The pasts, presents, and futures of queer mobilities: transnational movements of ideas, concepts, and people
Mobility is a foundational element of queer life, queer ideas and concepts as well as of queer scholarship. As such, queer mobilities—literally and conceptually—characterize European modernity and its academic interpretations in fundamental ways. Queer ideas and concepts, for example, are often born out of movements across margins, norms, and boundaries while also being critically attuned to the risks of reconstituting these separating orders of social life and thought.
Another dimension of queer mobilities is the movement of LGBTQ people in search of queer spaces and communities. The constitutive Othering and violent exclusion of queer people from families, friends, and loved ones on grounds of their desires has repeatedly led to the destruction and construction of queer spaces and communities and to the queerly mobile lives of those on the move in European contexts. Heteronormative reactions to queer mobilities as well as the marking of migrants, refugees, vagrants, and travelers as perverse and dangerous, have been constant drivers of social change and its scholarly analysis in Europe.
Queer theories, activisms, and politics can be understood as emerging in reaction to the normativities of national socialist ideology, the post-World War Two re-traditionalization of European gender relations, and the mainstreaming of late-twentieth century identity politics. Such movements arise from ongoing disidentifications with oppressive violence, normative concepts of identity, exclusionary ideas of community, and not least also the disciplines of “liberation”. These intertwined dynamics of queer mobilities have been critically consequential for modern social life, politics, and scientific thought.
In this workshop, we want to engage with the multifaceted ideas, concepts, conditions, and practices of queer mobilities in order to assess and challenge past, present, and future understandings of the relationships between queerness and mobility.