About the event

We live in a world in which quantified understandings of embodiment and sociality have taken on an increasingly central place in the strategies of capital circulation and state control. The messy entanglements of queer lives and bodies are archived for speculative monetization by a variety of proprietary digital networks whose central motivation is to serve advertisements rather than to promote vibrant and just social forms. While gender-neutral marriage law is nationalized and gay and soon trans people are slowly integrated into the military, whistleblower Chelsea Manning sits in jail. For this conference we mobilize the insights of queer theory and queer sociality to critically reimagine the possibilities of these growing archives of the everyday. We are interested in digital experimentation and inventive critique to theorize LGBTQ lives in a strikingly fluid legal, political, and media landscape. Just as important however, we see queer thought playing an essential role in analyzing social life beyond the LGBT. How might we queer these digital networks that are increasingly constitutive of how we understand and witness the social? How can we reflexively and critically engage with queer social formations that seem to resonate with data capitalism? What archival practices and performances can help reinvigorate the queer histories forgotten in the linear narratives of gay progress?

Participants are encouraged to reflect on these questions and others that use queer theoretical frames to engage with digital media and archiving. We will give priority to those whose work focuses on digital experimentation in the practices of everyday: queerly social media, haptic reorganizations of boundaries between body/world and body/mind, hacked software and dubious hardware, monstrous digital assemblages across space/time/identity/species.


9:30-9:45: Opening Remarks (Benjamin Haber)

10:00-11:40: The Politics of Queer Archives

Rustem Ertug Altinay “Digital BDSM Archives and Queer Political Critique in Turkey”
Jason Baumann “Sex, Drugs, Rock-N-Roll and AIDS”: Iris de la Cruz Haunting the Media Archive”
Margaret Galvan “Recuperating Queer Networks: Alison Bechdel & Grassroots Politics”
Shyamolie Singh “Archival Resistance in Contemporary Queer India”
Respondent: Jaime Shearn Coan, English, CUNY Graduate Center

11:50-1:30: Really Gay: Social Circuits of Sex and Identity

Harris Kornstein “Real Names, Digital Drag: Queer Strategies of Obfuscation”
Patrick Sweeney “Ways of Seeing Sexuality: Resisting the ontological primacy of biology and challenging the oculocentric imperative”
Mikhel Proulx “Protocol and Performativity: Queer Selfies and the Coding of Identities Online”
T Fleischmann and Benjamin Haber “Gheez this is Uncomfortable: Performing the Impotence of Masculinity”
Respondent: Edward Miller, Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island

1:30-2:30: Lunch Break

2:40-4:20: Deathly or Inhuman? Queer Life and the Biopolitics of the Digital

Shaka McGlotten “Black Data”
Josh Scannell “Inhumanist Archiving and Smart City Surveillance”
Jake Silver “Deathly Energies in the Wake of the Digital”
Scott W. Schwartz “Uncontrollable Knowledge: Vulnerability in the Age of Algorithms”
Respondent: Daniel Sander, Performance Studies, NYU

4:30-6:10: Queer Data, Queer Method

Melissa Rogers “Soft Circuitry: Queer Craft as Social Media”
Jen Jack Gieseking “Size Matters to Lesbians Too: Queer Feminist Interventions into the Scale of Big Data”
Noah Tsika “CompuQueer: Machine Reading, Memetic Mutation, and the Search for Queer Cinema Online”
Marika Cifor “Quantified Sex: Queer Archival Practices of Sexuality and Self”
Respondent:Amy Herzog, Associate Professor of Media Studies at Queens College and Coordinator of the Film Studies Program at the CUNY Graduate Center

6:30-7:30: Keynote by Sandy Stone- “Impalpable Desires”


11:30-12:15 Coffee, Snacks, Opening Remarks

12:15-2 Breaking Into History: Aids, the Archive, and the Fight Against the Canonization of an Ongoing Epidemic.

2-3:45 Workshop- Submit™

3:45-5:30 "What's on Your Mind?”: Facebook & Queer Confession


7:30-9 Short Films Curated by Bradford Nordeen

9-9:45 Sandy Stone- Small Catastrophes

9:45-10:30 Sharmi Basu Performance- Triggers

10:30-12:30 Nica Ross + Ginger Brooks Takahashi- Transducers

Please visit the conference website for full schedule and more information: http://queercircuits.com/
The conference will take place at the CUNY Graduate Center and a variety of locations throughout the city.

This event is presented as part of Mediating the Archive, an interdisciplinary research group that focuses on how archival studies dovetail with the scholarly and artistic legacy of queer activism through visual art, film, digital media, and dance. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email [email protected].

Cosponsored by the Women and Performance, The New York Public Library, Andrew W Mellon Foundation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, Doctoral Student's Council at the Graduate Center, CUNY.