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New research network launched to continue the development of queer theory

25 Aug 2023

This academic year will see SALC host a new research network funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council: ‘Beyond Radical: Queer Theory and the UK’.

Beyond Radical - Queer Theory and the UK banner image

A diverse body of scholarship that has developed over more than 30 years, ‘queer theory’ has provided many important and influential ways to think about gender and sexuality. It has given us concepts such as ‘heteronormativity’ and ‘performativity’ that have transformed many scholarly fields, but it is also associated with some of the highest profile intellectuals of the twentieth century such as Judith Butler and Michel Foucault.

‘Beyond Radical’ will be the first formal network for UK-based academics, activists and artists dedicated to the continued development of queer theory. Over one academic year, the network will host a range of symposia, public engagement events and workshops that will each address one important aspect of queer theory that has been central to its past and will be central to its future development.

The network comes at a time when the word ‘queer’ is used in more and more public contexts. PI Dr Ben Nichols explains how this reflects the timeliness of the project: “We see ‘queer’ used more and more these days: from Queer Eye on TV, to the ‘Q’ in LGBTQ+. This network will connect the increasing public interest in ‘queer’ as an idea with the word’s complex history in the context of queer theory. Our aim is to get people thinking in new ways about this word and its histories”

Hosted by SALC’s Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture, ‘Beyond Radical’ solidifies the Centre’s reputation for gender and sexuality studies research nationally. Alongside a programme of events, the Centre hosts the yearly Sexuality Summer School and the popular MA in Gender, Sexuality and Culture.