In this talk Meg-John Barker draws on their recent comic book Queer: A Graphic History to introduce the idea of queer and to discuss why it’s relevant to everybody, not just to those who we might conventionally think of as being queer.
Showing illustrations from the book, Meg-John takes a quick tour through the history of different uses of the word queer and then explores how we came, historically, to the not-so-queer understanding of gender and sexuality that we mostly hear about today. After that they introduce the key concepts of queer theory and discuss how these are relevant to all of our genders and sexualities, and also far more widely than that: to the ways in which we identify ourselves and consider ourselves to be normal – or not – and to the ways in which we relate to others, form communities, and think about things. Come along and learn how to think more queerly!
Dr. Meg-John Barker is a writer, therapist, and activist-academic specialising in sex, gender and relationships.
Meg-John published the (anti-)self-help relationship book Rewriting the Rules in 2013 and they have a number of further books for the general public due out in 2016 including The Secrets of Enduring Love (with Jacqui Gabb), a comic introduction to queer (with Julia Scheele), and a practical guide to sex (with Justin Hancock).
Meg-John is also a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and has published many academic books and papers on topics including non-monogamous relationships, sadomasochism, counselling, and mindfulness, as well as co-editing the journal Psychology & Sexuality. They were the lead author of The Bisexuality Report – which has informed UK policy and practice around bisexuality – and are currently co-editing a book on non-binary gender with similar aims in that area. They are involved in running many public events on sexuality and relationships, including Sense about Sexand Critical Sexology. Meg-John is a UKCP accredited psychotherapist working with gender, sexually, and relationship diverse (GSRD) clients, and they blog about all these matters on http://www.rewriting-the-rules.com. Twitter: @megjohnbarker.