Class out of the Closet: a research and activism event

24 August, 2013

Class out of the Closet: a research and activism event at the Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research, School of Creative Arts, Queen's University Belfast.
Friday 22 to Sat 23rd November 2013.

Curator: Paul Murphy, Director of Postgraduate Research, Brian Friel Centre.

Hosted by: The Brian Friel Centre for Theatre Research at the School of Creative Arts, Queen's University Belfast in collaboration with the Outburst Queer Arts Festival and The MAC, Belfast's newest arts centre.

From ACT UP protests to grassroot queerzines, Queer has always shone an unflinching light on sexuality and gender identity issues beyond the facade of mainstream gay culture. But in recent years, despite the increasing relevance for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, the impact of class, money and privilege has largely disappeared from the creative discussion. Class out of the Closet brings activism, counter cultural performance and academic thinking together to ask what happens when we leave social and economic status out of the queer picture. Outburst and Queen's University Belfast invite you to a lively weekend of performances, talks and creative dialogue that explores how queer performance deals with class and how the contemporary and historical stories we tell can create a new energy for action. The core aim for the weekend is to interrogate how contemporary queer performance deals with class including areas such as:

  • historical and contemporary constructions of gender and sexuality
  • intersections between class and gender
  • the role of social justice in discussions of gender
  • early sexology and class
  • trans and class
  • female husbands and working class passing women

Confirmed speakers:

Stephen Farrier
Title: Who are you calling queer? Or, Who are you calling, queer? Hailing and queer performance cultures.

Stephen Farrier is a senior lecturer and course leader of the BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre and Education degree at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. His research focuses on identity, gender and queer studies in relation to theatre and performance.

Alyson Campbell
Title: Directing The Trouble with Harry: working class female husbands and lesbian revisionism. This analysis and reflection sits alongside the world-premiere production of The Trouble with Harry, The MAC, 22-23rd November 2013, with post-show discussion on Friday 23rd.
Alyson Campbell is Head of Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne, and is a director. She is co-convenor of the IFTR's Queer Futures working group and her research, practice and teaching share a focus on affect in theatre, gender and queer theories and performance practices, dramaturgy and contemporary British and Australian theatre.

Ruth McCarthy, Festival Director, Outburst Queer Arts Festival.

Dr Charlotte Cooper, queer, feminist, fat and trans activist.

If you would like to be part of these discussions and events please contact Paul Murphy at

Given the nature of this event and our aim to make these conversations as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, all panel sessions, keynote talks and round table discussions at Queen's will be free events. Theatre and film events will be bookable separately through Outburst and the MAC.

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