Boka En

Making a difference: Drawing boundaries and enacting inclusions/exclusions in LGBTIQ* activism and academia (ENG)

Boka En is a PhD student and researcher/lecturer in Gender Studies at the University of Vienna. Their research and life have revolved around, among other things, queer/trans/non-binary theories and practices, non-normative relationships and intimacies, and boundaries and inclusions/exclusions in activism, art and academia. They enjoy cycling and walks and have recently begun to dip their toes into performance art.

Both across and inside of academia and activism, there are hierarchies regarding who can ‘know’ and who can ‘act’ (legitimately). The question of who gets authorised or un-authorised to act and know interacts with power relations based on gender, race, class, dis-/ability, sexuality, etc., and in turn contributes to the reproduction of these power relations. In this talk, I explore how boundaries between as well as inside activism and academia are performatively enacted. I specifically focus on how certain people, bodies and ideas – e.g. those of trans people and people of colour – are made to not belong in certain spaces, or to belong only in particular ways. Additionally, I examine how people and groups take on norms in order to be taken seriously, and how these norms can affect those who want to use them strategically.

Recommended literature

Ahmed, Sara. 2014. The Cultural Politics of Emotion. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. S. 144–151.

Pereira, Maria do Mar. 2017. Power, Knowledge and Feminist Scholarship: An Ethnography of Academia. London and New York: Routledge. S. 44–68.

Puwar, Nirmal. 2004. Space Invaders: Race, Gender and Bodies Out of Place. Oxford & New York: Berg Publishers. S. 1–12.