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DC Queer Studies Symposium 2023

DC Queer Studies returns October 25th for "The Queer Limit of Black Memory, Ten Years Later: A Celebration of the Scholarship of Matt Richardson." In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the publication of Dr. Richardson's book, The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution.

As the first monograph to explore Black lesbian literature, The Queer Limit of Black Memory's interventions have reverberations across  lesbian studies, performance studies, social justice, issues of racial equity, and trans studies. Ten years later, we return to The Queer Limit in a political climate where queer sexuality, gender expression, and trans bodies - in bathrooms, in entertainment, in our schools - are targeted as objects of American fear and right-wing legislation.

Homophobia, transphobia, and anti-Blackness are explicitly central to Western political discourse. Now, as the US approaches the political campaign season for upcoming elections in 2024, it is time we reckon with these attacks on Black trans and queer bodies using intersectional feminist methodologies. We in the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and our co-sponsors in the Departments of English, History, the Program in Black Women's Studies, and in ARHU's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, are convening, transforming, and offering space for UMD's diverse community to discuss how race, gender, and feminism matters to LGBTQ rights, people, and political elections across the country. We will consider how the queer limits articulated by Richardson a decade ago converge on this fraught moment for Blackness, transness, and the many other intersections of gender and sexuality still entering into the frame.

This is a hybrid event, but lunch will be offered to in-person participants with RSVP.

If you have any questions or need to request any accommodations, please contact us at 


Read further to learn about our schedule for this year's event.
Time Title Speakers Moderator
9:30 AM Doors Open
10:00 AM Opening Remarks from Will Mosely and Zenzele Isoke 10:15 Poetry reading by Harriet Tubman Black Women's Studies Minor, Safiyah Dawkins
10:30 AM Living Liberation: Black Queer Women's Literary Praxes Dr. Briona Jones (University of Connecticut), Dr. Jennifer Williams (Howard University), Dr. Mary Helen Washington (UMD) Dr. Zenzele Isoke (UMD)
11:45 AM Lunch
12:45 PM Murphy's Law: A movement through love, grief and the inevitable in five parts. King Molasses Introduction by Dr. William Mosley (UMD)
1:00 PM Black Trans Storytelling: Erotic Epistemologies, Audacious Lives, and Tender Possibilities Dr. K. Marshall Green (University of Delaware), Dr. LaVelle Ridley (Ohio State University), Molasses Dr. Sayan Bhattacharya
2:15 PM Break
2:30 PM Keynote: A Conversation with Matt Richardson featuring LaMonda Horton-Stallings Dr. Matt Richardson, Dr. LaMonda Horton-Stallings Dr. Alexis Lothian, UMD
3:45 PM Closing Remarks