SOAS University of London

Call for papers: 'Queer' Asia 2017 - Desire, Decolonisation, and Decriminalisation

3 February 2017

queer asia poster - SA IMG 240 186 56

Deadline for abstract submissions: 26 Feb 2017

Proposal Guidelines:

Paper proposals should include a title, 300-word abstract, institutional affiliation and contact information. Please submit proposals via email at by 26th Feb 2017

Conference dates:

  • 16th June 2017 (conference)
  • 17th June 2017 (Screenings and Workshops)

In celebrating the drive towards decolonisation at SOAS and the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain, 'Queer' Asia is interested in diverse and new ways of representing, negotiating and mediating queer desires. With a focus on desire and its intersections with decolonisation and decriminalisation in postcolonial global societies the conference aims to examine what desire implies for queer Asians.

What do queers want? How do queers mediate their desires in the face of social opposition, legal persecution, colonial and neo-colonial impositions as well as accelerating globalisation? How is queer desire negotiated and represented both within Asia and in Asian diasporas? Does decriminalisation necessarily emancipate desire? Under what conditions can decolonisation imagine desire?

We would like to invite all those working on facets of queerness in/on Asia to submit an abstract on any of these or related areas. Papers could address, but are not limited to, the following sub-themes:

  • Erasure of marginalised gender expressions and some sexualities within notions of desire.
  • Inter-ethnic relations/intercultural/cross-cultural practices.
  • HIV/AIDS awareness - the globalisation of these movements in Asian contexts.
  • Queering power relations between groups (class, race, ethnicity, religion, age, caste).
  • Homonormativity and its economic, social and political ramifications.
  • Colonial legacies and local histories/ voices.
  • The performance(s) of desire(s).
  • The categorisations and (de)stigmatisation of queer desire.
  • The relevance and limitations of queer theory in Asian contexts.
  • Migrations and diasporas/ refugees/ asylum seekers and queerness.
  • Civil rights/ human rights.
  • Literary and visual representations.
  • Use of technology/ social media and new media.
  • How does queer activism in Asia or for Asian communities address desire?

Shout out to queer artists:

Are you a queer artist whose work engages with themes of desire and decoloniality or decriminality? Please email if you are interested in sharing your work with us, and showcasing it at the 2017 conference.