A transformative meditation session provided a reflective space in the middle of the day, giving us a chance to reconnect to the body. We then shifted towards visions and hope, discussing practical ways to push back against capitalism in daily life - from email breaks to fostering positive collaboration with colleagues - whilst centring queerness with a view to forging new ways of learning and working. Ending the day with action and futures (before a wonderful quiz & social into the evening!) enabled us to bring ideas into action and discuss creative ways to embody our experience of the day going forward. As one group put it:
Break the rules to create joy and cheer,
But do so with kindness and ethical care,
Applied on a case by case basis.
Readings, music, and poems framed each section of the day, detailed on the programme above. Click here to join our mailing list to keep up-to-date about our next Queer Forum and attend the next one in spring/summer 2023!