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Timetable September 22

Location: Pieter de la Court - Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden / Room SA49

Link to the online classroom: Click here 

Please check the website regularly for more information on the final program, talks, and abstracts.

Program: Programação

12:30-1:00 pm

Coffee and registration


1:00-1:30 pm

Queering the space: A Pre-Conference Workshop

Room SA49

1:30-2:00 pm

Opening Plenary: launching the conference and introducing keynotes

Room SA49

2:00-2:45 pm

Disrupting normativities through language: Young trans people and the construction of embodiment - Lucy Jones

In this talk, I introduce the field of Queer Linguistics, explaining how scholarship in this area challenges cisnormativity, heteronormativity, and homonormativity through the analysis of language use. A brief explanation of how this work has drawn upon interdisciplinary developments within Queer Theory is provided, alongside an account of current debates and priorities in the field; this includes the real-world applications of Queer Linguistic scholarship. Thereafter, I show how linguistic analysis can inform current thinking in Queer Theory via a case study of young trans people describing their experiences of being rendered powerless through misgendering or misrepresentation. Through a sociocultural linguistic analysis, I show how their experiences reveal cisnormative expectations around trans people’s embodiment. I also argue, however, that the young resist these expectations by recontextualising the language used by others to describe their bodies. In this way, I argue that a Queer Linguistic analysis should go beyond identifying the ways in which language reproduces problematic ideologies; it should also explore how those who are marginalised through such language can gain agency by actively subverting and challenging it.

2:45-3:30 pm

Fasten your queerbelts: Geography, disruptions and (our) travelling bodies - Rae Rosenberg & Ale Boussalem

Queer geographies emphasise how queer bodies and performances disrupt the cis-, hetero-, white-normativities at work in and across different spaces. These disruptions take place at different scales: the body, the home, the city, the nation, the globe. We build on these theoretical perspectives to explore queer geographical disruptions from our personal experiences as travelling/migrating queer geographers. The intervention we offer is the result of dialogues between us over the past two years, during which we gradually shared our personal travellings/migrations, the points of similarity and connection between these as well as their differences and detachments, as a means of forming a dialogical understanding of the important roles that (our) queer bodies play in disrupting the spaces they/we inhabit and cross. We chart the unfolding of this dialogue and explore what emerges when our bodies stick to the specificities of various linguistic, political, cultural, social and legal discourses anchored in space, and what gets dragged in the wake of our movement and (dis)locations.

3:30-4:00 pm

Coffee break


4:00-4:45 pm

Immigrants on Grindr: Race, Sexuality and Belonging Online - Andrew Shield

This talk examines the role of hook-up apps in the lives of gay, bi, trans, and queer immigrants and refugees in Denmark, and how the online culture of these platforms promotes belonging or exclusion. Within the context of the so-called European refugee crisis, this research focuses on the experiences of immigrants from especially Muslim-majority countries to the greater Copenhagen area, a region known for both its progressive ideologies and its anti-immigrant practices.
Grindr and similar platforms connect newcomers with not only dates and sex, but also friends, roommates and other logistical contacts. But these socio-sexual platforms also become spaces of racialization and othering. Weaving together analyses of real Grindr profile texts, immigrant narratives, political rhetoric, and popular media, the talk provides an in-depth look at the complex interplay between online and offline cultures, and between technology and society.

4:45-5:30 pm

A queer reading of housing policy: the case of homeownership subsidisation - Alex Fernandez

This talk examines how heteronormativity is embedded in housing taxation regimes producing a link between asset accumulation and normative formulations of familial structures. House prices have risen widely across Europe in the last decades. However, the windfall in the appreciation of residential properties is unequally distributed. While older households have largely benefitted from a buoyant housing market as they downsize; younger households and private renters struggle to access homeownership while facing unaffordable rents. These life-cycle patterns are accentuated in many countries by taxation regimes that lack tenure neutrality, that is, favour mortgagors and homeowners over renters. This presentation argues that housing policy has implicit biases towards particular forms of household composition readable in asset formation strategies. What does queer theory have to say about housing tenure and taxation? How does the lack of tenure neutrality affect queer populations? This presentation develops a reading of housing policy from a queer lens to unpack the assumptions about asset and family formation embedded in housing taxation.  First, the focus will be on the theoretical possibilities of inserting queer theory in the housing taxation literature drawing from queer approaches to analyse housing policies with a focus on homeownership subsidies. Secondly, the presentation will interrogate the opportunities and barriers present in the main micro household-level datasets in the UK and the Netherlands to prospect the possibilities of quantitative empirical analyses. The ultimate goal of this presentation is to problematise the links between housing policy and household formation from a queer perspective

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Timetable September 23

Location: Pieter de la Court - Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden - Room SB11

Link to the online classroom: Click here

Program: Programação

10:00-10:45 am

Social and biological factors in bilingual transmasculine voice change - Remco Knooihuizen & Max Reuvrers

Transgender men experience voice change as a result of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the administration of exogenous testosterone. Their pitch typically drops to values within the range of cisgender men (Zimman, 2017). At the same time, the gendered voice is made up of other features as well, which are not necessarily affected by HRT and which physiological explanations cannot account for (Azul, 2015; Azul et al., 2017). A sociolinguistic analysis is complicated by the large range of (trans)masculine identities conveyed in speech (Zimman, 2018).
In this paper, we present data from our ongoing longitudinal study into voice change in five transgender men during the first two years of HRT. Data is taken from informal conversations in L1 Dutch and L2 English, to assess the progress of both language-independent physiological changes and potentially language-specific sociolinguistically driven changes in their speech: (1) pitch, (2) vowel formant frequencies, and (3) the realisation of /s/.
Preliminary analysis of the data shows, firstly, that participants all experience a lowering of pitch, although there are differences in the speed and range or lowering and the degree of variation both between individual participants and between Dutch and English within the same participant. Secondly, all participants show large longitudinal variability in vowel formant frequencies, in Dutch and English, and in raw frequencies as well as in a normalized vowel space (to account for the effect of lowering pitch; cf. Hillenbrand & Clark, 2009). Finally, the realisation of /s/ (measured as centre of gravity) shows hardly any longitudinal change, but differs considerably between participants and between languages.
Taken together, these three features allow us to show the physiological and sociolinguistic components of the gendered voice, which in turn can inform speech therapy for transgender men who experience voice-related dysphoria.

10:45-11:15 am

Coffee Break


11:15-12:00 pm

Heteronormative attitudes, where do they come from (and what can we do about them)? - Tessa van de Rozenberg

Examining how people are being socialized with heteronormative ideas can provide insights into how they can be reduced to enhance equal rights and treatment of LGBTQ+ individuals. People are being socialized with heteronormativity in various ways and in multiple contexts. We looked at three contexts where individuals are being socialized with heteronormative ideas: within countries, within the school, and within the family.
First, people are socialized with heteronormative messages by the national context they live in. To what extent do former regimes in Europe (communist, Nazi, Fascist) still have a persisting influence on the rejection of equal adoption rights for same-sex couples today? Can progressive laws, especially same-sex marriage, predict less rejection of equal adoption rights among different groups of individuals (men, women, older and younger people)?
Second, children are socialized with heteronormative messages they receive at school. Besides being important educational means to improve intellectual skills and knowledge, textbooks can socialize children with messages conveying cultural norms. To what extent do textbooks for Dutch language and math represent LGBTQ+ individuals? And to what extent do they include gender stereotypic roles? Based on this study, we developed a tool for more inclusive textbooks for publishers.
Third, parents socialize their children consciously and unconsciously with heteronormative messages. We examined to what extent Dutch parents transmit heteronormative attitudes to their children. In doing so, we focused specifically on attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women. To what extent and how do parents implicitly communicate that being straight is the only normal and acceptable sexual identity? Are parents comfortable discussing these topics with their children? Based on this study, we provide advice for parents who wish their children to be tolerant and inclusive towards gay men and lesbian women.

12:00-1:30 pm


We ask the participants to be back on time for the next plenary.

1:30-2:15 pm

What do we know about the earnings of sexual minorities? - Erik Plug

We summarize research in economics that investigates earnings differentials by sexual orientation. We start with a statistical overview comparing the earnings of homosexual and heterosexual workers in the developed world. We conclude that, on average, homosexual men earn less than heterosexual men (gay penalty), while homosexual women (almost always) earn more than heterosexual women (lesbian premium). This is followed by a short exposition of standard economic explanations about earnings differentials in the labor market, including discrimination, family specialization, skill-driven, and taste-based explanations. We discuss empirical research about each of these explanations and conclude partial explanations appear more the rule than the exception. In the remainder, we discuss important gaps in economics research on sexual minorities and make suggestions on how to address these.

2:15-3:00 pm

The making of an anti-gender language - Rodrigo Borba

Mobilizations against gender equality and sexual diversity have gained political traction globally despite their hyperbolic modes of action and conspiracist rhetoric. These anti-gender campaigns rally around “gender ideology,” a trope used to anathemize feminist and LGBTIQ+ activism/scholarship. In this plenary I argue that anti-genderism is a register – a conventionalized aggregate of expressive forms and enactable person-types – of which “gender ideology” is the most famous shibboleth. The paper shows how inchoate collections of words, modes of action, and images of people (i.e. signs) have been enregistered into the cohesive but heterogeneous whole of anti-genderism through semiotic processes of clasping, relaying, and grafting (Gal, 2018; 2019). The plenary aims to offer a sociolinguistic analysis of anti-genderism to understand the challenges it poses to the enfranchisement of women, queer, trans, and nonbinary people.

3:00-3:30 pm

Coffee break


3:30-5:00 pm

Roundtable discussion

Room SB11

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