Event of Interest: Writing the Body as Utopia – A Workshop with Caspar Heinemann

Thursday 6 June, 6pm-8pm, Samuel Alexander Building A4
University of Manchester

“I really was wrong, before, to say that utopias are turned against the body and destined to erase it. They were born from the body itself, and perhaps afterwards they turned against it.”
– Foucault, Utopian Body

This workshop will think through the idea of the body as utopia, drawing on a fun Foucault essay, and queer poets including kari edwards, Rob Halpern, and CAConrad. Where do we locate our bodies in and outside of language? Where do others locate them? Where are they, if not here? How can we write our bodies out of and into existence? What can our bodies teach us about what is im/possible?

Please bring pen and paper and feelings. The workshop will be followed by a reading from Caspar from their book Novelty Theory.

Recommended reading: Foucault, Utopian Body

Caspar Heinemann is a non-denominational gay trans poet and writer based in London interested in counterculture, mysticism, and springtime. 

This workshop is the second in a series around writing and transness and work by trans and non-binary writers. Please RSVP to honor.gavin@manchester.ac.uk to reserve a place and to receive a PDF of the suggested reading.


Events of Interest: My Trans TV and The Trans Glass Ceiling in TV


My Trans TV

Sunday 19 May 2019, 15.30 (75 mins) (£7 full / £5 concessions)

In this session Kate O’Donnell, a Manchester based trans performer, writer and activist will be with us and looking back at a lifetime’s worth of trans TV moments and what they meant to her. She will also be performing an excerpt from her show Hayley and Me featuring the iconic Hayley Cropper from Coronation Street. Along with her theatre work Kate has appeared in BBC’s Boys Meets Girl, she is also the artistic director of art company Trans Creative.

For more details and to book tickets, please visit: https://homemcr.org/event/my-trans-tv/

The Trans Glass Ceiling in TV

Thursday 16 May 2019, 17:05 (60 mins) (£7 full / £5 concessions)

Whilst there has been a slight improvement in representation of trans people in media and discussions around trans issues, it is still one step forward and two steps back when it comes to trans TV dramas and programming. Could this be because they are led by cis gendered (not trans) directors, producers and writers, so even if their heart is in the right place, the result is the same? Trans creatives and activists are too often misrepresented or led into traps by mainstream media. These include auditioning for seemingly great trans roles (and then finding out they slip into the same tired tropes) or invitations to broadcast panels shows (where the panel is mostly made up of bigoted activists) or have their stories told by cis writers and performed by cis actors. Trans people are told to be patient and wait till everyone catches up.

This panel asks how can we speed things along and shatter this trans ceiling. Led by Manchester-based Trans Creative, its artistic director Kate O’Donnell will be asking what steps need to be made by the industry to stop the misrepresentation because trans people deserve better programmes.

For more details and to book tickets, please visit: https://homemcr.org/event/the-trans-glass-ceiling-in-tv/

Event of Interest: Public Lecture with Jack Halberstam: Unbuilding Gender


QRNM [Queer Research Network Manchester] is thrilled to welcome Jack Halberstam to Manchester for a lecture titled Unbuilding Gender: Trans* Anarchitectures in and Beyond the Work of Gordon Matta Clark!

The talk will take place Wednesday, 15 May 2019 from 18:00-19:30 in the Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton Building LT4. The event will start promptly at 6pm, followed by a Q&A session and a short drinks reception. 
Tickets are required but free: https://unbuilding-gender.eventbrite.com

Jack Halberstam is Professor of Gender Studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of six books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke UP, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke UP, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and, most recently, a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press). Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstamis currently working on several projects including a book titled WILD THING: QUEER THEORY AFTER NATURE on queer anarchy, performance and protest culture the intersections between animality, the human and the environment.

Unbuilding Gender: Trans* Anarchitectures in and Beyond the Work of Gordon Matta Clark
Abstract: Today, I want to think with you about the new politics of trans* as opposed to arguing for the new inclusion of transgender bodies in an expanded understanding of gender. The category of trans* takes the prefix for transitivity and couples it with the asterisk that indicates a wildcard in internet searches; it is a diacritical mark that poses a question to its prefix and stands in for what exceeds the politics of naming. So, to investigate trans* representation, as I will be doing here, is also to propose that something within trans* representations exceeds our current ways of framing gender variance. In keeping with older work of mine from The Queer Art of Failure, I will be arguing for the unmaking of the world and in relation to new work on wildness, I will explore anarchic modes of breaking down the structures that currently confine us.

Queer Research Network Manchester is a postgraduate interdisciplinary research network uniting the Manchester Universities. Find out more information at qrnm.home.blog or contact us at queerresearchnetwork@gmail.com.

Cover photo credit: “Splitting” by Gordon Matta-Clark-Clark (1974)

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Memorial Symposium: A Dialogue on Love: Weds 22 May (Free and open to all)

eve sedgwick

As part of the Sexuality Summer School 2019, we are delighted to announce:

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Memorial Symposium
A Dialogue on A Dialogue on Love
Weds 22 May, 10-4 and 7-8.30pm.

10am-4pm John Casken LT, Martin Harris Centre, University of Manchester M13 9PL

7-8.30pm NB room change: SALC Graduate School, Seminar Room, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester, M15 6JA

Queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s is, perhaps, best known for her queer trilogy: Between Men (1985), Epistemology of the Closet (1990), and Tendencies (1993). Less well known, but arguably just as important is her memoir, A Dialogue on Love. First published in 1999, the Dialogue celebrates its twentieth birthday this year. Combining the queerly amorous form of a Platonic dialogue with the less well known genre of a haibun – a 17th-century Japanese form, combining prose with haiku, and, in Sedgwick’s case, her therapist’s notes – the book represents, perhaps, the most important of Sedgwick‘s many published queer dialogues. Dialogues on ‘A Dialogue on Love’ brings together ten queer writers to duet in pairs on the book, as well as a roundtable of five writers and translators who all dialogued with Sedgwick in different ways during and after her lifetime. The event represents a collaboration between the Manchester Sexuality Summer School, the University of York, and the Leverhulme Trust. 

Wednesday Daytime Dialogues:  (30 mins each)

Jason Edwards (York) and Angus Brown (Birmingham)
Mary Baine Campbell (Brandeis) and Meg Boulton (York)

Kathryn R. Kent (Williams) and Jonathan Flatley (Wayne State)
Victoria Coulson (York) and Monica Pearl (Manchester)

Jane Hu (UC Berkeley) and Sarah McCarry (Guillotine Press)
Wrap-up roundtable with all day’s speakers


7-8.30pm Wednesday evening roundtable: in dialogue with Eve (90 mins total) 

María José Belbel (Spanish translator of Touching Feeling and A Dialogue on Love), Stephen Barber (Rhode Island), Adam Frank (British Columbia), Ti Meyerhoff (CUNY), Lauren Berlant via video (Chicago).

Event of Interest: Writing Our Freedom(s) – Writing Workshop with Travis Alabanza


Writing Our Freedom(s) – A Writing Workshop With Travis Alabanza

Travis Alabanza is a writer, performer and theatre maker based in London. In the last three years they have cemented themselves as one of the leading and most prominent current trans voices in the UK Arts. Their writing has appeared in publications such as the BBC, Huck, Dazed, I-D, Guardian, Independent, and their self-published chapbook ‘Before I step Outside (you love me)’ in 2017 was shipped to over 21 countries. They have worked with various institutions nationally and internationally, holding a residency at Tate Museum and performing in places such as the Roundhouse, Lyric Hammersmith and Royal Exchange. Recently selling out their debut Show Burgerz, to 5&4 star reviews, and awarded ‘Best Theatre of 2018’ by the readers of the Guardian, the play text was also published by Oberon Books, Alabanza’s unique blend of politics, performance, fashion and critical analysis is not to be missed.

This workshop is hosted by the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester and is for trans, non-binary, genderqueer and queer writers and those interested in writing. The workshop is free to attend but spaces are limited so please register to reserve a place. For further information please contact honor.gavin@manchester.ac.uk.

To register please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/writing-our-freedoms-writing-workshop-with-travis-alabanza-tickets-59956750254

Event of Interest: Dr Eliza Steinbock: Shimmering Images

Event hosted by Queer Research Network Manchester. This public lecture takes place 4-6pm Tuesday April 2, in the Grad School Conference Room in the Ellen Wilkinson Building, The University of Manchester (Oxford Road).

Please join us as we welcome Dr Eliza Steinbock (Leiden University) as they launch their new book, Shimmering Images, in the UK!

In Shimmering Images Eliza Steinbock traces how cinema offers alternative ways to understand gender transitions through a specific aesthetics of change. Drawing on Barthes’s idea of the “shimmer” and Foucault’s notion of sex as a mirage, the author shows how sex and gender can appear mirage-like on film, an effect they label shimmering. Steinbock applies the concept of shimmering—which delineates change in its emergent form as well as the qualities of transforming bodies, images, and affects—to analyses of films that span time and genre. These include examinations of the fantastic and phantasmagorical shimmerings of sex change in Georges Méliès’s nineteenth-century trick films and Lili Elbe’s 1931 autobiographical writings and photomontage in Man into Woman. Steinbock also explores more recent documentaries, science fiction, and pornographic and experimental films. Presenting a cinematic philosophy of transgender embodiment that demonstrates how shimmering images mediate transitioning, Steinbock not only offers a corrective to the gender binary orientation of feminist film theory; they open up new means to understand trans ontologies and epistemologies as emergent, affective, and processual.

Dr. Steinbock will be speaking about their new book, followed by an opportunity to ask questions and then a short drinks reception.

See you there!

To let the organisers know you’ll be attending, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/310648462956887/

Sexuality Summer School 2019 Registration NOW OPEN

Registration for this year’s Sexuality Summer School 2019 is now open!

To pay the registration fee, please visit: https://estore.manchester.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/faculty-of-humanities/school-of-arts-languages-and-culture/summer-school/sexuality-summer-school-2019-queer-dialogues

For more information on the registration process and eligibility, please visit: https://sexualitysummerschool.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/important-details-for-registration-for-sss-2019/

Important Details for Registration for SSS 2019


Please read carefully for information on how to register for the Sexuality Summer School 2019. Registration is a two-step process: you need to complete payment AND submit an Eligibility Statement in order to register.

Eligible Applicants

The Sexuality Summer School is open to postgraduates (Master’s and Doctorate level students) engaged in the study of sexuality in any discipline. If you are an independent researcher, but would like to attend, please get in touch as soon as possible to discuss further your suitability for this event. If we feel that you do not meet the criteria (based on your written submission), we reserve the right to refund your registration fee and offer the place to someone else. Please note that we expect you to attend at least 80% of the week’s events.

Step 1: Payment Process

The online shop through which you can pay your registration fee (£150) for the 2019 Sexuality Summer School will open at 9am on Thursday 28th February 2019. The online shop is the University of Manchester’s estore: https://estore.manchester.ac.uk/
You will be asked to provide payment information and a brief biographical note with your university affiliation and status (this can be added or changed later). If you begin the estore booking process, please complete it immediately as incomplete payments cause problems for others attempting to pay.

Step 2: Submission of Eligibility Statement

If you have completed payment through estore, you will then have until 5pm on Thursday 7th March to submit a written statement (word or PDF document, no longer than 1 page) explaining how the Sexuality Summer School relates to your research, what you hope to contribute to the discussions, and what you expect to gain from the experience.

Please send your submission to sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com If we have not received your statement by 5pm on Thursday 7th March, we will assume that you are no longer interested and offer the place to the next person on the waiting list.


If you are having problems making your payment, please first check your browser. The estore technicians recommend Internet Explorer. If that does not solve your problem, please email sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com and one of our team will help you.

Waiting List

If the problem is that the total places have already been filled, then you will be added to the waiting list. If a space becomes available, you will be notified by email. You will then have 24 hours to pay the registration fee through the online shop. If you do not pay within this time frame, the place will be offered to the next person on the waiting list. If you would like to be taken off the waiting list, please email: sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com


If you need a refund due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, please note refunds are only available until Tuesday 2nd April. No more refunds will be given after this point. Applicants found not to meet the eligibility criteria will be contacted by the 14th March 2019, and refunds for these will be taken for processing by the Friday 5th April 2019. All other refunds will be taken for processing in early April. You should therefore receive your refund up to two weeks after this date. If that has not been the case, please get in touch with sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com


Event of Interest: Queering the Whitworth


Queering the Whitworth Tour
Thursday 14 February, free.
The tour will run twice, 6pm – 7pm and 7.15pm – 8.15pm.
Booking necessary.

February is LGBT History Month, this is a national event across educational, cultural and community spaces where people come together with a shared vision for learning and talking about LGBTQ+ History and community. The month helps to facilitate and uncover hidden or ignored queer histories and helps to tell these stories.

To coincide with this, we will be running a tour that will take in eleven works from our collection, stretching from Renaissance prints to contemporary wallpaper, some of which are currently on display in our exhibitions. We will retell stories from ancient Rome, the effects on people implicated in the first public debate on homosexuality in the 1700’s, and remember forgotten artists that were once celebrated in their time.

This tour links in with our social media project #Queeringthewhitworth.
Tickets are available from 10am on 2 February. To book your ticket please follow this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/queering-the-whitworth-tour-…
Image: Walter Crane, Study of Love’s Altar, 1870.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester

Superbia Scholarships for the Sexuality Summer School 2019


Superbia is the year-round programme of culture from Manchester Pride. We curate, promote and support LGBT+ culture in Greater Manchester, encouraging participation, supporting new work and engaging Manchester’s thriving LGBT+ community. Through our dedicated Superbia Grants programme we have assisted dozens of people to produce hundreds of projects engaging thousands of participants across the city.

We take the broadest possible view of culture, which of course includes education and learning. We are pleased to develop our relationship with the Sexuality Summer School (SSS) at the University of Manchester by offering two annual Superbia Scholarships to the value of £175 each, to enable students to attend the Sexuality Summer School who might not otherwise be able to. The Scholarships are available to anyone who currently lives, works or studies in Greater Manchester, and who otherwise might not apply for the SSS.

The Sexuality Summer School is an annual five-day event comprising daytime seminars and workshops for up to 40 registered postgraduates, alongside a range of lunchtime and evening events open to the public, including lectures, discussions, performances and film screenings. This year’s Sexuality Summer School (Monday 20th – Friday 24th May 2019) is organised around the theme ‘Queer Dialogues’, foregrounding skill-sharing, knowledge-exchange, theoretical debates and public engagement in relation to feminist and queer debates on sexuality.

Postgraduate students on the SSS will have the opportunity to discuss their current research, developing ideas and potential future collaborations with an interdisciplinary group of PhD and Master’s students engaged in the study of sexuality. Moreover, the academics, artists and activists from our public events schedule lead the daytime workshops, giving students the chance to explore questions about ‘Queer Dialogues’ in critical and creative practice. Registration costs £150 and opens on Thursday 28th February 2019.

If you wish to apply for a Superbia Scholarship, please submit approximately 250 words explaining why the Sexuality Summer School 2019 would be a valuable experience for you, what you bring to it and what you would hope to get out of it. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 30 January. Please email any initial enquiries to jackie.stacey@manchester.ac.uk

Your application statement should be sent in the body of an email with the subject header ‘Superbia Scholarship’ and emailed jointly to greg@manchesterpride.com and jackie.stacey@manchester.ac.uk

Please include your name, address and institutional affiliation in your application. Notification of a successful Superbia Scholarship application will also include confirmation of your place on the Sexuality Summer School 2019.

Timetable for applications is as follows:

Deadline for submissions: Wednesday 30 January

Successful applicants notified: Thursday 7 February

Scholarship pay date: Thursday 21 February

School registration opens: Thursday 28 February