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Queertopia 2021: Queer Justice, Queer Transformation, Queer Futures

On April 24-25, 2021, the Northwestern University Queer Pride Graduate Student Association will host its 14th annual Queertopia Conference in a virtual format. Queertopia is an event that offers graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, activists, organizers, artists, and community practitioners the opportunity to build an intellectual community and interrogate questions about gender and sexuality through art practice and performance, popular and academic research, and community engagement. We invite submissions by EXTENDED DEADLINE: March 19, 2021, of graduate, postgraduate, and practitioner research across disciplines around this year’s theme of “Queer Justice, Queer Transformation, Queer Futures.”

This conference invites scholarship from a wide range of disciplines on the topics of LGBTQ+ justice, transformative social change, and futurity. Topics we aim to explore include LGBTQ+ activism during the “twin pandemics” of COVID-19 and police violence; queer and trans coalition-building with Black, Indigenous, sex worker, and disability justice movements; queer liberation, carceral politics, and prison abolition; and imagining new futures for queer communities.

Potential topics of inquiry include:
● What does queer and trans justice look like?
● What systems do we need to dismantle and what systems do we need to build to achieve queer liberation?
● How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced queer and trans activists to adopt different organizing strategies?
● How has social distancing transformed queer communities?
● What are the linkages between the current COVID-19 pandemic and the HIV/AIDS pandemic? How has virality figured into queer life and queer politics, past and present?
● How does queer and trans liberation intersect with the Black Lives Matter movement, racial justice, and decolonization? How does queer and trans liberation intersect with sex work politics, disability justice, and prison abolition?
● How do pinkwashing and other homonormative investments in the liberal nation-state hinder queer liberation movements?
● What is the political economy of queer justice?
● How might mutual aid transform economic models of care and access for queer and trans communities?
● How does the academy reproduce anti-queer and anti-trans systems? Can we, as queer and trans scholars and activists, transform the academy?
Submission: Queertopia invites submissions for work-in-progress research papers, as well as submissions in other formats that expansively approach the topic of queer justice and queer transformation. We ask that prospective presenters briefly describe the format of their submissions. Note that Queertopia will be convened remotely this year.

Please submit an abstract (up to 300 words), a 75-word bio for each presenting author, and contact info for at least one primary presenter via Google Forms at Alternatively, you may email your submission to as an attached .doc/.docx document. Please also note if you have concerns about the feasibility of presenting your work virtually, if your submission has an alternative format (i.e., a format other than a research paper), or any other needs you might have. Accepted submissions will be selected by conference organizers and announced by the end of March. For any questions, please email us at