A Day of Bisexuality & Fluidity

This May, Manchester Metropolitan University hosts a day of talks on Fluid and Non-Binary Identities, hosted by Research in Arts and Humanities (RAH!)

Despite decades of organising among bisexual-identified people and the emergence of bisexuality studies as a dynamic research field, the position of bisexuality has remained rather precarious within academia and society at large. At the same time, we also witness paradoxical developments, such as spectacular media reports that refer to surveys and research studies among young people, which suggest that many adolescents are less hung-up regarding the gender of their lovers and partners and that bisexual, pansexual or omnisexual identities are on the rise. Research that has looked more closely at bisexual and (other) non-binary identities suggests that many young people put a strong emphasis on nuances and distinction.

What is at stake in these claims of differences? Can bisexuality work as an umbrella concept for all fluid, non-binary or non-monosexual identities? What is the role of generational differences in this multiplication of self-labels?

These and other questions will be discussed by researchers from across Europe and representatives of bi and LGBT organisations, including those who work with young people from the Manchester region.

The speaker lineup for the day includes:

  • Dr Renate Baumgartner (Researcher, University of Vienna, Dr in Pharmacy, MA student of Gender Studies, Student Society, University of Vienna, Austria): ‘Bisexual (non)-monogamous women in Austria: challenges and potentials’.
  • Dr Christian Klesse (Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): ‘Bisexuality, Liquidity, Modernity – contemporary discourses on bisexuality and other non-monosexual identities’.
  • Dr Emiel Maliepaard (Department of Human Geography, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands): ‘Young people and their use of sexual identity labels in different social contexts: not (only) bisexual? Findings from the Netherlands’.
  • Prof Surya Monro (Director the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences (CRISS), University of Huddersfield, UK): ‘Categories and their Discontents – Bisexual, Pansexual, Fluid, queer identities as enabling or problematic’.
  • Dr Isabel Portero Sánchez, (School of Medicine, Faculty of Social Work, Complutense University Madrid, Spain): ‘Bisexual identity construction and survival in Southern Europe: a history of violence, shame and dysfunctional care’.

Keynote address:

Dr Nikki Hayfield (Social Psychology, Department of Health and Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK): Hearts before parts? Reflecting on bisexuality and the turn to alternative non-binary identities

Panel contributions

  • Myrtle Finley (Proud Trust, Social Work Coordinator, Manchester).
  • Jen Yockney (Convenor of BiPhoria, Editor of Bi Community News magazine, Manchester).
  • Kush Chottera (Executive Director, Europia)
  • Lily Huggins (Outreach Worker, LGBT Foundation)

“Bisexual – Pansexual – Omnisexual” will be on Saturday, May 26, from 9:30 – 5:30. Tickets here.