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Staging Gender: Sexuality and Embodiment on Stage across Geopolitical Borders  

ASCA Workshop 2022 organized by Shekoufeh Behbehani and Alvaro Lopez

Call for Papers - ASCA Workshop 2022

Staging Gender: Sexuality and Embodiment On Stage across Geopolitical Borders  

The stage is never a neutral space, it is not an innocent ground of representation and entertainment. When sexuality, gender, or race enter the stage, the political and the personal meet with far-reaching implications. After all, who is  being represented and how? By whom? And for what audience? Two decades ago, José Esteban Muñoz (1999) argued for a personal/political staging that moves beyond mere oppositions. With the notion of disidentification, Muñoz addressed forms of staging and performing that cannot be collapsed into simplistic understandings of oppression and resistance. Muñoz’s work hinted at the increasing multiplication of staged bodies, of staged understandings of sexuality and race that in the last decades have depoliticized and commodified once radical forms of entering the stage. But what does it mean to put these sociocultural markers on stage nowadays? How have the political and personal changed positions in the last twenty years? Moreover, how can the stage itself, from that of a play or a film to that of a smartphone or the street, affect that which is being staged? After all, to speak of bodies, of sexuality, and violence from a stage and to an audience from the Netherlands, Iran, or Argentina entails different ways of  relating to and interacting with the world. How do the personal and the political change in the movement across these contexts? And how is that which is represented transformed, misunderstood, and/or reconceptualized?

All these questions aim to open a critical reflection and dialogue on the personal/political role of the stage; they intend to reflect on the ways that the stage (re)shapes gender, sexuality, and race across geopolitical borders in the contemporary moment. We want to rethink what the stage is according to its location, as well as its implications for the way in which we understand the world. We call for a dialogue that problematizes simplistic understandings of assimilation and resistance; we want to move beyond taking a film, or a play, or a street performance as either revolutionary or oppressive. In short, just like Muñoz, we aim at addressing the multiplicity of bodily, political, and social implications of the stage when it gets caught in the asymmetries binding different sociopolitical contexts.


Muñoz, José Esteban. 1999. Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics. Cultural Studies of America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Call for Contributions:

We aim at opening a dialogue that attends to but is not reduced to academic and theoretical stances. We would like to invite contributors to join the workshop with papers from academic stances, as well as personal, political, and/or artistic perspectives. In short, our intention is to organize and stage a workshop where we can engage in a profound and critical dialogue able to account for the multiple hues and complexities inherent to the staging of gender, sexuality, and race in the present moment.

Potential (Intersecting) Areas for Contributions:

- Beyond Representation and Opacity in times of Hypervisibility: Reflections on and engagements with compulsory staging/visibility for/from a Western perspective of differing racialized experiences, embodiments, and sexualities.

- Contextual Tensions on Stage: Approaches to the differences and commonalities that stages, and staging enact, assimilate, and/or subvert across different geopolitical settings.

- Trans Representations on Stage: Critical reflections on how gendered bodies and bodies in ‘transition’ are represented on stage and through different media.

- Performance and Violence: Critical engagements addressing the crossings of performance, violence, race, gender, and sexuality.

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short bio by November 30 to Shekoufeh Behbehani and Alvaro Lopez