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‘Rethinking Queer Theory Through Alan Sinfield’

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Council Room (K2.29)

King's Building, Strand Campus

King's College London

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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A pioneer of queer studies in Britain who continually related his readings of past texts to issues in the present, Alan Sinfield passed away in December 2017. His highly interdisciplinary work encompassed Elizabethan drama and 20th-century theatre, Oscar Wilde and modern pop music, and British postwar culture, politics, and literature—always sensitive to the relationships between cultural forms and political and economic power, social exclusion and sexual identity, and the collective potential to subvert or transform society and its cultures. Queer@King’s welcomes panellists David Alderson (University of Manchester), Andy Medhurst (University of Sussex), Madhavi Menon (Ashoka University), and Lynne Segal (Birkbeck) for a discussion of the life and work of Alan Sinfield. What questions did Sinfield’s scholarships facilitate? How was Sinfield positioned in the genealogy of queer theory, both at home and abroad? And how does Sinfield’s work speak to the here and now of queer inquiry? Conversation over and celebration of Sinfield’s work continues with audience Q&A followed by a drinks reception.

David Alderson is Senior Lecturer in Modern Literature at the University of Manchester. He has written widely on gender, sexuality and the neoliberal transition, and is author of Sex, Needs and Queer Culture (Zed, 2016) and co-editor of For Humanism (Pluto, 2017). He is currently working on a project on the novel and the political economy of the family in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Madhavi Menon is Professor of English at Ashoka University in India, and the author, most recently, of Infinite Variety: A History of Desire in India. She is also the author of Wanton Words: Rhetoric and Sexuality in English Renaissance Drama (2004), Unhistorical Shakespeare: Queer Theory in Shakespearean Literature and Film (2008), and Indifference to Difference: On Queer Universalism (2015); she is also the editor of Shakesqueer: A Queer Companion to the Complete Works of Shakespeare (2011), to which Alan Sinfield contributed an important essay on Troilus and Cressida.

Andy Medhurst works in the School of Media, Film and Music at the University of Sussex. He has taught on Sussex's Sexual Dissidence MA since its inception in the early 1990s, annually contributing a module on sexuality and popular culture. Even further back than that, in the 1970s his BA degree was in English Literature at Sussex, where Alan Sinfield was one of his tutors. More recently, he was a contributor to the special issue of 'Textual Practice' which paid tribute to Sinfield's work and legacy.

Lynne Segal has engaged in Left & feminist politics since arriving in London in the early 1970s. She teaches in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. Her books include Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism; Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Changing Men; Straight Sex: The Politics of Pleasure; Why Feminism? Gender, Psychology & Politics; Making Trouble: Life & Politics; Out of Time: The Pleasures & Perils of Ageing. Her latest book is Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy. She is currently researching and writing on ‘Care’ as part of The Care Collective.

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Council Room (K2.29)

King's Building, Strand Campus

King's College London

London

WC2R 2LS

United Kingdom

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