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Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Queering Ireland 2017: Queer Times

19th Annual Comparative Literature Conference at UofSC

May 18-20, 2017, at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, Columbia  

KEYNOTES: Jack Halberstam (University of Southern California) & Ailbhe Smyth (Repeal the 8th)

THEATER PERFORMANCE: TheatreofplucK (Belfast)

In In a Queer Time and Place (2005), Jack Halberstam argued that “part of what has made queerness compelling as a form of self-description […] has to do with the [its] potential to open up new life narratives and alternative relations to time and space.” Queer uses of time and space can operate “in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality, and reproduction.” Halberstam suggests that we consider queerness beyond the merely sexual to understand queer identity as a mark of “strange temporalities, imaginative life schedules, and eccentric economic practices.” Elsewhere, David Lloyd has argued, inIrish Times (2014), that Irish culture is marked by “layered time”: haunted by unfinished pasts that may resist capitalist logic and historical time. How might these insights be thought together?

Queer Times, the fifth in a series of international Queering Ireland conferences, asks that we think about queer times—strange temporalities, queer life schedules and narratives, eccentric economic practices—as well as issues of age and movement sustainability that were raised at Queering Ireland in Dublin (2015). How can queer time help us to understand Irish times?  What can queer time say about the representation and politics of marriage, about the intersections and disjunctures of feminist and queer politics?  How does queer time inflect citizenship? How do we think about queer time across borders, nations, communities?  How can queer time reframe economic crisis, austerity politics, the biopolitical, and the narratives of nation, economy, culture, and family? How can the theoretical work on queer time and space (Dinshaw, Edelman, Freeman, Halberstam, Love, Muñoz, Stockton, and others) enrich our understanding of Irish history, literature, and culture and its Anglo-European contexts? Papers and panels will consider:

  • queer temporalities, trans temporalities:  queer life narratives, queer economics; legibility and limitations; queer futurity and the queer political imagination
  • methodology and temporality; temporalities of resistance and witness; the work of misogyny, homophobia, or transphobia in time; AIDS and movement history
  • relations of body and time; “straight time” and non-normative bodies; labor and time
  • temporality and narrative:  histories and counter-histories; lost, hidden, or secret histories; before and after, cause and effect, duration, progression, chronology and continuity
  • memory studies; memory, repetition, trauma; commemoration and public memory; queer counter-publics and public memory; queer nostalgias
  • generation/s, generational differences or continuities; age and aging; queer elders and queer youth; movement sustainability; HIV/AIDS and temporality
  • archives and archival work


The registration/accommodation page can be found at:

Registration is $100 for faculty/waged, free for students and unwaged.  The page also allows you to make a donation to the conference, if you can.  (Please know that such donations are greatly appreciated.)
The conference will be held Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, with a preconference workshop on Thursday, May 18.
The conference hotel is the Courtyard Marriot – Columbia Downtown at UofSC, only a 5-minute walk from the Darla Moore School of Business, where the conference will be held.  The conference room rate will be $139/night, which will include a hot breakfast buffet for conference attendees.
If you are a graduate student and would be interested in staying with graduate students or others here, please know that we will try to arrange that hospitality.

The closest major airport is Charlotte. There is a shuttle between the Charlotte airport and Columbia (; it is easy and convenient, about an hour's travel.  You can fly into Columbia as well, but you may find it much more economical to fly into Charlotte and take the shuttle.
As you make your travel plans, be reminded that we hope to schedule a daytrip to Charleston on Sunday, 21 May, for any who wish to go.  For those who are planning to make the conference part of a longer stay, please know that Charleston’s international Spoleto Festival will begin that next week (
If you do have any questions at all about travel, please contact me or Anna Sykes. 
A small workshop will precede the conference.  This workshop will focus on papers by young scholars (graduate students and recently hired) read in advance by scholars in the field, with a format oriented toward conversation and mentorship rather than presentation.  If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please let me know asap.  We have received a grant to cover some travel expenses for participating scholars, and we hope thus to help address costs for those without institutional funding. Slots, however, are limited, so please let me know soon.
IF you would like to be considered for either the workshop or for the graduate student travel bursaries that Sean Kennedy is arranging, please let me and Sean know as soon as possible
(Sean's email is:
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Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.