Early Modern Queer and Trans Studies: Methodologies, Questions, Politics

December 12, 2022
By SRS 10th Biennial Conference

Seminar Leaders: Kate Chedgzoy and Kit Heyam
In-person seminar at the Society for Renaissance Studies 10th Biennial Conference, Liverpool
Thursday 20th July, 2023, 14.00-16.00
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What questions are researchers asking now about queer and trans lives and representations in the Renaissance? What approaches, methods and materials are they using to seek answers to those questions? And what are the political stakes in our own moment of doing this work?

Established for several decades, the study of gender and sexuality in the Renaissance has been reinvigorated recently for a number of reasons, not the least being that trans studies has opened up new ways of thinking about the relations between those concepts in the past. We want to take stock of where early modern scholarship has got to across all disciplines that have engaged with queer and trans material and perspectives; gain a richer sense of the specificity and diversity of this research; reflect on shared concerns; explore potential answers to shared questions; and map pathways forward. And we want to build connections and community with and for students and colleagues doing work that can expose us to hostility within and beyond academia. This is particularly important if we want as a field to think about how our research can most effectively and appropriately have a wider impact, by demonstrating that thinking in serious, ethical, and intellectually nuanced ways about difficult pasts can help us with some of the difficult aspects of our present moment for queer and trans people.

We hope that seminar discussion will both illuminate discipline-specific questions of methodology and enrich methodological and political reflection by creating a space for sharing ideas across and between disciplines. Papers that consider the methodological and political dimensions of researching and/or teaching the queer and trans in early modern culture, or from LGBTQ+ perspectives, will be welcome.

We warmly welcome the participation of colleagues of all career types and stages, including PGRs and researchers working outside academia.

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