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Pervert Studies

My current course of study at one of our nation's top universities provides me with unique access to some of the emerging areas of scholarship that many of you may be unfarmiliar with. The following was a department-wide e-mail I thought I would pass along.


Session Organizers: Jamie Paquin & Katherine Osterlund (York University)
A session of the 2005 Canadian Anthropology and Sociology Association (CSAA)
Annual Meetings, London, Ontario, Canada; May 31st - June 3rd 2005
You are invited to submit an abstract of a paper for oral presentation of
approximately 20 minutes in length.

Initial abstract and letter of intent due Dec 31st, but NO LATER THAN
JANUARY 10TH, 2005.
Note: If you require presentation software (e.g. powerpoint) you must
indicate this with your Abstract/LOI

Complete paper due APRIL 29TH, 2005.

For inquiries and/or to submit abstracts please email: kathyo@yorku.ca
Conference information and list of sessions:

'Pervert Studies': Considerations of the social life of sex, pleasure and
the erotic

Feminist, gay and lesbian, transgender and queer studies have done much to
contest and reveal many forms of sexual persecution, subjectification,
discrimination and misconception. The task today includes extending this
critical engagement with sexual epistemologies, discourses and norms which
preclude or degrade the otherwise meaningful and pleasurable practices of
what Rubin calls 'erotic deviants' (1986). Highly refined, even reified
systems of categories may now obscure the range of practices, processes, and
realities that are the object of an expanded sociology of the erotic.

The time has come to speak of the erotic in all its dispositional variations and
forms, to bring thought and creative analysis to bear upon those domains of
erotic desire and/or conduct still in the shadows. To consider the seen and
unseen of current sexual epistemologies and assess their effects.

The pervert may be defined as 'one who has forsaken a doctrine or system
regarded as true for one esteemed false' (Oxford English Dictionary).

We propose the field of 'pervert studies' as an impetus to be fully engaged in
questioning this logic of truth and falsehood regarding erotic practice,
fantasy and desire, in order to create a space for ideas and open discussion
of erotic conduct, commitments and personas that are held meaningful by
participants and practitioners.

Pervert Studies invites theoretical or empirically-based reflection on
issues including, but not limited to:

  • The constitution of erotic subjectivity: practices, processes, 'structure' and 'agency'
  • Who are some still stigmatized erotic populations? How are these stigmas framed and contested?
  • What is the practice? The pleasure? The context in which it is cultivated and experienced?
  • Has critical sexuality studies gone far enough its investigation of eroticism? Has it created new sexual villains even as it redeemed others?
  • Perversions on the books: Sexual law/social 'laws'; Minors; Money
  • Space and place, pleasure and practice
  • Methodological issues in the study of the erotic

It truly is the end of the university as we know it.


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