7. Queer Bodies in Queer Cities

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOrganizers: Antu Sorainen (University of Helsinki), Matt Cook (Birkbeck College/ Raphael Samuel History Centre), Commentator: Melanie Judge (University of the Western Cape)

In every city there are areas that can be described as queer in that they have many lesbians and gays in the population or queer meeting places/spaces, be they commercial or “underground”. Where are they? How do these spaces come to be? How public or “secret” are they? This workshop engages with the differing formation, representation and reception of such sites and areas in cities. It traces how urban queer cultures speak to each other, and seeks out continuities and discontinuities in queer history, politics and geography and in the ways queer urban life is lived and imagined. The session focuses on queer people in the city as active in (rather than only the target of) urban politics, and looks again at the putative boundaries between the “private” and “domestic” and the “public”. Queer everyday lives can be approached alongside wider urban imaginaries – the literary, filmic, artistic, Utopian and mythic renditions of different cities and city spaces. How, we ask, do these intersect with each other and with an urban sexual politics more broadly? We invite papers that deal with various urban queer social formations and queer bodies, and not only those easily recognized as ‘lesbian’ or ‘gay’.

Session program:

Monday, 5 May 13.30–15.00 (405)

13.30 Introduction, Antu Sorainen, Matt Cook

13.40  Capital Stories – local lives in the queer metropolis, Matt Cook

14.00  Queer Women’s Care Relations in a Small Finnish City, Antu Sorainen

14.20 A queer view on Turku – Finding Our Way as Transgender Bodies, Sade Toivo Ilmari Kondelin

14.40 Discussion and commentary, Melanie Judge

Monday, 5 May, 15.30–17.00 (405)

15.30 Introduction, Antu Sorainen, Matt Cook

15.40 Touches in the Dark. Space, Light and Attractiveness in Dark Rooms, Evgeny Manzhurin

16.00 Queer politics and the city: early queer movement in New York City, Jacek Kornak

16.20 A nice place for women: the birth and demise of a lesbian bar in tampere, Tuula Juvonen

16.40 Discussion and closing words, Antu Sorainen, Matt Cook