22 Mar 2024 - 23 Mar 2024 All day Online I Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9DP



Stephen Matthew Turton (English, University of Cambridge)


  • François·e Charmaille (English and MMLL (French), University of Cambridge)
  • Alexandra Zhirnova (ASNC, University of Cambridge)
  • Orsolya Petocz, MMLL (Italian, University of Cambridge)


  • Veronika Abbasová (Palacký University Olomouc)
  • Kadji Amin (Emory University / Cornell Society for the Humanities)
  • Katie Anania (University of Nebraska—Lincoln)
  • Abdul Awal (University of Lodz)
  • Javier Arroyo Bretaño (Rey Juan Carlos University)
  • Lee Campbell (Wimbledon College of Arts (University of the Arts London))
  • Ritoshree Chatterjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • Caitlin Dahl (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Maria De Capua (independent scholar)
  • Reid Dempsey (University of Iowa)
  • Taylor Irene Diaz (University of Minnesota)
  • Lyman R.T. Gamberton (independent scholar)
  • Joseph Gamble (University of Toledo)
  • Rabe Gambo (Umaru Musa Yar’adua University)
  • Aurora Jonathan Goga (University of Surrey)
  • Aaron Hammes (Case Western Reserve University)
  • Lee Hansen (Lancaster University)
  • Piers Haslam (University of Cambridge)
  • Roshan Johri (Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence)
  • Talitha Kearey (University of St Andrews)
  • Cass Kefford-Joyce (University of Cambridge)
  • Saad Ali Khan (Quaid-I-Azam University)
  • Nancy Mỹ Nghi La (Queen’s University (Canada))
  • Matteo Largaiolli (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)
  • William Leap (American University)
  • Harry Lewis (University of Bristol)
  • Izzy Levy (independent scholar)
  • Nicholas Lo Vecchio (independent scholar)
  • Lena Mattheis (University of Surrey)
  • Esther Meijer (University of St Andrews)
  • Andreea Moise (University of Bucharest)
  • Nicholas C. Morgan (Hampden-Sydney College)
  • Aaron Muldoon (University of Cambridge)
  • Mabel Mundy (Newcastle University)
  • Alyssa Ollivier-Tabukashvili (University of Oxford)
  • Francesco Ottonello (University of Bergamo)
  • David J. Peterson (University of Nebraska at Omaha)
  • Teresa Pilgrim (University of Surrey)
  • Rowan Powell (University of California Santa Cruz)
  • Alberto Poza Poyatos (Catalonia Open University)
  • Kai Pyle (University of Wisconsin–Madison)
  • Ruth Ramsden-Karelse (ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry)
  • Daniel Reeve (University of California Santa Barbara)
  • Ipek Sahinler (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Alexis Salas (University of Arkansas)
  • Pedro Barrios Sánchez (Complutense University of Madrid)
  • Marc Schachter (Durham University)
  • Rujeeluck Seelakate (Sorbonne University)
  • Sonji Shah (University of Cambridge)
  • Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University)
  • Farida Soliman (Queen Mary University of London)
  • Ruoci Song (University of Cambridge)
  • Tanupriya (CHRIST (Deemed to be University))
  • Seren Thomas (University of Manchester)
  • Leo Temple (University of Cambridge)
  • Yuanjiang Wang (Beijing Foreign Studies University)
  • Joe Watson (University of Warwick)
  • Diane Watt (University of Surrey)
  • Sarah Wingrove (University of Surrey)


It has been 30 years since Carla Freccero (1994) coined ‘queer philology’, but it is in the last decade that the term has reached its widest circulation – in works of linguistics, codicology, literary criticism, and cultural studies, covering texts that range from the medieval (Magnani and Watt 2018) through the early modern (Masten 2016) to the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries (Nicolazzo 2014; Turton 2022; Snediker 2015). Concurrently, queer philology has been joined by a number of related analytical lenses that have been trained on particular languages, times, and places: a ‘trans philology’ of early modern England (Gamble 2019), an ‘erotic philology’ of the Spanish Golden Age (Martín 2008), and an ‘eroto-philology’ of early twentieth-century Yiddish (Weiman-Kelman 2019).

‘Queer & Trans philologies’ is a two-day hybrid conference that seeks to give a platform to this unruly family of philologies by bringing together researchers working across disciplines on the historical ties between language, sexuality, and embodiment. The conference invites historically inflected research that builds on and broadens the linguistic and geographical scope of queer and trans philologies, that attends to the present afterlives of past taxonomies (Amin 2023), or that places trans and queer heuristics in dialogue with other modes of understanding language/sexuality/embodiment from feminist, critical race, and postcolonial studies – whether under the rubric of vocabularies of feeling (Spillers 1984), seductive sapphistry (Marcus 1987), nonce taxonomy (Sedgwick 1990), ephemeral archives (Muñoz 1996), histories of use (Ahmed 2019), or queer historical linguistics (Leap 2020).

If you have specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

Supported by:

LGBTQ+ flag with the word CRASSH written at the bottom


Day 1:  Faculty of English


Registration (Ground floor social space)


Opening remarks (Room GR05)

Stream A presentations: Room GR05

Stream B presentations: Room SR24


9:30 - 10:30

Panel 1A: Grammar & Philology

‘Sad times: queer philology, boethian philosophy’
Daniel Reeve (University of California Santa Barbar)

‘Queer corpora: embodied philologies and bad educations with the Roman grammarians’
Talitha Kearey (University of St Andrews)

‘Conventional transitoriness and Mário de Andrade’s queer grammatology’
Leo Temple (University of Cambridge)

Panel 1B: Modern philologies

‘Is the confirmed bachelor queer?’
Piers Haslam (University of Cambridge)

‘Gay “lesbian” versus gay “carefree”: the case of Gertrude Stein’s “Miss Furr and Miss Skeene” (1923)’
David J. Peterson (University of Nebraska at Omaha)

‘Queer and trans pronouns in literary history: a whistlestop tour’
Lena Mattheis (University of Surrey)

10:30 - 10:45


Panel 2A: Philological bodies

Miles Erat Phoebes: Ovid’s Callisto and the queer linguistics of female homosexuality and masculinity before the Tribas’
Izzy Levy (independant scholar)

‘“al grayþed in grene þis gome and his wedes”: queer positionality and materiality in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Harry Lewis (University of Bristol)

‘Queering the divine comedy: dual-gender identity of Vergil, the Transgendered Beatrice, and the Degendered Dante’
Ruoci Song (University of Cambridge)

Panel 2B: Translations

On knowing Greek: Sapphinities and s/Sapphic vocabularies of affect in After Sappho
Andreea Moise (University of Bucharest)

‘Translation as empowerment: towards a grammaticalization of the non-binary in spanish’
Javier Arroyo Bretaño (Rey Juan Carlos University)

‘Translating a queer device: the spanish translation of Mo 膜’
Alberto Poza Poyatos (Catalonia Open University)

11:45 - 12:00


12:00 - 13:00

Panel 3A: Historical genders

‘Prodigious Venus: martial’s epigram I.90 and the early modern “lesbian” body’
Marc Schachter (Durham University)

‘Ariel and all its quality: how notional gender shaped nonhuman genderqueerness in The Tempest
Aurora Jonathan Goga (University of Surrey)

‘Unmooring masculinity from maleness: “Knight” as a gender in early modern romance’
Mabel Mundy (Newcastle University)

Panel 3B: Genders & languages

‘Navigating gender-inclusive language in arabic: strategies and challenges for non-binary Egyptians’
Farida Soliman (Queen Mary University of London)

‘Female uncles and respected buttocks: philologies of transgender Japan’
Lyman R.T. Gamberton (independent scholar)

‘The discourse on fatherhood in hispanic Instagram digital communities of trans fathers’
Pedro Barrios Sánchez (Complutense University of Madrid)

13:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 15:00

Panel 4A: Literatures

‘Queer notes on an Italian Canzoniere (Marco Businello, Padua, second half of 15th century)’
Matteo Largaiolli (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

‘“There are no ‘men’ or ‘women’ in Urania”: non-binary gender in the early Twentieth-Century journal Urania
Cass Kefford-Joyce (University of Cambridge)

‘Being as remembering: Forrest Reid’s queer asceticism’
Aaron Muldoon (University of Cambridge)

Panel 4B: Languages in time & space

‘From Nanshoku to Dōseiai – the development of japanese vocabulary for male homosexuality’
Veronika Abbasová (Palacký University Olomouc)

‘Dismantling borders: (Un)naming the queer diasporic Algérienne’
Alyssa Ollivier-Tabukashvili (University of Oxford)

‘Queer vernaculars: the language of transgender and queer communities in Bangladesh’
Abdul Awal (University of Lodz)


15:00 - 15:15


15:15 - 16:15

Panel 5A: Environments

‘Queer, trans & non-binary cultural translations of female masculinities in early Medieval texts: it’s all butch to me!’
Teresa Pilgrim (University of Surrey)

‘Queer vocabularies in The Broken Earth Trilogy
Sonji Shah (University of Cambridge)

‘Alchemical crossings and taxonomic contaminations in Early-Modern England’
Rowan Powell (University of California Santa Cruz)

Panel 5B: Lexicographies

‘Broadening the linguistic and geographic scope of Gershon Legman’s The Language of Homosexuality: An American Glossary (1941)
William Leap (American University)

‘‘‘a neat place w[hi]ch you pass thro’’: the evolving orthography of Anne Lister’s early travel writing’
Sarah Wingrove (University of Surrey)

‘Traws Cymru: articulating trans and non-binary identities within Welsh language revival’
Seren Thomas (University of Manchester)

16:15 - 16:30


16:30 - 17:30

Keynote Lecture: Room GR05

‘From queerly phrased to queer philology’
Diane Watt (University of Surrey)

Day 2: Online

9:30 - 10:30

Panel 6A: Queer Genres

‘Queer appendages’
Joe Watson (University of Warwick)

‘Branching out: statius’ Silvae (‘forests’) as queering the classification of latin poetic genres’
Esther Meijer (University of St Andrews)

‘A queer language of desire: an affective consideration of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando
Roshan Johri (Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence)

Panel 6B: Disturbing vocabularies

‘“Pederast” by any other name in Jean Cocteau’s The White Paper
Rujeeluck Seelakate (Sorbonne University)

‘Sharing secrets in expatriate lesbian circles: parody and irony in barnes Ladies Almanack on Hall’s The Well of Loneliness Based on Barney’s Salon Symbols’
Yuanjiang Wang (Beijing Foreign Studies University)

‘A speculative genealogy of Moffie
Ruth Ramsden-Karelse (ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry)

10:30 - 10:45


10:45 - 11:45

Panel 7A: Linguistic secrecies

‘Queering Hindi: analyzing LGBTQ+ articulations and axpressions in Indian context’
Tanupriya, CHRIST (Deemed to be University)

‘Bona Polari! storytelling, secrecy and subversion in gay slang polari’
Lee Campbell (Wimbledon College of Arts (University of the Arts London))

Panel 7B: Archival contaminations

‘A homoerotic poem attributable to Torquato Tasso: Ganimede rapito
Francesco Ottonello (University of Bergamo)

‘The archive is queer : exploring gendered multivalence in Sanskrit’
Ritoshree Chatterjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

11:45 - 12:00


12:00 - 13:00

Panel 8A: Philologies of disability & liberation

‘“We must learn to read in ‘reverse letters’: […] let’s throw the capitalist machine overboard, and let’s take the world back.” The liberating goals of Mario Mieli’s subversion of language’
Maria De Capua (independent scholar)

‘Connecting joints, connecting texts and temporalities: crip/queer early modern English hamstrings’
Lee Hansen (Lancaster University)

‘Accommodation as queer philology’
Caitlin Dahl (University of Pittsburgh)

Panel 8B: Languages: Forgotten, Imagined, Masked

‘French lesbin: An early modern queer reading of Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata
Nicholas Lo Vecchio (independent scholar)

‘Roshni Kam….Tapish Zaida: Sexual desire(s), erotic imaginary(s) and the politics of self in Pakistan’
Saad Ali Khan (Quaid-I-Azam University)

‘Lesbian lingo in northern Nigeria: unmasking madigoship neologisms in Katsina’
Rabe Gambo (Umaru Musa Yar’adua University)

13:00 - 14:00

Networking session

14:00 - 15:00

Panel 9A: Linguistic experiments

‘Semantic shores of queer in Turkish’
Ipek Sahinler (University of Texas at Austin)

‘Investigating radical queer-feminist language in French’
Taylor Irene Diaz (University of Minnesota)

‘Talking hard and soft: queer lineage and trans(lational) poetics in Kim de L’Horizon’s Blutbuch
Reid Dempsey (University of Iowa)

Panel 9B: Dictionaries, glossaries, politics

‘The doctors and the dictionaries’
Joseph Gamble (University of Toledo)

‘A transliterary glossary’
Aaron Hammes (Case Western Reserve University)

‘A language for nonproducers: queer feminist data at the ends of malthusianism’
Katie Anania (University of Nebraska—Lincoln)


15:00 - 15:15


15:15 - 16:15

Panel 10A: Neologisms

‘“Queer Jingles”: Anne Lister’s nonce alphabets’
Laurie Shannon (Northwestern University)

‘“Fruit Fly”: Dorothy Dean’s queer art of neologism’
Nicholas C. Morgan (Hampden-Sydney College)

‘Plant daddy aesthetics: latinx artists and topping nature’
Alexis Salas (University of Arkansas)

Panel 10B: Using Philology

‘The uses and abuses of two-spirit wordlists’
Kai Pyle (University of Wisconsin–Madison)

‘The sexual promise of queer philology in John Lyly’s Galatea
Nancy Mỹ Nghi La (Queen’s University (Canada))

16:15 - 16:30


16:30 - 17:30

Keynote Lecture

What’s in a word? A materialist genealogy of the fairy’
Kadji Amin (Emory University / Cornell Society for the Humanities)

Call for papers

We invite 15-minute papers on:

  • Historical vocabularies of sex/gender/sexuality
  • Studies of erotic/somatic wordplay, neologism, and other forms of linguistic creativity in literary and non-literary texts
  • Trans/queer readings of grammars, dictionaries, manuals of rhetoric, and other reference works
  • Analyses of the discursive entanglement of sexed bodies/sexual behaviours with race, class, ability, and/or neurodiversity

The language of presentation is English, but we encourage research on all languages.

Please submit abstracts (150–300 words) to queertransphilologies@gmail.com, along with your name, institution (if any), and paper title. Please indicate whether you would be able to present in person or virtually.

The deadline for submissions is now closed.


Ahmed, Sara. (2019). What’s the Use? On the Uses of Use. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Amin, Kadji. (2023). Taxonomically Queer? Sexology and New Queer, Trans, and Asexual Identities. GLQ, 29(1), 92–107.

Freccero, Carla. (1994). Practicing Queer Philology with Marguerite de Navarre: Nationalism and the Castigation of Desire. In Jonathan Goldberg (Ed.), Queering the Renaissance (pp. 107–23). Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Gamble, Joseph. (2019). Towards a Trans Philology. Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, 19(4), 26–44.

Leap, William L. (2020). Language before Stonewall: Language, Sexuality, History. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Marcus, Jane. (1987). Virginia Woolf and the Languages of Patriarchy. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Magnani, Roberta, and Watt, Diane. (2018). Towards a Queer Philology. postmedieval, 9(3), 252–68.

Martín, Adrienne Laskier. (2008). An Erotic Philology of Golden Age Spain. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Masten, Jeffrey. (2016). Queer Philologies: Sex, Language, and Affect in Shakespeare’s Time. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Muñoz, J. E. (1996). Ephemera as Evidence: Introductory Notes to Queer Acts. Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory, 8(2), 5–16.

Nicolazzo, [Sal]. (2014). Reading Clarissa’s ‘Conditional Liking’: A Queer Philology. Modern Philology, 112(1), 205–25.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. (1990). Epistemology of the Closet. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Snediker, Michael D. (2015). Queer Philology and Chronic Pain: Bersani, Melville, Blanchot. Qui Parle, 23(2), 1–27.

Spillers, Hortense J. (1984). Interstices: A Small Drama of Words. In Carole S. Vance (Ed.), Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality (pp. 73–100). Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Turton, Stephen. (2022). The Lexicographical Lesbian: Remaking the Body in Anne Lister’s Erotic Glossary. The Review of English Studies, 73(310), 537–51.

Weiman-Kelman, Zohar. (2019). Eroto-philology: Sex, Language, and Yiddish History. Orbis Litterarum, 74, 58–69.

Upcoming Events


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk