German Studies Lecture Series: Tom Smith
Please join us for the second event in the German Studies Lecture Series!
‘Wir durften sein’: Queer Presents in Depictions of Germany’s Club Scene by Dr Tom Smith
At least since the work of Wolfgang Tillmans in the early 1990s, images of clubs, parades and festivals have fed into norms for how queerness is represented and lived in contemporary Germany. Recent queer writers and directors continue to ask questions of these norms, casting a harsh light on the racism, sexism and queerphobia of many club environments. Yet their works insist that clubs can be sites of empowerment and depict utopian forms of queer togetherness in the here and now. They imagine Germany’s club scene as a queer present that is multiple, intersectional, contradictory and –necessarily– fleeting. This lecture draws on recent queer works including the ARD series All You Need, Hengameh Yaghoobifarah’s novel Ministerium der Träume (Ministry of Dreams), and Jünglinge’s film Futur Drei (No Hard Feelings).
Tom Smith is Senior Lecturer in German at the University of St Andrews. He researches in queer studies and gender, with a focus on East German and contemporary literature, film and culture. His book Comrades in Arms was published by Berghahn Books in 2020. His current project focuses on queer creativity in Germany’s techno scene, with a particular focus on the work of queer and trans people of colour in and around clubs and parties. He is an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker and regularly presents his work on BBC radio.