I claim: my right to be a monster […]
My right to explore myself
To reinvent myself
To take my mutation as my noble exercise.
Susy Shock | “yo monstruo mio”
The image of the monster has been historically used to epitomise danger, abnormality, sin. Even before angels, monsters were portrayed as messengers who anticipated catastrophes, such as storms and other dramatic events which would be too strong to be explained. Only good behaviour, submission to rules or faith into another inexplicable bigger entity, such as magic, witchcraft or religion, could prevent societies to be touched by monsters.
The othering of monsters – or monsters as estranged from an imagined “us” – is part of the cultural narrative that dismisses the complexity of what we call humans, contributing to the binary division between good and bad, silencing all of which exists in-between. Indeed, monsters inhabit the spaces in-between narrow definitions and expose the failure of rigid divisions between “normal” and “abnormal”. Ultimately, the figure of monsters confronts us with the precariousness of by-default normativities, triggering the need to rethink what humanity is, and, ultimately, who counts as a human being.
The INTIMATE Summer School embraces monstrosity in what it offers regarding the undoing of binaries and the celebration of embodied differences. We aim to explore who are the contemporary monsters, what are the dichotomies they challenge and how narratives on monsters contribute to definitions of human. We want to explore monsters as a possible theoretical figuration to escape mainstream celebrations of humanity and to embrace the vivid possibilities offered by interdisciplinary, boundary-crossing contributions from different fields of knowledge. We aim at creating spaces to discuss contributions and experiences that often fall out of the map even within critical studies. Also, we interrogate the possibilities of creating knowledge from places of estrangement regarding mainstream sources of knowledge production in the academic fields of LGBTQ and critical studies.
Drawing on timely, interdisciplinary theoretical contributions and intersectional empirical work on queers, crips and other misfits, the INTIMATE Summer School will consolidate academic knowledge in the fields of sexual and gender dissidence, disability and other forms of embodied misfit.
List of Confirmed Speakers
AG Arfini, Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Milan
Ana Cristina Santos, Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra
Bruno Sena Martins, Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra
Gaia Giuliani, Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra
Joacine Katar Moreira, CEI-IUL - Center for International Studies, ISCTE - IUL
Lucas Platero, CSIC - Spanish National Research Council
Ulrika Dahl, Centre for Gender Research, Uppsala University
Zowie Davy, Centre for LGBTQ Research De Montfort University
Museum of Water, Coimbra.
The space is easily accessible by public transports and has accessibility facilities inside.
Contact for further information
Organization: Ana Cristina Santos, Ana Lúcia Santos, Luciana Moreira, Mafalda Esteves, Mara Pieri and Rita Alcaire.
Organized by the ERC Research Project INTIMATE - Citizenship, Care and Choice: The Micropolitics of Intimacy in Southern Europe, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal.