The 24th edition of this conference is hosted by the University of Brighton Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender Research in conjunction with feminist scholars from University College Dublin and Maynooth University. The organisers of this two-day international and interdisciplinary conference now welcome proposals from academics, scholars, students, activists, documentary and film-makers, writers and artists.
The Lesbian Lives Conference is not just the world’s only annual academic conference in Lesbian Studies, it is a large international event that draws speakers and participants from all continents and hosts the best-known as well as emerging scholars in the field. In the past we have hosted Emma Donoghue, Jackie Kay, Joan Nestle, Sarah Schulman, Cherry Smyth, Del La Grace Volcano, Sarah Waters, Campbell X and academics such as Sara Ahmed, Terry Castle, Laura Doan, Lisa Downing, Lillian Faderman, Sarah Franklin, Claire Hemmings, Alison Hennegan, Sally R. Munt, Helena Whitbread, Bonnie Zimmerman among many others.
The Lesbian Lives Conference is open to all genders and any political and sexual orientations. There is an ethos of welcome and accessibility. The Lesbian Lives Conference has considered and signed a comprehensive statement of support for ‘Feminists Fighting Transphobia’ accessible at: http://feministsfightingtransphobia.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/a-statement-of-trans-inclusive-feminism/
*Occasionally, organisers of some workshops will want to focus on particular issues and cohorts and will wish to limit participation on certain grounds (such as people who are recently bereaved, or to certain categories or intersections of age, race, class and gender). The Lesbian Lives Conference wishes that proposals for workshops will state clearly why they might wish to limit participation in particular ways and will, in principle, facilitate such desired boundaries. However, the Lesbian Lives Conference will not allow a positive preference operate as prejudice: grounds for focusing on particular identity issues are valid provided that they are not based on assumptions of purity and hierarchy of value.
The social, cultural and artistic impact of this annual conference cannot be underestimated as it gathers together academics, activists, performers and writers who do not otherwise have the opportunity to address such large audiences or to network across international and professional boundaries. It is a forum for political organisation on the levels of both community activism and established international NGOs. Many books (academic and literary) and films (documentaries and dramas) are launched at this event and it is continually referenced in lesbian work and events internationally.
The conference sets the parameters for debate in the manifold disciplines that now take ‘Lesbian’ or ‘Lesbian Communities’ as the object of enquiry or as a category for analysis.
The Lesbian Lives conference is open to people of all identities and strongly welcomes and encourages members of all LGBTQ communities to attend. We particularly want to extend a welcome to bi and trans communities.
The Lesbian Lives Conference is one of the few spaces remaining to us where lesbian lives remain honoured and the focus of our dialogue and discussion. The Lesbian Lives Conference tries to construct a meeting space where we can come together, meet different people and perhaps begin to figure out and envision together what a better world would look like.
We look forward to welcoming you to the conference and to hearing the exciting papers, participating in the enlivening workshops, watching the phenomenal films and engaging in a process of learning and growth.