Monsters Summer School III

Tracing, remembering and reclaiming queer lives 

18 a 22 de setembro de 2023

Centre for Social Studies | University of Coimbra (Portugal)

Call for applications

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 from being 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 who counts as a human being, especially under the current political backlash against gender and sexual diversity.

The Monsters Summer School III embraces monstrosity in what it offers regarding the undoing of binaries and the celebration of embodied differences. We aim to trace, remember and reclaim monsters through a queer lens. 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. Finally, we interrogate the possibilities of creating knowledge from places of estrangement regarding mainstream sources of knowledge production in the academic fields of LGBTQI+ and critical studies.

Structure of the Course
The Monsters Summer School III will offer a balanced mix of keynote lectures, group discussions and hands-on workshops. Sessions will be presented and discussed in English. The week will also feature cultural events.

Confirmed Speakers
Daniela Perez Ferrandez (CES-UC, PT)
Eduarda Ferreira (CICS Nova, PT)
Calogero Giammetta (Univ. of Leicester, UK)
Line Hendriksen (Malmö University, SE)
Surya Monro (Univ. of Sheffield, UK)
Ana Cristina Santos (CES-UC, PT)

250€ early bird fee; 300€ registration after 1st June; 100€ for CES PhD students (up to 3)
Price includes tuition, all materials, coffee breaks and lunches during the Summer School.

All activities of the Summer School will be held at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. The space is easily reached by public transport and the seminar rooms are fully accessible.

Applicants should be PhD students in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities interested in exploring the issues of gender, LGBTI+, queer, disability/crip, aging and related areas. Holders of an academic, scientific, professional, activist and/or artistic curriculum that is recognized as relevant to the program by the Organizing Committee are also eligible. Topics of interest include:

- ageing bodies
- biopolitics/necropolitics
- crip and/or disability studies
- critical (in)human rights
- decolonial and postcolonial studies
- fat studies
- LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers
- mad studies
- monstrous embodiments
- queer geographies
- posthumanism and transhumanism
- trans, intersex and non-binary lives

To apply, you need to submit:

a) an abstract about your PhD topic (1000 words max) and a biographical note (to be circulated in advance amongst selected participants)


b) a motivation letter answering the following (700 words max):
- Why would you like to be part of this Summer School in particular?
- How does it fit your interests, how do you think it would enrich your knowledge and how could you contribute to the group discussion?

Submit your application HERE

Important dates:
21st April 2023: Deadline for submitting your application
Until 30th April: Selection of candidates
Until 31st May: Early bird registration and payment
1-30 June 2023: Late registration and payment

Organizing Committee:
Ana Cristina Santos; Ana Lúcia Santos; Joana Brilhante; Mara Pieri; Pablo Pérez Navarro; Pedro Fidalgo

Organized by:
TRACE -Tracing Queer Citizenship over Time: Ageing, ageism and age-related LGBTI+ politics in Europe
REMEMBER - Vivências de pessoas LGBTQ Idosas no Portugal Democrático (1974-2020)
GPS - Grupo de Pesquisa em Sexualidades (CES)
Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal