Queer Screen Cultures

“Queer Screen Cultures” was an interdisciplinary postgraduate study
day held at the University of Nottingham on May 5th 2009 in
association with the MeCCSA Postgraduate Network. It was devised with
the aim of bringing together researchers from across the UK who deal
with issues of queer visibility and representation, and so making links
across the disciplines and across the academic spectrum.

There has been a perceptible alteration in media representations of
queer sexualities since the 1990s, on a global scale. The cultural
visibility of queers has increased exponentially, with lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender characters now routinely populating film,
television and other digital media, and the mainstream press frequently
covering gay and lesbian stories as a matter of course. This
interdisciplinary event seeks to explore representations and
negotiations of queerness in contemporary screen cultures, as well as
their determinants, in addition to interrogating recent queer readings
and “reclamations” of earlier screen texts. Supporting scholars from
film and media studies, sociology, politics and cultural studies among
other disciplines, the event covered a number of themes and issues
pertaining to on screen queer visibility including:

  • Cultural mainstreaming and the political contexts of queer visibility;
  • Film-making and queer aesthetics;
  • Queer audiences and participatory cultures: for example, L Word theme parties;
  • On-screen intersections of queerness and other identities: gender, ethnicity, etc;
  • Queer “reclamations” of ostensibly non-queer films, television programmes, and other texts;
  • “Textual poaching,” queer appropriations and slash fictions;
  • Queer adaptations;
  • Trans and genderqueer visibility: representations and marginalisation;
  • National and regional queer identities in cinema and media;
  • The impact of digitisation and the multi-platform environment on queer visibility;
  • Internet technologies and queer self-fashioning: YouTube and other online broadcasting.

Gary Needham of Nottingham Trent University, author of the forthcoming Queer TV, and Dr Michele Aaron of the University of Birmingham, editor of New Queer Cinema, delivered the plenary lectures. There was also a roundtable
discussion which brought together both speakers and delegates to
debate ‘the cultural mainstreaming of queerness.’

> Access the ‘Queer Screen Cultures’ website for the details, programme and abstracts of the event

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