Utility Menu


Bodies of Knowledge 7

The seventh biennial Bodies of Knowledge Symposium will take place at USC Upstate on March 17-18, 2016. Inspired by the happy summer coincidence of listening to “One Bad Mother” (a motherhood podcast) and reading The Argonauts (Maggie Nelson’s queer motherhood memoir), this year's theme will be One Queer Mother, with the concept of motherhood broadly construed. In addition to a literal focus on queer motherhood and alternative kinship, the symposium theme also represents an enthusiastic declaration of the will-to-queerness (i.e., this is gonna be one queer mother). 

To join in the  queer persistence, please send 150-250 word proposals to Dr. Lisa Johnson (mjohnson@uscupstate.edu) by December 15, 2015.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Lesbian motherhoods (intersectional analyses are encouraged)
  • Trans motherhood/fatherhood/parenthood (what lies beyond sensationalist discussions of“pregnant men?”)
  • Black/queer motherhood and respectability politics
  • Queer mothering (a very bendy phrase that could be about identity or practices)
  • Alternative forms of kinship (what, besides biology, creates the ground for sustained connection? how do we build or create sensations of belonging as queer people?)
  • LGBTQ reclamations of family rhetoric (is she “family?”)
  • The queerness of pregnancy (Maggie Nelson describes it as a state of radical alienation and radical intimacy)
  • Adoption as a queer practice (How does adoption queer otherwise heterosexually formed families? Who can access adoption. And, who is prevented from adopting? Why is LGBTQ adoption still up for debate?)
  • The marriage equality movement and SCOTUS depictions of queer kinship as inevitable loneliness
  • Representations of lesbian, gay, trans or queer motherhood in media culture (e.g., tv shows such as Transparent or The Fosters or even Orphan Black)
  • Queering the canon of literary motherhoods
  • Tensions between heteronormative families of origin and queer family-making
  • Philosophical reflections: is creative practice a form of queer mothering? And where do pets fit into this picture?
  • Celebrations: who are your queer mothers? Who has mothered you queerly?
  • Entrenched queerness in the face of political attempts to squelch queer culture in South Carolina and elsewhere

Directions to campus
Center for Women's and Gender Studies 

Past events
Bodies of Knowledge 2008 View photos on Flickr!
Bodies of Knowledge 2014 View photos on Flickr!

Contact us
Dr. Lisa Johnson, Director
Center for Women's & Gender Studies
USC Upstate
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
(864) 503-5724