Summer School 2023

Queer, Trans, Sexual Archives

Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies

28 August – 1 September 2023, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

  • What makes an archive “queer” or “trans”? What practices of archival reading are being developed in Queer and Transgender Studies?
  • How can queer, trans, sexual histories – from the archives of 1970s and 1980s sexual liberation movements, through archives of colonial sexual practices, to legal and medical archives productive of gender and sexual formations – help us navigate contemporary sexual politics?
  • If we understand modern gender and sexual categories as effects of colonialism, are their non-normative and transgressive forms, such as transgender and queer, anticolonial or also colonial? How do archives shine light onto these questions?
  • Sexuality as identity has been assumed (and archived) intersectionally alongside gender and race as sexual identities, but where does that put libidinal sexuality or unconscious desire which does not have discrete objects in the form of “identity”?

Twelve years after the first NOISE summer school devoted to lesbian and gay sexualities and Queer Studies in Europe, this year’s NOISE returns to the topic while engaging with key transformations in the study of sex, sexuality, and sexual politics. By now the field of Queer and Lesbian & Gay Studies has been reshaped by the emergence and consolidation of Transgender Studies and by an ongoing process of critical clarification (and transgression) of the boundaries between queer and trans. Is there any difference between Queer Studies and Transgender Studies? And how does each field engage with the study of sex and sexuality? Additionally, Queer and Transgender Studies have been increasingly rethinking their objects – gender, sex, sexuality – through the kaleidoscope of colonial histories and racial formations. In the past twenty years, queer and trans of color critiques and postcolonial/decolonial analyses have been moving, if precariously, from margin to center within the field. What are the effects of this shift on the theory and politics of sexuality?

These transformations have also been accompanied by a growing interest in complexifying the intellectual and political genealogies of Queer Studies and Transgender Studies. This has produced new engagements with archives of sex, sexuality, and sexual politics as well as queer and trans engagements with medical, colonial, and other archives haunted by sexual investments and productive of gender and sexual formations. The archive itself has emerged as a very heterogenous site of knowledge production – from traditional and “actually existing” archives to embodied, affective, and cultural archives. The fever to expand what the archive is, means, or constitutes parallels the many revisions in theorizing and field formation that now shape Queer and Transgender Studies. How might the desire to document, record, and archive queer, trans, sexual histories reveal the territorialization of academic fields and their identity investments? Do archiving and archival work restage the role played by processes of identification in administrating libidinal sexuality? If so, could archives shine new light on the ampersand (&) that simultaneously separates and collapses Queer and Transgender Studies?

This edition of the NOISE summer school will introduce students to key debates and interventions at the crossroads of these developments, paying particular attention to the relations between queer, trans, sexual archives, ongoing processes of field formation in Queer Studies and Transgender Studies, and contemporary sexual politics.

The themes addressed through the 5-day program will be:

  • Archives of solidarity, on the histories of the gay and lesbian Left;
  • AIDS as archive, critically reframing a key genealogical anchor point for Queer and Transgender Studies;
  • Archives of radical feminism, foregrounding their complex relations with lesbian, queer, trans formations;
  • Post/colonial archives, exploring what reading practices might allow us to access them as sites of sexual subject-formation and resources for contemporary sexual politics;
  • An/aesthetic archives, emphasizing the affective dimension running through the heterogeneous archival field, from medical to artistic archives.

Summer School participants will:

  • Be introduced to diverse feminist, queer, and trans intersectional theories, with a focus on memory, representation, and power;
  • Learn to develop and apply critical and affirmative analytical tools in order to address differences and to challenge dynamics of exclusion;
  • Mobilize critical theories and reflexive practices to investigate contemporary operations of power and develop transformative interventions.

Target audience
This advanced training course offers a diverse yet coherent program of study from an interdisciplinary perspective. The Summer School is meant for PhD and MA students. Separate seminars for these two groups will be provided in the afternoons.


  • Lectures in the morning
  • Separate PhD and MA-seminars in the afternoon
  • Plenary sessions
  • Social program
  • Students prepare before NOISE by reading and collecting material for assignments (approximately 40 hours of work). After the school has ended, participants who fulfilled all requirements (preparation of assignments and reading, active participation, and final essay) receive a NOISE Certificate of 5 EC.
  • All students are expected to participate in the entire program for the duration of five days.
  • Please check the website for more information, registration and regular updates.

The NOISE Summer School 2023 will be hosted by Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Tuition Fees
The tuition fee is €500,-. This includes digital reading materials but excludes accommodation and subsistence costs (i.e., food, meals, drinks, etc.).

Teachers in the course
The NOISE Summer School is organized by the Netherlands Research School of Gender Studies (NOG, Utrecht University). The 2023 edition is coordinated by Dr. Gianmaria Colpani (Utrecht University, NL) and Dr. Eva Hayward (Utrecht University, NL).

Several renowned international scholars of gender, queer, and transgender studies, postcolonial and critical race theories, visual and cultural studies, and LGBTQ+ history will be teaching at the Summer School. Confirmed teachers include: Dr. Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay (University of Milan, Italy), Dr. Wigbertson Julian Isenia (University of Amsterdam, NL), Dr. Eliza Steinbock (Maastricht University, NL), Dr. Emily Hobson (University of Nevada Reno, US), Dr. Jules Gill-Peterson (Johns Hopkins University, US), Dr. Germán Garrido (CUNY, US), Dr. Nat Raha (Glasgow School of Art, UK), Dr. Chandra Frank (University of Cincinnati , USA), Dr. Eva Hayward (Utrecht University, NL) and Dr. Gianmaria Colpani (Utrecht University, NL).

Registration and Deadline:
Deadline: April 30, 2023.
Please download the NOISE 2023 Application form and send it to:

For more information, please email: