Queer Bibliography Conference 2024
To be hosted by UCLA California Rare Book School
University of California, Los Angeles
Conference paper and panel sessions will be hybrid
February 15, 2024
March 1, 2024
July 25–27, 2024
Call for Proposals
UCLA California Rare Book School is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the second annual Queer Bibliography conference to be held between July 25-27, 2024, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, California. Queer Bibliography makes explicit the connections between queer theories and methodologies and the multifaceted field of bibliography.1 This year’s conference will focus on CalRBS’s 2024 theme “Borders, Boundaries, and Margins.”
Bibliography is implicitly concerned with notions of space and situatedness: from letters on a page, to the print-shop, to books in circulation. Much queer print culture is concerned with producing spaces for people and information to circulate, and is often explicitly framed as such. Queer bibliography, therefore, is particularly attuned to questions of space, from the intimacy with which print mediates individual identities, to the production and reproduction of communities. It invites consideration of the affordances of liminal spaces created by the materiality of printed texts, as well as the marginal spaces in which texts themselves are created.
This conference explores how the theories and practices of queer bibliography inhabit areas of liminality and in-betweenness, and will interrogate how queer orientations and approaches can reshape the cartography of bibliography and its allied areas of inquiry. We invite participants to delve into the ways in which queer bibliography navigates and challenges traditional boundaries, be they geographical, disciplinary, institutional, methodological, or conceptual. How might we queer bibliography to reshape the classification of texts, to interrogate the materiality of textual bodies, to examine margins as both enclosing and unbounding, or to emphasize the centrality of affect in histories or reading and in bibliographical methodologies? Additionally, how might queer bibliography help us push against or question traditional bibliographical practices in archives, book arts studios, bookstores, classrooms, libraries, and museums? And finally, what role does queer bibliography play in shaping community engagement and activist work through textual and material forms?
We welcome contributions from any field and every career stage: postgraduates, early career academics, established and independent scholars, librarians, archivists, activists, book arts practitioners, etc. We invite proposals that consider—but are not limited to—the following topics:
- Interrogation of standard bibliographical disciplines and practices
- Dissolving, eradicating, or bending bibliographical space and temporality
- Queer biblio-classifications, ontologies, and categorical presuppositions
- Trans approaches to bibliography, book history, and archival studies
- Local and/versus global queer bibliography
- Post- and decolonial book studies and queer theories
- Queering institutional practices and heterodoxy
- Queer identities and positionalities from/beyond/between the margins
- Queer perspectives on marginalia, markings, and inscriptions
- Speculative or historiographic depictions of bibliographical queerness
- Drawing or redrawing a canon (or the canons) of queer bibliography
- Queering pedagogy in book history, bibliography, archival studies, and the book arts
- Queer literacies and reading queerly
- Queer collections in institutional or contingent spaces
- Community or communal queer bibliographic practices
- Queer book arts
- Queer activism and print culture, with an emphasis on bibliographical approaches
- Publishing queerness and radicality
To maximize time for discussion we anticipate pre-circulated papers of approximately 2500 words will be read in advance by all attendees. We also welcome non-essay contributions, especially from practitioners, including participation in roundtables or other alternative formats.
More information will be available at calrbs.org in the coming months. The conference will be free to attend, but have limited in-person capacity. Final arrangements and capacity will be set and announced in 2024. In-person and online registration will open shortly after submission decisions are announced.
Local Conference Co-Chairs
Robert D. Montoya, UCLA, Director, California Rare Book School
Sean E. Pessin, UCLA California Rare Book School
- Sam Bailey
- Kadin Henningsen
- Dylan Lewis
- Jessie McCarty
- J.D. Sargan
- Carlin Soos
UCLA California Rare Book School, UCLA College of Education and Information Studies, and UCLA Department of Information Studies.
As an institution, CalRBS is committed to critiquing, questioning, and if needed, redefining the goals, aims, and tenets of bibliography, the study of book history, librarianship, publishing, and other allied areas. CalRBS considers justice, ethics, community-building, and global perspectives to be integral to the healthy future of these areas of study and practice. CalRBS is thus pleased to support the growth of Queer Bibliography as a growing area of inquiry.
Queer Bibliography Past and Future Events
2026: (Dates and theme TBC), University of Georgia, Athens. Convenor: J.D. Sargan
13-15 June 2025: (Theme TBC), University of Newcastle, UK. Convenors: Sam Bailey, Beth DeBold, Kirsten MacLeod
3-5 February 2023: Symposium and practice-based workshop “Queer Bibliography: Tools, Methods, Practice, Approaches.” Senate House, University of London, London, England. Convenors: Sarah Pyke and Malcolm Noble.
- For the purposes of this conference, “queer bibliography” is a broad term used to include many domains of bibliographical study and theory as they intersect with queer theory and practice, including (non-exhaustively) history of the book, publishing, literacies, material histories, biblioalterities, etc. ↩︎