Bi… In Theory

The first Europe-wide conference focused on bisexuality research and theory kicks off tomorrow in Amsterdam.

EuroBiReCon (European Bisexuality Research Conferece) follows in the footsteps of the UK’s BiReCon events which have run since 2008 on alternate years. The model has been picked up elsewhere with BiReConUSA in the United States offering a similar programme of research engagement across the pond.

Speakers come from across Europe with research in the UK, Spain, Italy and Denmark represented among others.

Opening speaker is Surya Monro from the University of Huddersfield, UK. Their presentation, “Bisexual studies: Where have we been and where are we going?” looks at the development of bisexual studies, key areas of sociological and political thought that are useful for understanding bisexuality, and ways in which the field might move forwards. It highlights some key areas of difficulty for us as bisexuals, both politically and in our academic work, and asks us to think broadly and deeply about the ways in which we might be able to effect positive change for bisexual people and for other people who face discrimination due to their sexuality and gender.

The second keynote is Dr Alex Iantaffi, from the University of Minnesota, USA. Their address “Non-binary & Bi: At the intersection of bi+ identities, experiences, research, and organizing” will take an autoethnographic approach to explore aspects of identity, experiences, research, and community organizing from their perspective as a bi scholar, therapist, and community organizer. It will address the intersection of non-binary trans and bi identities, and community organizing, using existing research evidence to highlight barriers and facilitators to health for our communities, not just on an individual, but also on a collective level. They will discuss how trans inclusion has often been coopted as an argument, most often in cis white communities, to justify a false construct of bi identities, and experiences as essentially binary. The talk will also challenge the myth of queerness as the preferred umbrella for less binary frameworks, and evaluate examples of the increased use of queer within cis, hetero, and homonormative discourses, which reinforces, rather than transcends, binary ideas of gender and sexuality.

There’s much more to it than that with speakers presenting through a day and a half of conference. Find out more here.