[Msa-discuss] CFP for Gender and Sexual Health: Literary, Cultural, or Historical Comparisons (ACLA, Brown University, 3/29-4/1, 2012)

Petra Dierkes-Thrun petradt at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 17:35:39 EDT 2011

Please distribute widely.  Established scholars, postgraduates, and graduate
students are all welcome.

*"Gender and Sexual Health: Literary, Cultural, or Historical Comparisons"*
*A seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
conference, Brown University, March 29-April 1, 2012*

***Seminar organizers: * William Spurlin (Brunel University, London),
Mattia Marino (Bangor University)

The biomedicalization of gender and sexuality has a long, contested history
from the nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries.  Foucault has
spoken of the shift in medical knowledge in the 19th century whereby western
medicine was no longer confined to a body of knowledge for curing ills, but
became structured around the normal/pathological opposition.   Since then,
biomedicine has produced knowledge about gender and sexuality in the name of
scientific truth, not without its cultural biases, and its hegemonic status
has formed the basis for directing social health policies worldwide,
invoking and sustaining racial and class hierarchies, while aligning gender
and sexual health with heteronormativity.  The topic is timely, given the
pending publication of the new DSM and its continued problematic listings of
women’s ‘sexual dysfunctions’ and gender dysphoria in children.

This seminar invites innovative comparative approaches addressing gender and
sexual health across a variety of possible borders—national/linguistic,
disciplinary (literary, feminist, queer, medical, postcolonial,
psychoanalytic studies), and/or textual (oral histories, archives, literary
texts, clinical texts, film).

Possible comparisons might include narratives or histories of HIV/AIDS,
biomedical pathologizations of women’s sexuality, biomedicalizations of
trans and intersexed persons, indigenous ontologies of the body/sexual
health, etc.   What role has biomedicine played historically in the colonial
regulation of sexuality; what are the consequences in postcolonial contexts
today?  What sites of comparison might be viable between biomedicine, law,
and/or activism, given that biomedical knowledge is frequently invoked to
negotiate legal status, citizenship, and gender/sexual rights?

This seminar is sponsored by the Comparative Gender Studies Committee.

*We invite 250-word abstracts (plus a 50-word brief speaker biography) for
this seminar.  Your abstract  must be
submitted via the "Propose a Paper or Seminar" link at the ACLA conference
website: http://acla.org/acla2012/?page_id=45.  When you submit your
abstract, make sure to designate our seminar (Gender and Sexual Health) so
it reaches the seminar organizers directly.  Thank you!

*DEADLINE:  NOVEMBER 15, 2011 (5 p.m. EST in the United States)*


Petra Dierkes-Thrun, PhD
Lecturer, Department of Comparative Literature
450 Serra Mall, Bldg. 260 (Pigott Hall)
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305
pdthrun at stanford.edu

Editor, *The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies*

New book: *Salome's Modernity: Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetics of
Transgression* at http://press.umich.edu/titleDetailDesc.do?id=1979616.
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