Friday, 26 April 2013

Queer Impact and Practices

Queering Paradigms III: Queer Impacts and Practices is a new collection edited by Liz Morrish (co-edited with Kathleen O'Mara of SUNY Oneonta) which will be published soon by Peter Lang.

Their book brings together chapters arising from the third annual Queering Paradigms conference. Queer Theory is still evolving and extending the range of its enquiry. It maps out new territories via radical contestations of the categories of gender and sexuality. This approach de-centers assumptions of heteronormativity, but at the same time critiques a new homonormativity. 

In this collection, Liz and Kathleen incorporate the work of queer theorists and queer activists who are seeking new boundaries to cross, and new disciplines and social relations to queer. The sections of this book interrogate the impact of Queer Theory in studies of culture, nationalism, ethnography, intimacy, the social sciences as well as activism. Chapters address contemporary theorizing about gay citizenship and ‘homonationalism’ as well as a critique of gay visibility. Authors examine the symbolics of queer subversion and transgression in performers who transgress gender and sexuality codes. Queer activists extend their analysis into the world of punk, Buddhist religious teaching and Native Studies. Recent work attempts to transform several disciplines within the social sciences: linguistics, psychology, and ethnography.  Their book aims to demonstrate that Queer Theory, as well as being a disposition, is now deployed by many researchers as a legitimate framework of analysis which questions many of the categories, constructs and relationships we encounter in twenty-first century society.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Urban Food Festivals and Hospitable Cities

Joanne Hollows, Steve Jones and Ben Taylor's research on urban food festivals has recently been published in the Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events.

The article examines urban food festivals, and in doing so it carries out a case study of Nottingham’s food and drink festival (NFDF). It contends that such festivals need to be understood in relation to local contexts, such as the reputation for alcohol-related disorder associated with Nottingham’s night-time economy. Rather than being used to attract tourism, NFDF was primarily directed at existing residents of Nottingham, where it sought to produce particular kinds of guests who would be able to invest in the city’s wider regeneration. Here, the article draws on recent academic work on hospitality in demonstrating how NFDF attempted to rebrand the city centre as a more hospitable place. It concludes by showing how visitors to NFDF exhibited a sense of generosity and pride, and argues that the meaning of urban food festivals cannot, therefore, simply be reduced to the logic of neoliberal governance. 

Joanne Hollows, Steve Jones and Ben Taylor with Kimberley Dowthwaite, 'Making Sense of Urban Food Festivals: cultural regeneration, disorder and hospitable cities', Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events, 2013.  

Friday, 5 April 2013

'On Not to Be Gay'

Hongwei Bao has recently published a new article, 'On Not to Be Gay: Aversion Therapy and Transformation of the Self in Postsocialist China'.

In this article, through a critical reading of the published diaries written by the gay ‘patients’ who received aversion therapy in order to become ‘straight’ in south China in the 1990s, Dr Hongwei Bao examines how the transformation of subjectivities from gay to straight was made possible by such ‘self-technologising’ practices as writing diaries and affective communication with others. In doing so, he considers the centrality of the body and affect in the process of subject (trans)formation, and asks how a new, coherent and authentic ‘self’ was fabricated through bodily and affective experiences. This discussion not only reveals the social construction of the self as central to China’s postsocialist governmentality, but also the central role that gender and sexuality play in processes of self-formation.

Hongwei Bao, 'On Not to Be Gay: Aversion Therapy and the Transformation of the Self in Postsocialist China', Health, Culture and Society, 3(1): 132-49.