Pasts, Presents, and Futures of Queer Utopianisms

José Esteban Muñoz wrote in Cruising Utopia that he did not “wish to render a picture of utopia that is prescriptive. [He] want[ed] instead to connote an ideality – a desire for a thing, or a way, that is not here but is nonetheless desirable, something worth striving for.” (Muñoz, 2009) Muñoz asks us to consider utopia as not a matter of the here and now, but rather as a then and there, located on a horizon that we may never reach but that we may nonetheless strive for.

Indeed, much of radical queer politics and queer living are concerned with questions of how to build a world worth striving for, as well as how to survive in the interim. From experimental land projects to street demonstrations to art installations to what Ann Cvetkovich has called a “utopia of ordinary habit” (Cvetkovich, 2012), queer folk have taken up methods with wide ranging goals and scales to seek to answer the question “how could we live?”  

This session engages with the concept of such queer utopianisms in the face of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy. We ask: what are queer utopianisms for? And for whom? Where do queer utopianisms operate and at what scale(s)? How do queer pasts speak to the possibility of queer futures? What do queer utopianisms want? And through what spatial politics do they operate?

This session invites considerations of queer utopianisms from the quotidian to mass movement scales.

I am very open to how this session might take shape and think it could be well-suited to a traditional panel, roundtable, or question-driven session. Please be in touch with a note of interest with a topic description or abstract by January 24 for consideration.

Current contributors: 
Katelyn Campbell
Panel contact: