Skip Navigation


Intersectional Queer Visualities

Michael du Plessis
University of Southern California

Robert Summers
University of California, Los Angeles

This session will highlight different articulations of art-historical understandings of subject/object relations, theory, and visuality as those terms themselves have been transformed through an intersection with 'queer.' We wish to trace passages to critical thinkers (e.g., Derrida, Cixous, Deleuze, Rancière, Nancy, Agamben, Ettinger, among others) and the modalities of their projects – and to ask what 'queer' practices can, or have, emerge from such critical and creative crossovers into art history? How have theories on, and around, the visual by these critical thinkers working outside of art history been 'queered' and put to work in the practice of '(un-)doing' art history – which is to ask how has the discipline of art history become un-disciplined, 'queered'? Furthermore, how is 'queer' in theory and visuality thought differently when further intersected with post-colonial theories and/or feminisms? Indeed, how has 'queer' been (re-) opened to issues such as race, ethnicity, the nation-state, and sexual difference? How have these multiple intersections with 'queer' and/in art history transformed it? Do such multiple crossings, thinkings, and doings by way of creative connections and intersections radically change the project and trajectory of art history as a discipline – if only in some of its modes and movements? If so, then what are the ramifications for the future/s of art history and its institutions? These are some of the questions that we want to explore in this session.