Updates & Related Events




We are very excited to announce our public events schedule for the 11th annual Sexuality Summer School (SSS) to which all are welcome!

Monday 21st May 
Public Lecture: Scott Herring, ‘Queer Longing: Some Thoughts on Longevity’
Professor of English
Indiana University, Bloomington
Author of: Queering the Underworld (2007), Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (2010), The Hoarders (2014)
Co-sponsored by CIDRAL
Venue: SALC Graduate School, The University of Manchester

Monday 21st May
Film Screening + Panel: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016) and DES!RE (Campbell X, 2017) 
Followed by a roundtable discussion with Campbell X, Ajamu, Andrew Moor (MMU) and Monica Pearl (UoM). Chaired by Jackie Stacey.
Venue: HOME

Tuesday 22nd May
Book Launch + Panel: Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory (2016)
With editors Noreen Giffney and Eve Watson, Ian Parker (UoM), Suryia Nayak (Salford) and Dan Anderson (Uclan)
Venue: SALC Graduate School, The University of Manchester

Tuesday 22nd May
Artist’s Talk: Dan Fishback, ‘On A Queer Day, You Can See Forever’
NY-based Performance Artist; Works include Rubble Rubble (2017), The Material World (2012) and thirtynothing (2011)
In collaboration with Superbia
Venue: 53two (For directions please visit: http://53two.com/c-o-n-t-a-c-t/4592807595)

Wednesday 23rd May
Holly Hughes in conversation with Esther Newton on her forthcoming memoir: My Butch Career
Holly Hughes (Performance Artist and Professor) Esther Newton, Cultural Anthropologist (both from University of Michigan). Newton is author of: Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America (1972); Cherry Grove, Fire Island: 60 Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town (1993); Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas (2000)
Venue: 53two (For directions please visit: http://53two.com/c-o-n-t-a-c-t/4592807595)

Thursday 24th May
Exhibition + Panel: ‘Dialogues on Sexuality and Longing in Chinese Contemporary Art’ with Shen Xin, Whiskey Chow, and Maizi Li
Collaboration with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
Venue: Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art

For inquiries, please email: sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com





We are very excited to announce the invited speakers for the 11th annual Sexuality Summer School. The Sexuality Summer School brings together postgraduates, researchers and international scholars along with artists, performers, filmmakers, and activists to facilitate discussions that speak to contemporary debates in queer and feminist sexuality studies with a clear emphasis on the interdisciplinary study of culture.

Over five days, postgraduates come together with invited speakers, performers, and artists in workshops to discuss key queer and feminist debates in sexuality studies relating to this year’s theme ‘Queer Longing’. These daytime workshops are accompanied by public events, which are open to all.

The Sexuality Summer School 2018 will take place at the SALC Graduate School at the University of Manchester, with public events taking place at cultural and arts centres throughout the city of Manchester, including HOME and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art.

Registration for the Sexuality Summer School is open to postgraduate taught and research students (Masters and PhD) involved in the study of sexuality. Registration will go live beginning at 9am on 1st March at estore.manchester.ac.uk.

Registration costs £150, which includes the cost of tickets to the public events. The number of places is limited to 40 so book early to avoid disappointment!

To keep up with the latest news regarding the Sexuality Summer School, visit our blog, where you can also see a short video of what to expect: https://sexualitysummerschool.wordpress.com/

You can also keep track using our Facebook  and Twitter.

For inquiries, please email: sexualitysummerschool@gmail.com

Public Events

Monday 21st May 12-2pm

Opening Public Lecture: Scott Herring

Professor of English

Indiana University, Bloomington

Queering the Underworld (2007), Another Country: Queer Anti-Urbanism (2010), The Hoarders (2014)

Venue: SALC Graduate School, The University of Manchester

Co-sponsored by CIDRAL

Monday 21st May 6-9pm

Film Screening, Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)

Followed by a roundtable discussion

Venue: HOME

Tuesday 22nd May 6-7.30pm

Book Launch and Roundtable Discussion: Clinical Encounters in Sexuality (2016)

with: Noreen Giffney and Eve Watson (eds)

Venue: SALC Graduate School, The University of Manchester

Wednesday 23rd May Time tbc

In Conversation: Holly Hughes with Esther Newton, My Butch Career (forthcoming publication)

Holly Hughes, Performance Artist and Professor; Esther Newton, Cultural Anthropologist (both from University of Michigan)

Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America (1972); Cherry Grove, Fire Island: 60 Years in America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town (1993); Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas (2000)

Thursday 24th May Time tbc

Dialogues on Sexuality and Longing in Chinese Contemporary Art: Exhibition and discussion of work by Shen Xin, Visual Artist

Collaboration with the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art


Dan Fishback (Helix Queer Performance Network)

New York Performance Artist; Works include Rubble Rubble (2017), The Material World (2012) and thirtynothing (2011).

In collaboration with Superbia

Announcement: Check out our poster for SSS 2018!

SSS 2018 Final 2

Event of Interest: Judith Walkowitz: ‘Feminism and the Politics of Prostitution in the 1980s: A Tale of North and South’

This public lecture is co-hosted by History at the University of Manchester and CIDRAL, and will take place 5-7pm Tuesday 24 April in A101 the Samuel Alexander Building at the University of Manchester.

Judith Walkowitz (Professor Emeritus in History, Johns Hopkins University), will deliver a public lecture entitled ‘Feminism and the Politics of Prostitution in the 1980s: A Tale of North and South.

Feminism and the Politics of Prostitution in the 1980s: a Tale of North and South’, looks at King’s Cross, London in the early 1980s as a staging ground for the contending politics of prostitution in the late twentieth century. It addresses the following question: what did it take for prostitution to move up the feminist agenda by 1982? For answers, it looks at a striking conjuncture of events, practices and forms of knowledge that powered new understandings of prostitution and a greater sense of urgency about it. They include prostitute rights groups and their ethnographies of the “voices of prostitutes,” Margaret Thatcher and austerity cuts, the Yorkshire Ripper and the mass migration of Northern women to the streets of London, conflicts within feminism between Northern anti-violence activists and London municipal feminists allied to Ken Livingstone’s Labour left government.

Events of Interest: Lacan and Childhood (Two Events)

Next Monday 16 April, Manchester Psychoanalytic Matrix will be hosting two events on 
Lacan and childhood. (Please see Eventbrite registration details below)

Monday 16th April 2018, 4.15 (drinks and snacks) for 4.30 start. Room AG3/4, Ellen Wilkinson Building, University of Manchester

‘A dull essence Adult: less sense Adult lessons Adolescence:
Some ways to hear a speaking being (of a certain age)’

Carol Owens, Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Dublin

What is an adolescent? What sorts of practices does the category ‘adolescent’ warrant? What sorts of pre- and pro-scriptions exist to protect, regulate, educate, and treat adolescents? These, seemingly “old-fashioned” questions are nonetheless taken-for-granted for anybody who has had a critical psychology or post-structuralist informed education when they have cause to think about the concept ‘adolescent’ and, or, indeed the person so defined. However, a curious thing happens with psychoanalysts and psychotherapists when the issue of working with adolescents arises. The nomination “child psychoanalyst/therapist” sanctifies and regulates the practice of an entire profession of workers, who can apply such accreditation to their work with people up to the age of eighteen. The nineteen-year-old coming for a therapy requires nothing other than a trained analyst or therapist who contentedly regards themselves as working with an “adult”. The field of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is (potentially and actually) infected therefore with the most banal of constructions: the slide from twelve to thirteen denoting one parameter, the other from eighteen to nineteen delimiting the other. What is legitimated is the constructed and uncontested site of the adolescent as a person of a certain age. In this talk, I want to argue that Lacanian psychoanalysis provides one means of contesting the apparently uncontestable motif of age and its attendant gatekeepers in the Symbolic. As a Lacanian analyst who works with “adolescents” I will use a few short clinical vignettes in order to indicate how and where the ethics of psychoanalysis brought to bear as a critique of the uncontestable, is nothing other than the act of being that psychoanalysis requires of the analyst. Carol Owens is a psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in private practice in Dublin. She has edited and authored a number of publications in the field of Lacanian psychoanalysis, most recently “Lacanian Psychoanalysis with Babies, Children, and Adolescents: Further Notes on the Child” (with Stephanie Farrelly Quinn, Karnac, 2017)*. She is currently working on an edited collection of essays studying Lacan’s seminars IV and V (with Nadezhda Almqvist, Karnac, 2018), and on a co-authored book on Ambivalence (with Stephanie Swales, Routledge, 2018).  Register on Eventbrite:https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/carol-owens-lacanian-clinical-presentation-tickets-43833469086

 This afternoon event will be followed by a Manchester book launch for Lacanian Psychoanalysis with Babies, Children, and Adolescents: Further Notes on the Child at Blackwell’s Bookshop at 6.30, details and free registration for this event is on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/lacanian-psychoanalysis-with-babies-children-and-adolescents-further-notes-on-the-child-tickets-43833681722


Please register for the afternoon talk here:


and register for the early evening book launch event here


(if the UCU strike goes ahead on Monday we will relocate the afternoon session to a nearby alternative venue and let you know via the Eventbrite system, the book launch is secure, so please register now if you want to come along)


Event of Interest: 120 BPM with Introduction from Dr Monica Pearl


Tuesday 10th April at 17.40 there will be a screening of the film 120 BPM [Beats Per Minute] (Robin Campillo, 2017) at HOME, with an introduction from our very own Dr Monica Pearl, Lecturer in 20th Century American Literature at the University of Manchester.

For more information about the film and to book tickets, please visit: https://homemcr.org/event/120-bpm-intro/

UPDATE: Sexuality Summer School Registration Extended

Due to the strike disruption over the past few weeks, there are still some places left on this year’s Sexuality Summer School: Queer Longing. We are therefore extending the Sexuality Summer School registration deadline.

If you would like to register, please use the estore link to pay your registration fee:


Once you make your payment, please submit your eligibility statement as soon as you can. The eligibility statement is just to confirm that you are involved in the study of sexuality, committed to engaging in the workshops, and already thinking about your research in relation to the theme. Any concerns please do get in touch.

Please do get in touch with any queries about funding and we will do what we can to help. Unfortunately we are not able to offer funding for fees, travel or accommodation ourselves, but we can help direct you to information about institutional or alternative funding sources.

Event of Interest: Seminar on Sexuality, Migration and Race – Tensions in the Politics of Rights


March 21st 3pm to 5pm, there will be a seminar at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (M15 6BH) in Room BS 3.20 (N Atrium)

The event will present current research into the intersections of discourses on sexuality, race/ethnicity and the law. The main focus is on problematic assumptions which guide the construction of ‘LGBT subjectivities’ in legal processes that have been designed in laws meant to ‘protect’ people with non-normative genders or sexualities from persecution and hate crimes. Topics discussed at the event will include discussions of asylum process (in the UK and beyond) and hate crime legislation in Catalonia. The focus is on tensions, paradoxes, limitations and gaps in the construction of ‘rights’ and other legal measures, which create systemic exclusions that narrow how queer lives can be lived, articulated and understood, often with deadly consequences for some groups concerned.

There will be three 20 minutes presentations followed by Questions and Answers and a Discussion.

· CHRISTIAN KLESSE (Manchester Met) ‘Bisexuality, Asylum Law and the Biopolitics of ‘Bisexual Erasure’.

· KAREN McCARTHY (Manchester Met) ‘When I was an asylum seeker I was in bondage. I was captive. Something is holding you and want to strangle you to death’

· NÚRIA SADURNÍ (University of Girona, Catalonia), ‘Queer necropolitics and the Catalan law against LGBTphobia’

Attendance is free of charge. Tea, Coffee and Sandwiches will be provided.

The event has been sponsored by RAH! (Research in the Arts and Humanities! Manchester Metropolitan University)

Abstracts and Bios


Bisexuality, Asylum Law and the Biopolitics of ‘Bisexual Erasure’

Christian Klesse (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Research into asylum case law in many countries (including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) suggests that bisexuals are at serious risk of having their claims dismissed, because their stories and identities are cast as non-plausible or non-consequential. The legal claims of non-heterosexual applicants have been meet with ignorance and excessive scrutiny in the legal apparatus of many countries for a very long time. While positive case decisions of gay male and lesbian claimants are increasing in some jurisdictions, bisexuals are still likely to find their claims on the grounds of persecution because of their sexuality rejected. While the “discretion requirement”, i.e. the expectation that lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans* applicants have to live “discrete” lives (or, in other words, to “stay in the closet”) to prevent persecution, has been successfully challenged in many jurisdictions, bisexuals are still alleged to being able to “pass” without hassle, if they only entered heterosexual relations. Bisexual claimants often find it impossible to prove their membership in a ‘particular social group’. The fluidity bound up with bisexuality and the lack of acceptance for bisexual identities is at

odds with the ‘immutability’ assumption of sexual orientation models. The common discrimination of bisexuals in asylum law is a direct outflow of what Kenji Yoshino calls the ‘epistemic contract of bisexual erasure’. The hurdles against making bisexual experience intelligible in the field of law and against materialising a right for asylum for bisexual claimants is part and parcel of the regulation of the sexuality of migrants’ bodies through biopolitical acts of government with all too often necropolitical consequences.

Biographical Note

Christian Klesse is Reader in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. His research interests include the politics of bisexuality, non-monogamy and polyamory; race/ethnicity and racism, and transnational activism around gender and sexual politics. He is the author of The Spectre of Promiscuity: Gay Male and Bisexual Non-Monogamies and Polyamories (Routledge) and co-author of Heteronormativität: Empirische Studien zu Geschlecht, Sexualität und Macht (Heteronormativity: Empirical Studies of Gender, Sexuality and Power) (VS Verlag). His work has been published in a number of journals including Body and Society, The European Journal of Women’s Studies, The Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Sexualities, Sociology, and The Sociological Review.


“When I was an asylum seeker I was in bondage. I was captive. Something is holding you and want to strangle you to death”

To win recognition as a refugee and become ‘documented’ most people seeking asylum on the grounds of their sexuality, and persecution because of it, have to fight for recognition of their sexuality first. ‘Proving’ sexuality is key, with the majority of sexuality based cases refused on credibility, i.e. that the claimant is not believed; the incidence of disbelief has increased since case law in 2009 limited the ability of courts to send people recognised as LGBT back to their countries of origin to live ’discretely’. The experience of the Lesbian Immigration Support Group members and volunteers is that claimants feel pressured to conform to Western, racialized, homonormative notions of what lesbian sexuality looks like, having spent most of their lives ‘pretending’ NOT to be lesbian, for their own safety. Most members of LISG are escaping from, often extremely violent, persecution in countries which were once British colonies and where British imposed, homophobic laws still exist. The impact of this colonial , and continuing, biopolitical governance creates a legacy of necropolitical results both in the UK and globally. “and I don’t give a shit about HO and they can’t change that and they can’t force me to do things. I have a partner and a life and a family, and people who know that. What do they want?”

Biographical Note

Karen McCarthy is a lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research interests include migration, asylum and sexuality; migration and immigration; the experience of refugees and asylum seekers in further and higher education; reflective practice and well-being and health in communities. She is the co-author of Nina Held / Karen McCarthy (2017, forthcoming): “They like you to pretend to be something you are not”: An exploration of working with the intersections of gender, sexuality, ‘race’, religion and ‘refugeeness’, through the experience of Lesbian Immigration Support Group (LISG) members and volunteers, in Nayak, Suryia/ Robbins, Rachel (eds.) The Activism of Intersectionality in Social Work. London: Routledge. Also, forthcoming co-author with Janet Batsleer of On the Future of Youth Work with Young Women in Youth Work: Global Futures. Rotterdam: Sense Publications. (forthcoming)


Queer necropolitics and the Catalan law against LGBTphobia

The folding back of certain queer subjects into life and its effects is an issue which has been addressed by a myriad of scholars. From Lisa Duggan’s notion of homonormativity to more recent work on homonationalism building on Jasbir Puar’s work, many

analytical tools have been developed to interrogate how the supposed queer inclusion has taken place and which are the consequences of such a biopolitical movement.

Throughout Europe and North America, current debates on queer issues are moving towards the framework of hate crimes and hate speech, frequently engaging in necropolitical logics. Such movement is also gaining momentum in the Catalan queer arena, where a comprehensive law on LGBTIphobia was passed in 2014. The analysis of the aforementioned law, within the context of this broader trend, arises several questions that this paper aims to address: What kind of life does the Catalan law produce? What kind of life does it reinforce? What life does it create for queer people? In this movement, what changes and what remains? Which exclusions does it generate? And, finally, does it produce death, either deferred or directly?


Núria Sadurní is a lesbofeminist activist and a PhD student on social psychology at the University of Girona (Catalonia). In her PhD research she interrogates queer inclusions in Catalonia, particularly focusing in biopolitics, queer necropolitics and homonationalism.

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