Monsters Summer School II

Reclaiming Queers, Crips and Other Misfits

May 17 to 21, 2020

Centre for Social Studies | University of Coimbra (Portugal)



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 Monsters Summer School II embraces monstrosity in what it offers regarding the undoing of binaries and the celebration of embodied differences in times when the advancement of extreme-right and populism threatens our existence. 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 LGBTQI+ and critical studies.

Drawing on timely, interdisciplinary theoretical contributions and intersectional empirical work on queers, crips and other misfits, the Monsters’ Summer School will consolidate academic knowledge in the fields of sexual and gender dissidence, disability and other forms of embodied misfit.

The Monsters Summer School II will offer a balanced mix of keynote lectures, group discussions and workshops. Sessions will be presented and discussed in English. The week will also feature activist/cultural events, including the Coimbra LGBTQI+ Pride March on the 17th May.

Keynote Speakers
Ana Patrícia Hilário, Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Fernanda Belizário, Research Education and Community Intervention Center, Instituto Piaget
Line Henriksen, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Maria Amélia Viteri, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador
Silvia R. Maeso, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal
Zowie Davy, Centre for LGBTQ Research, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

The Summer School will be held at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra. The space is easily reached by public transports and the seminar rooms are fully accessible. The North|South Library at the Centre for Social Studies includes a large collection of books and journals on the topics covered in the Monsters Summer School, and can be a precious additional resource during your stay in Coimbra.

250€ early bird fee until 29th February; 300€ 1st - 30th March;
100€ for CES PhD students until 29th February (up to 3 places).
Price includes tuition, all materials, coffee breaks and lunches during the Summer School.

Important dates
10th January 2020: Deadline for submitting your application
End of January 2020: Selection of candidates
Until 29th February 2020: Early bird registration and payment
1-30th March 2020: Late registration and payment

[Application are now closed | Selected candidates must make their registration and payment]

Organizing Committee
Ana Cristina Santos; Ana Lúcia Santos; Joana Brilhante; Mafalda Esteves; Mara Pieri; Rita Alcaire | Contact:

Organized by: CILIA LGBTQI + project, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra (Portugal)


Overview Programme