queer arts and theories – international research colloquium (2020 ff.)

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Aimen Siddiqui, hailing from Lahore, Pakistan, stands as a distinguished Gender Studies Scholar and future PhD aspirant, adorned with dual gold medals in her field. Her work has taken her to several international conferences where she has presented her research on victimization and strategies to mitigate it in Asian countries & on men vulnerabilities that arose during women marches in Lahore. Notably, she led an engaging session and presented on ‚The Dominion of Life: Membra(I)ne- Membranous Interconnectedness‘ at the 12th Gender Studies Association Annual Conference held at Halle and Leipzig Art Institutes, Panel moderated by Dr. Antke Engel, Director of Queer Institute, Germany, on 15th-17th June, 2023. She is also working on a paper titled; Gendered Household Decision Making in Lahore in collaboration with Dr. Iram Rubab, Head of Women Development Centre at University of Home Economics. Recently, Aimen assisted Mr. Waqar Haider Awan, a criminal lawyer and CHRS CEO with research on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration in ASEAN countries, showcasing her versatility. Additionally, Aimen is poised for a significant role with the Kashf Foundation, championing a Youth Initiative Governmental Program. Her journey encapsulates a resolute commitment to advancing gender discourse for a more equitable society.

Anchit Sathi After a two-decade-long career in business and technology, Anchit is now semi-retired, which is to say that he has stepped away from corporate life (for the most part), and spends the bulk of his time focusing on family, friends and some long-held personal interests instead. Chief amongst those personal interests is the field of comparative literature, in which he is currently pursuing a PhD at Queen Mary University of London. More details available here.

Anna T. (b. 1984) textual artist, lecturer, και θεωρητικιά, and cultural producer based in Vienna. She has taught at the Institute of Art Theory and Cultural Studies & the Institute for Education in the Arts of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and at the Media Culture and Art Theories Department of the University of Art and Design Linz. She studied Photography, Video and New Media and holds an MA in Queer studies in Arts & Culture from Birmingham City University, and a PhD from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (PhD in Practice, 2017).

She has worked as a cultural producer, curator, educator, and festival artistic director, and has collaborated extensively with academics, activists, and fellow creatives in Greece, the UK, Germany, and Austria. She has given talks, seminars and workshops in academic and non-academic settings in Athens, Berlin, Linz, and Vienna. Since 2003 she has exhibited and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions and new media festivals in Europe, North and South America, Canada and Australia. Between 2014 and 2017 she was a board member and curator at Mz* Baltazar’s Lab, a feminist hackerspace for creatives in Vienna. He book Opacity – Minority – Improvisation: An Exploration of the Closet Through Queer Slangs and Postcolonial Theory was published by Transcript in 2020. At the moment she is working on an interdisciplinary text-based project envisioned as a queerfeminist utopia (part fiction, part social critique) to act as a respite from current times. 
Anna T. (2020): Opacity – Minority – Improvisation: An Exploration of the Closet Through Queer Slangs and Postcolonial Theory
Available at

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Christina Kkona earned her PhD in History and Semiotics of Text and Image from Paris 7-Diderot University. She has been an associate professor – Marie Currie COFUND Fellow at Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) working on the monograph project The Unexpected: toward a politics and aesthetics of discontinuity, to be submitted to Bloomsbury, March 2021. Previously, she was assistant professor of World Literature and Cultural Theory at American Hellenic University, Athens campus, for seven years. Her articles and reviews in English and French have been published in international journals and conference proceedings.

Her current projects include the co-editing with Profs Didier Coste and Nicoletta Pireddu of the volume Migrating Minds: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Cultural Cosmopolitanism in Theory and Practice, forthcoming from Routledge in 2021, to which she also contributes a chapter (“Xenophilic Queerness in Woolf and Arenas”); the co-translation with Prof. Didier Coste of the book Thinking Literature across Continents; the chapter, “Androgynous and foreigner: Orlando’s revolt” in Maria Margaroni’s Kristeva and Modernism, forthcoming from Bloomsbury, 2020; the co-authoring of the book Gender and Genre in Contemporary Women’s Speculative Fiction forthcoming also from Bloomsbury, 2021. She has designed a new project “Mirroring the Queer: rewritings of the Albertine episode.” Her work to date subscribes to the tradition of queer, feminist and anti-racist studies and rests on the elaboration of an original theoretical framework, combining philosophy, psychoanalysis and cultural theory in order to develop critical and insightful analyses of literary and artistic works and thus reveal the capacity of literature and art to refine thought and transform human experience.

Cristina Veiga Judar is a novelist, screenwriter, curator and journalist from São Paulo, Brazil. Her first book, the graphic novel Lina, was launched in 2009 and received the Cultural Action Grant in the Graphic Novel category, awarded by the State Secretary of Culture in Sao Paulo. In 2011, she published her second book, Vermelho, Vivo, which also received the Cultural Action Grant. Her book of short stories, Roteiros para uma vida curta, received an Honorable Mention at the 2014 SESC Literary Awards. In 2015, she published Questions For a Live Writing, a project of poetic prose developed at the Queen Mary University of London

She was co-curator of the literary programming of the Festival Mix Brasil de Cultura da Diversidade 2018, as well as editor of the LGBT magazine Reversa. Her novel Oito do Sete was finalist of the Literary Prize Jabuti 2018 and is winner of the Literary Prize São Paulo de Literatura 2018. In March 2019, Cristina was part of Le Printemps Littéraire Brésilien 2019, with presentations at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium), the Calouste Gulbenkian Fondation, Sorbonne University, Paris Nanterre University and Paris 1 University (France). Cristina is also the organizer of an anthology of Brazilian LGBTQ authors, A resistência dos  Vaga-Lumes, which has just been launched in Brazil.

Cristina also coorganized the anthologies “A resistência dos Vaga-Lumes” (with 61 brazilian LGBTQ authors) and “Pandemonium – nine narratives bridging São Paulo and Berlin” (the English version is going to be launched in november). Cristina is one of the Brazilian fiction authors invited for the “2020 Frankfurt Book Fair”, with participation in the „Forum Brasil – Literature as Resistance“, to talk about queer representation in contemporary Brazilian literature.

Heedrinaa Deka (she/her) is an independent research scholar currently based in India. My main research interests are sense experience, perception, queer sexualities, gender studies, S/M, degenitalisation, and phenomenology. I have completed my MA in English Literature (Modern and Contemporary Pathway) from the University of Leeds in November 2021. My MA thesis was focused on the works of Patrick Califia, namely ‘Macho Sluts’, ‘No Mercy’, and ‘Melting Point’. I analysed the named works to study sense experience and degenitalisation in lesbian S/M activities. I have been engaged with the Institute for Queer Theory since January 2022. To discuss about my research interest in length, or to discuss other research-related opportunities, please feel free to contact me via email: heedrinaa (at)

Ipek Sahinler is a researcher of queer(ing) narratives from Turkish and Hispanic literatures, and a doctoral student of Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She is originally a translator from Istanbul who has worked with Turkish, Spanish, English and Italian. In 2013, she spent a semester at the University of Amsterdam, working on theories of gender and sexuality, and in 2017, she received her MSc degree from the University of Edinburgh’s Comparative Literature program. Her thesis became the first academic work to comparatively analyse examples of l’écriture féminine from Turkey and Uruguay. In her current doctoral research, she focuses on the intersections between 20th century Middle Eastern and Latin American Literatures, mainly from the perspective of queer theory. In this framework, she is particularly interested in issues such as peripheral and interconnected modernisms, language and identity-formation, word-making/world-making, and politics of dissensus. An experienced language teacher who has taught Spanish, English, and Turkish in different cultural contexts such as Bolivia, Peru, Britain and Turkey, Ipek’s scholarship emerges from Queer Hispanic Studies to seek new perspectives on the Middle East, with the goal of developing queer studies in Turkey both as a methodology and as a new form of critical engagement within literary texts and other forms of cultural production.

Alongside her studies, she delivers seminars in different cultural venues of Istanbul about what she conceptualizes as “müphem Türkçe edebiyat (queer Turkish literature). Amongst the lecture series she has organized so far are “Queer Turkish Literature” (June 2020) at Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul; “Queer Theory Summer Seminars” (July 2019) and “Looking at Turkish Literature from the Lens of Queer” (Dec 2018 to June 2019) at SPoD Istanbul.  Finally, Ipek is a member of Sabanci University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Center of Excellence and contributes to the annual Purple Certificate Program.

Kristina Eichel Kris ist promovierte Psycholog_in (Diplom-Psychologie und Dr. Phil. an der Universität zu Köln, „Achtsamkeit und Fehlerverarbeitung“, 2016) und Kognitionswissenschaftler_in (M.Sc. an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, „If not empathy, then what?“, 2021). Nach einem zweijährigen Postdoc an der Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA in klinischer Neurowissenschaft zum Thema Achtsamkeit und Meditation, lebt Kris seit 2019 in Berlin. Seit November 2021 unterrichtet Kris an der Freien Universität in klinischer Psychologie.

Kris interessiert sich für die kritische Auseinandersetzung zu den Themen Achtsamkeit, Empathie, Mitgefühl, sowie eine kritische Perspektive auf Neurowissenschaften, Philosophie des Geistes und Psychotherapie. 2019 hat Kris eine Ausbildung zur Sexualberater_in absolviert und seit August 2019 befindet sich Kris in der Ausbildung zur systemischen Psychotherapeut_in. Kris arbeitet seit April 2021 in der Institutsambulanz der Gesellschaft für Systemische Therapie und Beratung (GST) mit Einzelklient_innen, Familien und Beziehungskonstellationen.

Kris engagiert sich bei Psychologists4Future zum Thema Klimagerechtigkeit und gibt Workshops zu Gender. Eine Verbindung zwischen intersektionalem, Queer-Feminismus, pleasure activism, soziale Gerechtigkeit und Antirassismus ist Kris wichtig.

Mathias / Mati Klitgård is currently a PhD fellow at the Centre for Gender Studies, University of Stavanger, finishing their dissertation titled “Queer Materialism: Diffractions of New and Historical Materialism” under the supervision of Ingvil Hellstrand and Alberto Toscano. This project develops a diffractive methodology as building blocks to bring together the disparate critical traditions of queer theory, new materialisms and historical materialism. This feminist philosophy of science doctoral project provides diffractive readings of three case studies that constitute three independent research articles: 1) on the concept of ‘renaturalisation’ in Guy Hocquenghem to analyse the normativity in hetero-human relations to nature, 2) on Marx’s notion of ‘dead labour’ to theorise queer and trans mental distress during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and 3) on the petrocultural ramifications of the nuclear family and the possibility of family abolition.

Outside academia, Mati is a community organizer and facilitator living in Berlin. They lead workshops and trainings on consent and awareness targeted at the queer community in collaboration with local collectives and initiatives such as Lecken, Queer Mama and the Social Pleasure Center. 

Peer-reviewed publications include “Notas Hacia una Noción Materialista del Tiempo” in Lecturas Interdisciplinarias de los Cuerpos: Discursos, Emociones y AfectosH. Lopez and D. Gutiérrez (eds.), Mexico City and Bogotá: CIEG/UNAM and Universidad Central (2022); “Family Time Gone Awry: Vogue Houses and Queer Repro-Generationality at the Intersection(s) of Race and Sexuality” in Debate Feminista, vol. 57 (2019) and “Anderson on Benjamin: Liberalism’s Use of Nationalism” in TIDskrift, vol. 9 (2016).“

Saboura M. Naqshband studied Arabic Studies, Political Science and Social and Cultural Anthropology in London, Cairo and Berlin. She works as an anti-discrimination and empowerment trainer especially for associations of and for LGBTI * Q refugees and migrants in Berlin and nationwide. She also works as a translator for w_orten and meer, a publishing house of anti-discriminatory action. In particular she is concerned with the topics of (anti-Muslim) racism, Muslim feminism and religion, gender and sexuality. Saboura translated Lana Sirri’s book Introduction to Islamic feminisms (2017) into German.

Antke Antek Engel received their PhD in Philosophy at Potsdam University and works as independent scholar and guest professor in the fields of queer, feminist and poststructuralist theory, political philosophy, and visual cultural studies. They have published numerous essays, and the monographs Wider die Eindeutigkeit (2002) and Bilder von Sexualität und Ökonomie (2009).They are currently working on a project called The Sexual Political. It explores queer reconceptualizations of desire and desire’s constitutive role in and of the political. An Asa Briggs Fellowship (2019) at the University of Sussex, Brighton, provided the opportunity to develop conceptual ideas on queer cultures of conflict and the principle of queerversity. In 2021 they published three experimental videos providing introductions to queer theory.