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EGSC 2024: 7th European Geographies of Sexualities Conference
Theme: Uncomfortable Spaces
At this conference, we’re interested in comfort – and discomfort. We want to take seriously the emotional and affective qualities of comfort and discomfort. We aim to explore their shifting meanings and practices, their spatial contexts and politics, and their use for and relationship to geographies of sexualities.
We can see some of the politics and spatialities of comfort at conferences such as the EGSC. Regular EGSC attendees have pointed out that the conference – despite the best efforts of participants and organisers – can often mirror the hegemonic Anglo-centrism (Garcia Ramon et al, 2006; Silva & Ornat, 2016) of global academia. This is about language, but it’s also about lacking awareness of and respect for non-Anglosphere scholarship (Müller, 2021) – as Ahmed (2017:15-16) points out, citation is a political practice. Consequently the various spaces and times of the conference may be uncomfortable for many non-native English speakers, who may experience the awkwardness of not speaking ‘perfect’ English in their presentation; the embarrassment of not being able to express thoughts in a ‘sophisticated’ way; the loneliness of not getting the joke told over lunch; or the anger of having one’s academic institution treated with suspicion when applying for a visa. Native English-speakers, on the other hand, can expect everyone at the conference to speak their language, and to recognise and respect their scholarly literatures and institutions. And, as Rodó Zárate (forthcoming) reminds us, the hegemonic nature of Anglo-centric academia means that most attendees do speak English, and are familiar with English-language scholarship. Consequently native English-speakers (particularly when monolingual) may get to experience international academic spaces as comfortable, at the expense of other attendees. Following its theme, EGSC 2024 will be a space in which sessions in languages other than English are encouraged. And (particularly because the conference budget does not extend to professional live translation) it will be a space in which the discomfort that comes with conversing across politico-linguistic differences is critically engaged with.
Organizer: EGSC
Submitted by: NIKK
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02.09.2024 - 04.09.2024
Brighton, European