On March 21-25, the Swarthmore Queer Trans Conference (QTC), previously known as the Sager Symposium, will be holding its annual series of events discussing topics related to queer and trans issues. Kicking off the conference with a parlour party yesterday, the QTC will be hosting a myriad of events until Sunday evening, focusing around this year’s theme of Power, Pleasure, and Violence: A New Discourse of Bodies, Desire, and Sex. The conference is free for all attendees.
QTC is organized by the QTC Planning Committee, an organization chartered by the Student Budgeting Committee. “Since Sager decided not to fund the conference, the QTC Planning Committee … works all year to convene, accommodate, compensate, and celebrate our fabulous presenters and conference attendees,” Camille Robertson ’13, one of the organizers of QTC, said.
This year’s QTC addresses a variety of different topics encompassed by the theme. “Guest speakers, performers and filmmakers will present on issues of cultural production (porn), violence and sexual abuse, non-normative sexual practices (barebacking, BDSM), theories of identity and pleasure (femme, trans), intersections of race, class, gender, nationality and sexuality and much, much more,” Robertson said. This year’s events include lectures, a film screening and various live artistic performances. Specific details about all of the events can be found on QTC’s website, qtc.swarthmore.edu.
The conference’s website discusses the nature of the general discourse on these topics, and how they hope that QTC will differ from this trend. “Much of LGBTQ political work and media coverage centers around issues of loss and pain (AIDS, gay bashing, teen suicides) and “gay rights” (gay marriage, don’t ask don’t tell).” The 2012 conference will instead turn their conversation and focus towards a “consideration of bodies, desire, and pleasure.” However, the group also made clear in the writing on their website that they “do not want to neglect the violences, grief, and isolation that many of us experience, although in different ways and to different degrees.”
Today’s events include a Reproductive Justice Panel, featuring the Philly Collaborative for Reproductive Justice, from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in Kohlberg 116 as well as a queer and trans art show in the Kitao Gallery, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. For a complete list of events happening this weekend, visit their website.