Contested Bodies

Contested Bodies: Formations of Gender, Sexuality, Disability, Race & Culture

This event was held on May 7th, 2010 as part of the American Cultures Spotlight Series

….How do we make the space to talk honestly and wrenchingly about all the multi-layered systems of injustice that target some of us and privilege others for who we are? The layers are so tangled: gender folds into disability, disability wraps around class, class strains against race, race snarls into sexuality, sexuality hangs onto gender, all of it finally piling into our bodies.”

Eli Clare, 2003

Scholarship engaging the intersections of queerness, disability, and race is challenging the normative nature of much intersectional analysis. How might we craft, within the American Cultures curriculum, a framework which interrogates the cultural meaning given, (re)formulated, and (re)articulated to gender and sexuality as they intersect with race, class, ethnicity, and disability ? What are the possibilities and limitations of developing race-theory approaches to the study of queerness and ability status, and queer approaches to the study of race and culture in a range of cultural and transnational contexts? How can we not only queer the academic, but also engage intersectional approaches to learning and experience to further/complicate our understandings of race theory and experience? What are the limitations of studying queerness in Academia? What is the relationship between community as membership, with the community as a site of study? Within these contexts what forms of analysis are emerging? How are the complexities of these subjectivities communicated? Is the wide range of visual and textual representational practices which has proliferated effectively challenging the very constitution of queer meanings and activisms?

This roundtable will bring together a number of Berkeley scholars, students, staff and community members addressing the potentially transformative effect of that scholarship and activism which foregrounds gender, sexuality, race and culture in their dynamic conjunction.

Event Participants:

Billy Curtis, Gender Equity Resource Center

Lenn Keller, Community Member, Artist

Juana-Maria Rodriguez, Gender and Women's Studies

Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu, Graduate Student

Marco Flores, Undergraduate Student

Alexander Tan, Undergraduate Student