CFP: Queer, Semiotics and Space: Understanding Queer Identities through Language and Space

Annual International Conference, London, 26–29 August, 2014

Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with Institute of British Geographers (IBG)


Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group (SSQRG)



Martin Zebracki & Tommaso M. Milani

University of Leeds, United Kingdom & University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


To date queer geography has induced critical debates about a variety of topics, which include but are not limited to: heteronormativities and homonormativities (e.g. Seidman 2001; Podmore 2013), sex/sexuality and space (e.g. Hubbard 2011), queer epistemology (e.g. Binnie 1997), feminism (e.g. Wright 2010), queer space (e.g. Oswin 2008), sexual citizenship (e.g. Mann 2013), queer liberalism (e.g. Eng 2010) and homonationalism (e.g. Puar 2007) in the light of the everyday represented and experienced identities of the sexual dissident, i.e. queer. These queer identities intersect with sex, gender, class, race, age, religion and ability/disability (cf. Brown 2012) across time, as implied in socio-historical understandings, current praxes and imagined futures, and across space, ranging from the home (e.g. Gorman-Murray 2008) to public life and governance (e.g. Bell & Binnie 2004) and online communities (e.g. O’Riordan & Phillips 2007).


Queer identities, and the everyday practices and performances associated with them, cannot be dissociated from the ways in which they are expressed by language—in all its subtleties and implicit associations as well as explicit self-reports—as situated in dynamic contexts of social norms and values, politics, power, ideology and various media (cf. Cameron & Kulick 2006).


We, a collaborating geographer and a semiotician, conceive of what we term as ‘queer semiotics’ as a frontier of knowledge that can further frame and challenge (predominant) discursive notions of the queer-space-identity nexus, as well as the language that scholars from diverse epistemological and lingual settings use to understand this relationship. Queer, in this sense, should not only be considered a subject of study but also a critical academic disposition in poststructuralist research on sexuality.


We invite scholars across disciplines AND linguistic backgrounds—including non-Anglo-Saxon contexts—to further flesh out multidisciplinary spatial articulations of queer semiotics. We welcome any theoretical, methodological and/or empirical accounts drawn from either preliminary or fully-fledged research on this matter.


The deadlines are tight. If you are interested in participating in this session, please provide a brief statement of interest to both of us by 20 January, 2014. A 250-word abstract should be submitted by 10 February, 2014.


We will potentially pursue opportunities for basing a special journal issue on this session. Therefore, in your statement of interest, please also indicate if you would like to contribute to such issue.


Please feel free to contact us should you require any more information about this CFP.



M.M.Zebracki AT  & Tommaso.Milani AT



Bell, D., & Binnie, J. (2004). Authenticating queer space: citizenship, urbanism and governance. Urban Studies, 41(9), 1807-1820.

Binnie, J. (1997). Coming out of geography: towards a queer epistemology? Environment and planning D, 15, 223-238.

Brown, M. (2012). Gender and sexuality I: Intersectional anxieties. Progress in Human Geography, 36(4), 541-550.

Cameron, D., & Kulick, D. (Eds.) (2006). The language and sexuality reader. New York: Routledge.

Eng, D. (2010). The feeling of kinship: queer liberalism and the racialization of intimacy. Durham: Duke University Press.

Gorman-Murray, A. (2008). Queering the family home: narratives from gay, lesbian and bisexual youth coming out in supportive family homes in Australia. Gender, Place and Culture, 15(1), 31-44.

Hubbard, P. (2011). Cities and Sexualities. New York: Routledge.

Mann, E. (2013). Regulating Latina youth sexualities through community health centers: discourses and practices of sexual citizenship. Gender & Society, 27(5), 681-703.

O’Riordan, K., & Phillips, D. (Eds.) (2007). Queer online: media technology and sexuality. New York: Peter Lang.

Oswin, N. (2008). Critical geographies and the uses of sexuality: deconstructing queer space. Progress in Human Geography, 32(1), 89-103.

Podmore, J. (2013). Critical commentary: sexualities landscapes beyond homonormativity. Forthcoming in Geoforum.

Puar, J. (2007). Terrorist assemblages: homonationalism in queer times. Durham: Duke University Press.

Seidman, S. (2001). From identity to queer politics: shifts in normative heterosexuality and the meaning of citizenship. Citizenship Studies, 5(3), 321-328.

Wright, M. (2010). Geography and gender: feminism and a feeling of justice. Progress in Human Geography, 34(6), 818-827.