Prof. Em. Petra Doan, Prof. Martin Bressani, Prof. Lynda Johnston: QUEER ATMOSPHERE IN PUBLIC PLACE

Online International Symposium


The symposium will discuss, investigate, conceptualize and experiment with the neologism – queer atmosphere*.

Place, both as theory and practice and queer, as theory and cultural approach are rich clusters of activity and conceptual patterns. Against the backdrop of the atmospheric turn and of queer theory as a critical approach that rejects sexual, gender as well as other aspects of essentialist identity, the symposium seeks a discussion of the theoretical implications of queer atmosphere as well as its potential significance in the real world. It seeks to unfold the clusters from which the queer atmosphere feeds, and unfold the horizons of its potential contributions to social sciences, humanities, law and the arts and everyday life.

The overlap of Place and Queer calls attention to typical queer sense of place and placemaking as still mainly oriented to the inside-interior-inward (except for pride parade events). Contemporary extensive reliance on virtual spaces for communication encourages such introversion. Queer atmosphere in public place, referring to an ideal of openness and acceptance set by continuous resistance to any essential identity, might have an inherent capacity to replace identity politics with identification politics. It may have implications for practitioners in urban planning, architecture and city management, for community and cultural activism, the arts and media, the various aspects relating to the law or jurisprudence and much more.
*Working definition: Queer – an umbrella word for a wide variety of identities of people across a spectrum of cultural, sexual and gender orientations. Atmosphere – a feeling or mood associated with a particular place, person, or thing.
The symposium topics include but are not limited to:
Theorization and conceptualization of queer atmosphere
Types and characteristics of queer atmospheres
Artistic and other representations of queer atmosphere
Queer atmospheres and the role of street art in public space.
Queer atmosphere and activism
Violence and a queer atmosphere
City and planning as enhancing or limiting a queer atmosphere
Queer atmosphere in institutional spheres (e.g. media, law, army, university…)
Queer atmosphere and peripheral spaces
State-community relations in the context of a queer atmosphere

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