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Queer theorizations of bareback in three national contexts

This symposium investigated different queer perspectives on ‘bareback’ sex across three national contexts (France, Britain and the US). As part of the three-year AHRC-funded research project, ‘Queer Theory in France’, the symposium was focused on the specificities of the French queer experience of bareback in an international frame. The symposium considered historically how grassroots HIV-AIDS activism influenced queer theory differently in the three national contexts and investigated how bareback has been thought and figured in the light of those differences. The symposium tracked the flow of queer thinking about bareback – authorized and unauthorized, moralistic and anthropological alike – and inquired into the process of its self-constitution as 'queer theory'. With a keynote address by one of the leading queer thinkers of bareback, Tim Dean, a response by Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at Birmingham University, Lisa Downing, and other papers by both established and early-career researchers, as well as healthcare professionals and activists, this symposium shed new light simultaneously on the phenomenon of bareback and the queer-theoretical discourses which would apprehend it.

A publication arising from papers delivered at this symposium will be available in due course.


Programme

10.00 Welcome and opening remarks from Oliver Davis

10.15 Matthew Grundy-Bowers (City University, London), ‘Barebacking and sexual role: an interpretative qualitative analysis of HIV negative/unknown status men who have bareback sex with men’

10.45 Questions and discussion

11.00 Daniela Rojas Castro (AIDES and Lyon 2), ‘Bareback in France, an account based on workshops conducted by AIDES’

11.20 Questions and discussion

11.35 Coffee

12.00 Oliver Davis (Warwick University), ‘The Ends of Tact: dissensual dispatches from the French front in the bareback wars’

12.30 Questions and discussion

12.45 Lunch

2.00 Stuart Scott (University College London), ‘More and More Metaphors: Issues with the representation of bareback sex’

2.30 Questions and discussion

2.45 Elliot Evans (King’s College London), ‘Ton sperme sidéen et mes ovules de gouine trans: Guillaume Dustan’s queer politics through the writing of Beatriz Preciado’

3.15 Questions and discussion

3.30 Coffee

3.45 Keynote paper by Tim Dean (SUNY Buffalo), ‘You Disgust Me’

4.30 Response by Lisa Downing (Birmingham University)

4.45 Questions and concluding discussion over drinks

5.15 Close