Farewell to 2018

Here at CQ we’re tying things up before xmas and reflecting on an incredible 2018.

Off the back of our conference in September, we’ve managed to secure funding for new projects, including a writing retreat taking place in Nottingham in January 2019 and some money for regular meet-ups for those based in and around the West country – so if you’re feeling that familiar isolation that stems from just generally being queer in academia and beyond, request to join our mailing list by emailing criticallyqueerbristol@gmail.com and we’ll keep you updated on when we’re getting together.

With all queer love and wishing you a happy 2019!

Rosa and Rosie, Critically Queer

Draft Programme Available

We are happy to announce that the draft unfinalised programme for the Critically Queer Conference 2018 is now live and available here: Critically Queer Draft Programme

Registration is still open if you would like to register to attend what promises to be an amazing conference based on the bios and abstracts of our speakers! The link for registration is available here: https://shop.bris.ac.uk/product-catalogue/faculty-of-social-sciences-and-law/school-of-sociology-politics-and-international-studies/critically-queer-conference-2018

See you soon! #cqueer2018

Call for abstracts/workshops/performances: Critically Queer Conference 2018

The Critically Queer conference is a two-day event that will be held at the University of Bristol in September 2018. This conference is attempting to build connections between academics, community organisers, activists, artists, and individuals with a vested interest in what it means to be LGBTQIA+ in 2018. Our key interest is in pragmatic approaches to queer studies (although theoretical papers will be considered). We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words on:

  • Queer representation (e.g. media)
  • Queer embodiments (transforming bodies, transgressive sex acts, etc.)
  • Asexuality and aromanticism
  • Gender beyond the binary (legislation, medicalisation, transformation, etc.)
  • Intersectional understandings of queer communities (marginalised queer identities)
  • Queer relationships (marriage, polyamory, child-rearing, dating, etc.)
  • LGBTQIA+ geographies (including gay bars, dating websites, etc.)
  • Queer activism, community groups, and charities
  • Queer art and fashion
  • Queer faith
  • Queerness as capital
  • Queerness in academia (studying what you are, navigating institutions, overview of scholarship, etc.)
  • The power and problematics of labels


We are especially interested to hear from academics, activists, and artists from a diverse range of backgrounds, and non-traditional approaches to studying experiences of queerness (such as autoethnography, visual methodologies, etc.).


LGBT+ History Month at M-Shed Bristol

On the 10th of February 2017, we had the pleasure of attending ‘LGBT History Month: Outing the past’ at M Shed, curated with Outstories Bristol. The event was a combination of talks on various aspects of LGBTQIA+/queer history, such as the history of the Pink Pound, LGBTQIA+ influencing popular music, and the history of international LGBTQIA+ culture, as well as stalls from various wonderful LGBTQIA+-related organisations from across the South West.


The CQWG had a stall where we encouraged people to get involved with the working group, holding a day-long crafting session with a badge maker that attendees used to make themselves a colourful representation of their queer identity (or just a nice picture!). We fostered new connections with individuals and organisations working across Bristol and the South West on LGBTQIA+ issues, and showcased our *dazzling* new fliers (pictured below).


You can view the event page here,  and find information on other participating organisations below:


Bristol Pride, a group of volunteers who work to stage Bristol’s Pride festival each year. You van view their website here


LGBT Bristol work in partnership with Bristol City Council to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to become actively involved in community life. You can visit their website here


Freedom Youth, a project for LGBTQ people aged 13-19, with a weekly group held in central Bristol every Tuesday from 18:45-21:00. Freedom is a fun, safe, social space for LGBTQ young people to meet each other, discuss issues important to them and have their voices heard. Freedom is open to anyone that identifies as LGBTQ or is questioning their sexuality – no labels applied! You can view their website here


OutStories Bristol record the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Bristol, and map LGBTQIA+ history across the city. You can view their website here



Conference Update March 2018

We have been working in the background to plan our first conference to take place in September 2018.

Current updates:

  • We have successfully won a large SWDTP grant to fund the conference food, keynote speakers, travel bursaries, and room bookings
  • We are in the process of confirming the space for the conference, but it will almost definitely be at the University of Bristol near the centre for easy commuting
  • We have prepared the CFAs and CFPs which we intend to distribute when the logistics are confirmed
  • We have a shortlist of potential keynote speakers we wish to invite to speak at the conference and are in the process of emailing them
  • We have a list of volunteers from within the Critically Queer Working Group who wish to help plan the conference – we will do a skills audit over the coming weeks to find out how people would like to contribute to this process
  • We have begun this website as a hotspot for enquiries, a space to find information, and an eventual location to register for the conference

CQWG Inaugural Meeting Minutes 2017

On the 27th of November 2017, the Critically Queer Working Group held our first meeting at the University of Bristol. Rosa and Rosie planned and facilitated various activities geared towards introducing members to one another and exploring how the group would function.


You can view the minutes from the meeting here: Meeting minutes 27.07.17 and contribute to the mission statement here.


Below are some photos of the event.



Critically Queer: The Beginnings

The Critically Queer Working Group was established in late 2017 by Rosie Nelson and Rosa Targett, both of whom are PhD students at the University of Bristol.

Struggling with the lack of conversation surrounding LGBTQIA+ concerns in their department and academia broadly, and the lack of conversation between academics and community activists, practitioners, or artists, Rosa and Rosie intended to host a conference to foster further communication and discussion.

Their intent was to introduce and consolidate relationships between community organisations, academics, artists, performers and more whose work and lives are affected by LGBTQIA+ issues. In beginning to plan the conference, both founders realised that their voices would not be enough to steer the conference, and that a working group would best help diversify the intentions, outcomes, and practicalities of the intended conference.

The Critically Queer Working Group successfully applied for a grant, and held an inaugural meeting in November 2017 with many academic attendees. This meeting helped shape the direction of the working group, consolidating issues to keep in mind when hosting events, and people who could be contacted to work with in future.

Since its establishment, the Critically Queer Working Group has maintained an active Twitter discussing issues pertinent to those who hold a stake in LGBTQIA+ issues, and a mailing list which regularly advertises events, research, and more. As of March 2018, the Critically Queer Working Group has managed to successfully win a large grant from the SWDTP to host a conference. More details will follow over the next few months.