Panels and Workshops under development:

You are welcome to submit individual papers and panels or, if you are interested in joining (or creating) a session under development, please read below!

If you are interested in developing a session, please email Elijah Adiv Edelman at with: 1) Panel Title/Theme, 2) Your contact information 3) Panel/Topic description and goals

1) Historical Dimensions of Language and Sexuality 

Session Email contact:

The relationship between language and sexuality has been investigated from a number of angles to date, but historical investigations still form the exception rather than the rule. However, from a queer linguistic perspective, documenting the diachronic variability of this relationship plays a key role in deconstructing contemporary sexuality-related discourses, as it highlights the historical instability even of discourses that are highly dominant today. Theoretical debates in language and sexuality studies have placed great emphasis on the desire-identity shift in the conceptualisation of sexuality (Cameron & Kulick 2003), which is claimed to have taken place at the end of the 19th century. Still, we know only little about how this conceptual shift has changed the way we use language to talk and write about sexuality.

Echoing the conference theme “Future Directions for Language and Sexuality Inquiry”, the panel on “Historical Dimensions of Language and Sexuality” seeks to collate work that empirically engages with the question how language use about sexuality has changed across time periods and invites contributions which address this issue. The historical desire-identity shift is just one significant change whose linguistic repercussions can be studied. Other potentially relevant work may address, for example, sexuality-related language use pre-dating this shift (for example, in Old English, Middle English or Early Modern English times; e.g. Calvo 2005, Frank 2003, Nevala & Hintikka 2009, Oncins-Martínez 2006), language use before (and after) Stonewall (Leap forthcoming), linguistic representation before and after a person’s coming out (e.g. Chirrey 2003, Wong 2009), the influence of changing sexuality-related legislation on language use (for example, legalisation of same-sex marriage or prostitution; e.g. Love & Baker 2015, McEnery & Baker 2017), changing textual representations of sexually defined social groups (e.g. Koller 2013), changes in sexually relevant text types (e.g. Wyss 2008), developments in academic language use about sexuality (e.g. Baker 2013), and the linguistic effects of any other sexuality-related normative historical shifts.

The historical study of language and sexuality can be approached with a range of methodologies, including corpus linguistics, (critical) discourse analysis, linguistic ethnography, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and historical linguistics. What is important for this panel is that papers have an explicit contrastive historical dimension which highlights how sexuality-related discourses and language use have changed due to – and in support of – certain social changes.




Researchers who are interested in contributing to this panel are invited to submit an abstract to the panel organiser by 20 October 2017 ( Abstracts should be no more than 250 words (excluding references) and include the presentation title, the presenter’s name, affiliation, and email address. Abstracts must explain which sexuality-related shift is addressed, and sketch out theoretical foundations, data type, research method and basic findings. Paper presentations are 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

2) Panel Title: Queering the Linguistic Landscape

Session Email contact: Chris VanderStouwe (
Discussant: Tommaso Milani (

While Linguistic Landscape research has expanded greatly over the last several years (e.g. Landry and Bourhis 1997, Scollon and Scollon 2003, Cenoz and Gorter 2006), much of the focus has been in multilingual settings, exploring issues of power, tourism, history, and more. By comparison, relatively little scholarship has been conducted on the linguistic landscape in terms of gender and sexuality. (cf. Piller 2010, Milani and Levon 2016, VanderStouwe 2016) Following a call by Milani (2014) “that gender and sexuality should be paid serious attention by Linguistic Landscape scholars, not least because of the political loading of these social categories,” this panel seeks papers from any language-related field exploring both physical and digital linguistic landscapes with a focus on gender and sexuality related analyses. Topics may include both overt and covert displays of gender and/or sexuality in the physical or digital landscape including, but not limited to, pinkwashing, politics, (homo)nationalism, tourism, online dating, and many others.

Researchers interested in participating in this panel are invited to submit an abstract to the panel organizer by 27 October 2017 (

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words (excluding references) and include the presentation title, presenter’s name, affiliation, and email address. Abstracts must situate the research within the field, and provide links to the nature of sexed signs and ways that a queer theoretical lens can be applied to their work.
Paper presentations are 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion.

3) Graduate student work-in-progress

Session Email contact: Lucy Jones (University of Nottingham, UK)

This session allows Masters and Doctoral students at the early stages of their research to discuss their ideas and plans with colleagues in a supportive forum. It is intended as an opportunity for students to receive constructive feedback which might inform their future research.

Who is this aimed at? Presenters must currently be, or be planning to become, a graduate student working on a topic relevant to the Lavender Languages and Linguistics conference. This session is not intended for those ready to discuss projects that are near completion. Presenters may have collected data they have not yet explored systematically, but have some preliminary observations they think might be meaningful. Others may have determined their research questions and objectives but not yet decided on their methodology. Some may not yet have established their research questions or approach, but know broadly what they want to do and how it will fill a gap in the field. Students in these situations will benefit from sharing their ideas with others, hearing about different approaches, and offering their thoughts to fellow presenters. Although presentation slots are limited to graduate students only, established scholars in language and sexuality/queer linguistics will also be present in the audience to share their thoughts and advice.

How will it work? Presenters will have 5 minutes maximum to share their work-in-progress: there will not be time to lay out the theoretical background in detail or go into any specifics. Instead, the aim is to offer brief highlights of a project’s aims, the approach that might be/is being taken, and any very preliminary findings or observations. Presenters are welcome to use slides/visual aids, but this is not a pre-requisite of participation in the session. Each presentation will be followed by a 5-minute informal discussion session with the audience.

If you would like to present your research ideas, please email Lucy Jones on by 15 November 2017 with a Word document containing the following:

• Your project’s working title • Your name, email address, the university where you are a graduate student, and the graduate program you are enrolled on • A 150-word (max.) abstract detailing: 1) The intended aims and objectives of your project 2)Your likely/actual methodological approach 3) The likely stage of your research by the time of the conference (e.g. if you will be establishing your methodology, applying for ethical approval, beginning data collection, starting your analysis, etc). Participation will be confirmed by email in January 2018.

4) Gender and Sexuality in Discourses on Muslims in France

Session Email contact: Adi Bharat (University of Manchester, UK) 

Please submit abstracts to Adi Bharat by November 1st 2017

This panel aims to examine the extent to which discourses in a variety of fields—be it in the media, popular culture, government/official statements, etc.—on Muslims in France are framed by gender and sexuality. In particular, the panel hopes to shed light on how these discourses construct Muslims as monolithic outsiders to the Republic whose illiberal positions towards gender and sexuality erect a barrier between them and “native” French citizens. In doing so, the panel seeks to better understand how race, gender, and sexuality intersect at the heart of contemporary anti-Muslim bigotry and discrimination in France. Language-based papers from any discipline and methodological approach are welcome. Papers focussing on counter-discourses in the public sphere that challenge representations of the perennial illiberal Muslim subject are particularly welcome.

5)  Queer Linguistic Futures: Linguistic Insurgents and Homonormativity

Session Email contact: Sean Nonnenmacher (University of Pittsburgh) and Brian Adams-Thies at (University of Arizona-North Valley). Please send paper abstracts (up to 300 words) by November 15.
This panel is designed to interrogate how queers (broadly defined) continue to work in concert and challenge established forms of queer language created through homonormativities present in various socio-cultural contexts. Duggan (2002) claimed homonormativity demanded a retreat from the public sphere by anchoring gay culture in the domestic. Puar, on the other hand, describes the intersections of homonormativity and the public, national, and international (2007). Many have built upon these works to explore various intersections of homonormativity and socio-cultural formations, among them: the relation to the state in the USA (Canaday 2009); in relation to physical ability (Tyburczy 2014); in relation to queer political resistance in Singapore (Lazar 2017); and the ways language and normativity intersect within various linguistic contexts (Leap 2013). Though we know homonormativity continues to shape the lives of queers, we are interested in how and in what ways ‘language insurgents’ continue to challenge homonormative language and what the responses to those challenges might be. We are interested in how homonormativity and linguistic performance both work together and yet, also against one another in ethnographically specific contexts.

This panel seeks to better understand ‘queer linguistic insurgents’ who challenge, reinvent, and and re-work long-standing homonormative linguistic practices. We are especially interested in papers addressing new media; homonormativity and its effects in the writing of ethnography; sustained ethnographic inquiry into communities of practice whose linguistic insurgency continues into the present; imagined futures of linguistic insurgents.