Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Queer Data

Call for Papers: Queer Data
Editors: Evangelos Tziallas & Patrick Keilty (University of Toronto)

Since the publication of Laud Humphreys’ Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places (1970), questions about the ways in which data impact queer subjects have proliferated throughout the subsequent decades and continue to provoke research to this day (Igo 2018). Ethical issues abound in Humphreys’ methodology—he observed men having sex in public toilets by posing as a participating voyeur—his failure to acquire any form of consent, and his practice of recording car license plates and using that information to track down participants and interview them under the (dis)guise of researching public health. Humphreys’ study remains controversial to this day because the ethical dilemmas and quandaries it raised remain unresolved—how data is collected, with whom it is shared, how its analysis can impact the subject(s) from which it is derived, what qualifies as consent and privacy, and the false dichotomy between public and private.

Meanwhile, the way data politics affect queer subjects has taken on a new sense of urgency in light of a changing digital, health, and administrative landscape, from hostile anti-sex and anti-queer policies by major technology and telecommunication companies, digital surveillance in border security, the security theatre of airports, the biopolitics of pharmaceutical companies, predictive policing, data breaches within dating and hookup apps, and the proliferation of digital health and administrative records, to name only a few.

We invite scholars to take up issues related to “queer data”—broadly conceived—in a new anthology that seeks to rethink the ways in which the extraction, circulation, and use of data impacts queer subjects in a variety of contexts. The anthology will make contributions to intersectional feminist and queer research and add to the ongoing multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary dialogues about data across the social sciences, humanities, and applied sciences.

Themes can include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

·      Feminist, queer, trans, Black, anti-colonial, and anti-class data politics
·      Data extraction, circulation, and use
·      Surveillance and privacy
·      Governance and biopower
·      Human-centered data science
·      Invisible infrastructures and infrastructural failure
·      Smart cities, suburban and rural data politics
·      Health information technology
·      Social consequences of technology
·      Research methodologies

Interested contributors should send their 250-500 word abstracts to Evangelos Tziallas ( and PatrickKeilty ( by December 1st, 2019. Interested contributors are also free to email the editors for additional information.

Final contributions will be between 5000-7000 words, including references and footnotes, and will be due to the editors bySeptember 1st, 2020.

Selected Works

2018. The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in America. Sarah Igo.
2018. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. Safiya Umoja Noble.
2018. We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves. John Cheney-Lippold.
2017. The Economization of Life. Michelle Murphy.
2017. Network Sovereignty: Building the Internet Across Indian Country. Marisa Elena Duarte.
2017. Queer Feminist Science Studies: A Reader. Edited by Cyd Cipolla, Kristina Gupta, David A. Rubin, and Angela Willey.
2017. “Genealogies and Futures of Queer STS: Issues in Theory, Method, and Institutionalization.” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Stephen Molldrem and Mitali Thakor.
2017. “Size Matters to Lesbians, Too: Queer Feminist Interventions into the Scale of Big Data.” The Professional Geographer. 150-156. Jen Jack Gieseking.
2015. Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness. Simone Brown.
2015. Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of the Law. Dean Spade.
2007. Queer Online: Media Technology & Sexuality. Edited by Kate O’Riordan & David J. Phillips.
2011. “Editorial: Accessing Queer Data in a Multidisciplinary World: Where Do We Go from Queer?”  Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review.
1995. “What Does Queer Theory Teach Us About X?”. PMLA. Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner.
1970. Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. Laud Humphreys.