Sexuality Summer School

The Sexuality Summer School brings postgraduates, researchers and international scholars together with artists and film makers.

The summer school gave me the opportunity to deepen my understanding of the relation between sexuality and time in a supportive yet challenging learning environment.

It offered an excellent opportunity to meet other postgraduate students and early career researchers working in the larger field of sexuality studies and queer theory.

PhD student

The summer school facilitates dialogue and discussions that speak to contemporary debates in queer and feminist sexuality studies.  

We also place a particular emphasis on the interdisciplinary study of culture.

For more information about the Sexuality Summer School visit our blog, join our mailing list, or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sexuality Summer School 2021: Queering the archive

We are thrilled to announce this year’s Sexuality Summer School will be taking place between Monday 24th and Friday 28th May 2021. Following the successful launch of our Digital Prequel last year, our 2021 programme (online, until further notice) will offer a series of events on the theme 'Queering the Archive'. We will draw on the materials and resources developed last year, supplementing them with real-time online events.    

In addition to film screenings, public lectures and readings open to the public, the Sexuality Summer School offers up to 35 registered postgraduates the opportunity to attend daytime workshops and seminars run by academics, artists, and activists. Through a mix of event formats, attendees will interrogate questions of what constitutes an archive and who has historically been excluded or absent from archival content and practices. Through discussions of contemporary issues in the study of sexuality and gender, students will also have the opportunity to explore their research, methods and ideas with peers.   

This year’s programme will include: Topher Campbell, Ajamu X, Julietta Singh, Jordy Rosenberg, Esther Newton, Holly Hughes, and Roma Havers. 

The 2021 SSS will bring together students and researchers engaged in this area of study from across various disciplines and across the world. 

Further information on events, speakers and registration can be found on the Sexuality Summer School blog. 


Past events

For information about previous years of the summer school, please see the information below:

2017 'Why Be Normal?'

Why Be Normal? (22-26 May 2017)

Public events programme included:

  • Robyn Wiegman and Clare Hemmings: The Problem with Heteronormativity
  • By Hook or By Crook (Harry Dodge and Silas Howard, 2002) film screening + panel
  • Laura Doan public lecture: Inventing Normal Sex: An Un/natural History
  • Holly Hughes performance lecture: Dyke Interrupted
  • Brian Lobel and Liz Carr performance dialogue: Normality: What is it good for?
  • Scorch solo performance

2016 'Love and its Others'

Love and its Others (23 - 27 May 2016)

Public events programme included:

  • Patricia White (Swarthmore) Public Lecture - Lesbian Reverie: Carol in History and Theory
  • Richard Fung (filmmaker, Toronto) Preview of documentary and public discussion - Re:Orientations
  • Le Gateau Chocolat (Edinburgh Fringe Preview at Contact and post-show discussion) - Icons
  • Lois Weaver and Jen Harvie (Queen Mary, London) - Collaboration as Love: Reflections on The Only Way Home Is Through the Show

2015 'Queer Arts as Activism'

Queer Arts as Activism, 18 - 22 May 2015


  • Public Lecture with art historian and filmmaker Gavin Butt (Goldsmiths)
  • "Anti-Gravitas: Queer Importance in Art and Performance"
  • "Why Sing?" Roundtable.
  • Filmmaker John Greyson (York, CA) in conversation with Richard Dyer (Kings) and Lisa Henderson (UMass Amherst) - Screening of John Greyson's Fig Trees
  • "INTER*ME: Give me an L! G! B! T! I! Q! or How I Lived (Through) my Acronymous Identities"
  • "I, Victim" Performance by David Hoyle 
  • Public lecture with writer and filmmaker Sarah Schulman (CUNY) - "Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair"

2014 'Queer Anatomies'

Queer Anatomies (26 - 30 May 2014)

In 2014, our focus was on cultural theories and histories of anatomy.

  • Lunchtime public lecture: Professor Jasbir Puar (Rutgers)
  • Film screening at Cornerhouse:United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012) followed by Q&A with director Jim Hubbard, Professor Richard Dyer (Kings) and Dr. Monica Pearl (Manchester). Co-sponsored by Screen
  • Public lecture: Professor Valerie Traub (Michigan and Simon Visiting Professorship, Manchester). Co-sponsored by SEXGEN northern network
  • Workshop at Contact: Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver in Green Screening: A Conversational Workshop 
  • Evening performance at Contact: Peggy Shaw in her new show: RUFF followed by 'Ask the Doctor: Q&A' (sponsored by Science, Stroke, Art 2014 as part of Action on Stroke Month) 
  • Public lecture: Professor Mary Bryson (University of British Columbia) and Chase Joynt (Chicago) on Cancer's Margins

The Sexuality Summer School also included workshops with Claudia Castañeda (Emerson), with Erika Alm and Kajsa Widegren (Gender Studies, Gothenburg) and members of CSSC at The University of Manchester, including: Jackie Stacey, Monica Pearl, David Alderson and Laura Doan.

2013 'Queer Now and Then'

'Queer Now and Then' 2013

In Autumn 2013, the Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture at the University of Manchester held the 'Queer Now and Then' seminar series.

Overseen by Professor Laura Doan, this set of events welcomes a number of scholars in order to explore queerness in relation to time and history.

16 October (co-sponsored with English, American Studies and Creative Writing)

19 November

10 December

Queer Imaginaries (20 - 24 May 2013)

Programme poster

2012 'Homophobia and Other Aversions'

Homophobia and Other Aversions (22 - 25 May 2012)

The 2012 Sexuality Summer School drew upon the success of its previous years, embracing an interactive learning model that combines intensive workshops, discussion panels, lectures and student-lead seminars in order to construct a supportive research community over the course of four days.

This year the conference turned towards the idea of Homophobia and Other Aversions, bringing together researchers from diverse fields including English Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Media Studies, Performance Studies and many others to discuss and critique representations and understandings of gender, sexuality and queerness as they relate to aversion. Speakers included Ann Cvetkovitch, Mary Cappello and Lois Weaver.

Ann Cvetkovich is Garwood Centennial Professor of English and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her publication An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures (Duke, 2003) develops a queer approach to trauma, contending that the field of trauma studies, limited by too strict a division between the public and the private, has overlooked the experiences of women and queers.

Mary Cappello is Professor of English at the University of Rhode Island and recently won a Guggenheim Fellowship in non-fiction. As a practitioner of literary non-fiction, Mary Cappello is primarily interested in creating forms of disruptive beauty, figuring memory in a postmodern age, bringing incompatible knowledges into the same space, and working at the borders of literary genres. Lois Weaver is Professor of Contemporary Performance Practice at Queen Mary, University of London.

She is a lecturer, performance artist, writer, director and activist. She was co-founder of Spiderwoman Theatre, Split Britches Company and the WOW Theatre in New York and Artistic Director of Gay Sweatshop Theatre in London.

The Sexuality Summer School is directed by Professor Jackie Stacey, with other CSSC staff members including Professor Laura Doan and Dr. Monica Pearl.

The week's events included

  • (Public) Plenary lectures by Ann Cvetkovich, Lois Weaver and Mary Cappello:
  • Tuesday 22 May, 5pm, John Casken Lecture Theatre, Martin Harris Centre. Ann Cvetkovich: '"To Be Able To Stand Not Knowing": Depression, Creativity, and Self-Aversion'
  • Wednesday 23 May, 5.15pm, Kanaris Room, 2nd Floor, Manchester Museum. Lois Weaver: "A Long Table on Senses of Aversion"
  • Thursday 24 May, 5pm. Mary Cappello: "Vice Viscera"
  • Workshops and discussions with the plenary speakers
  • Student-led workshops on the theme of homophobia and aversion
  • Debate on Marriage led by Monica Pearl and Nicole Vitellone
  • Workshop on psychoanalysis and homophobia led by Jeremy Tambling
  • Workshop on homophobia in Manchester
  • Workshop on homophobia and migration led by Adi Kuntsman
  • Film Screening

Programme poster

Related events

Europe-China LGBTQ Exchange, 22 - 23 March 2012

  • Made possible by the University of Manchester Centre for Chinese Studies, the British Inter-university China Centre, the Ford Foundation, and the Queer China Working Group.
  • Professor Lisa Rofel (University of California, Santa Cruz) interviews renowned queer Chinese activists Professor Li Yinhe (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) and Professor Cui Zi’en (Beijing Film Academy) (interpretation services provided).
  • 12 queer Chinese activists, academics and artists, including Professors Li and Cui, plus Professor Rofel and four Europe- and UK-based academics discuss the topic of ‘queer time and space’ as it relates to China (interpretation services provided).
  • Notable queer Chinese documentary filmmakers Fan Popo and Xiaogang present and discuss their subtitled work (interpretation services provided), hosted by Cui Zi’en.

LGBTQ exchange participants

  • Lisa Rofel, professor of anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Li Yinhe, professor of sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Cui Zi’en, filmmaker, professor, Beijing Film Academy
  • Xian, director of Common Language, lesbian community support group
  • Xiaogang, filmmaker, founder,
  • Fan Popo, filmmaker, co-coordinator, China Queer Independent Films
  • Shitou, artist/filmmaker
  • Mingming, artist/filmmaker
  • He Xiaopei, founder, Pink Space Sexuality Research Centre
  • Wei Wei, associate professor of sociology, East China Normal University
  • Fu Xiaoxing, lecturer in anthropology, Renmin University of China
  • Pei Yuxin, lecturer in sociology, Sun Yat-sen University
  • Elisabeth Engebretsen, fellow, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
  • Derek Hird, lecturer in Chinese Studies, University of Westminster
  • Bao Hongwei, lecturer in Media Studies, Nottingham Trent University
  • William Schroeder, lecturer in Chinese Studies, University of Manchester

2011 'Queer Temporalities'

Queer Temporalities (17 - 20 May 2011)

The Sexuality Summer School 2011 drew upon the success of its previous years, embracing an interactive learning model that combines intensive workshops, discussion panels, lectures and student-lead seminars in order to construct a supportive research community over the course of four days.

In 2011 the conference turned towards the idea of Queer Temporalities, bringing together researchers from diverse fields including English Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Media Studies, Performance Studies and many others to discuss and critique representations and understandings of gender, sexuality and queerness as they relate to concepts and constructions of the temporal.

Public events

  • Annamarie Jagose (University of Sydney) John Edward Taylor Visiting Fellow - 'Queer Times: Heteronormativity and the Simultaneous Orgasm'
  • Film screening - Looking for Langston dir. Isaac Julien, with an Introduction by Jackie Stacey (The University of Manchester)
  • Laura Doan (The University of Manchester) - 'Disturbing Practices: What's Queer History For?'

2010 'Feeling Queer?'

Feeling Queer? (24 - 27 May 2010)

The 2010 Sexuality Summer School's Public Lectures Series was in collaboration with Queer Up North and the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures.

Lectures featured:

  • David Eng (University of Pennsylvania): 'The Queer Space of China'
  • Mandy Merck (Royal Holloway University, London): 'Screen Tests: Andy Warhol Films Susan Sontag'
  • Richard Dyer (Kings College London): 'The Angel's Song: What about Queer Music?'


Queer Methodology seminar series

9 February 2010 

  • Darren Waldron and Chris Perriam (The University of Manchester)
  • 'Queer Film Audiences in Europe'

9 March 2010 

  • Katherine Sender (University of Pennsylvania)
  • 'Makeover Television and its Audiences: Rethinking Gender'

20 April 2010 

  • John Howard (Kings College, London)
  • 'William Eggleston's Prank'
  • Past Queer Methodology Seminar Series 

2009 'Performing Queerness'

Performing Queerness (17 - 21 May 2009)

Guest lectures and workshops at the 2009 Sexuality Summer School were offered by:

  • Juliana Snapper (Performance artist)
  • Joanne Meyerowitz (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, Yale University)
  • Amelia Jones (Art History and Visual Studies, The University of Manchester)
  • David Halperin (Department of English, University of Michigan)
  • Colleagues from Manchester contributing to the Summer School include: David Alderson, Michael Bibler, Laura Doan, Adi Kuntsman, Kaye Mitchell, Monica Pearl, Jackie Stacey (coordinator).


Queer Methodology seminar series

6 October 2009 

  • Angelia Wilson (The University of Manchester)
  • 'Queering Politics'

10 November 2009

  • Michael Bibler (The University of Manchester)
  • 'Unremarkable Queerness in the Works of Truman Capote'

24 November 2009

  • Nicholas Chare (University of Reading)
  • 'His Master's Voice: Attending to Francis Bacon's Artistic Intentions'
  • Respondent: Jonathan Katz (University at Buffalo)
  • In collaboration with David Lomas (AHVS, The University of Manchester) and the AHRC-funded project on Surrealism and Sexuality.

1 December 2009 

  • Kaye Mitchell (The University of Manchester)
  • 'Queer, Pulp and the Politics of Unintelligibility'

21 April 2009 

  • Graham Ward (The University of Manchester) 
  • 'Sex and the Soul'

2008 'Queering Culture'

Queering Culture (9 - 14 May 2008)

Queer theory has reshaped the study of sexuality for more than fifteen years now. The interventions of scholars such as Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Halberstam, Jonathan Dollimore, Lee Edelman and Jose Muñoz have queered debates about embodiment, desire, relationality, subjectivity, affect and representation in ways that have transformed our current understandings of cultural and political change.

The 2008 Summer School addressed current debates within queer studies, emphasising in particular its implication for the interdisciplinary study of culture. It offered an opportunity for students to discuss queer debates with researchers in the Centre for the Study of Sexuality and Culture at The University of Manchester alongside attending events organised by the Queer up North International Festival 2008.


Queer Methodology seminar series

9 December 2008 

  • Brian Heaphy (The University of Manchester) 
  • 'Sexual Intersubjectivities: Reflexivity, Embodiment and Power'

18 November 2008 

  • David Alderson (The University of Manchester) 
  • 'The Aestheticization of Politics in Queer Theory'

14 October 2008 

  • Laura Doan (The University of Manchester) 
  • 'Disturbing Practices: History and Sexuality'