Here & Queer: Culture and Language in Gay Human Rights Struggles

Dr Bettina Heinz
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Based on critical and interpretive examinations of linguistic queer representations in face-to-face and computer-mediated interactions, this paper analyzes global and local challenges to gay/lesbian identity and community constructions. The paper discusses how localized identities take part in, support, negotiate, and resist more globalized and globalizing trends in queer identification. This discussion is followed by an assessment of the human rights progress made by transnational gay/lesbian activists. Finally, the paper seeks to put into negotiation the cultural constraints and possibilities that govern language use as a site of personal identification as well as a site of organized political struggle. The role of 'global gay English' and the emergence of gay cybercommunities are addressed in the context of globalization. The role of language as the site of cultural changes, both in global and localized applications, is emphasized.

Keywords: Culture, Language, Gay/Lesbian, Identity, Intercultural Communication, Global Culture
Stream: Sexuality, Gender, Families
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Here & Queer

Dr Bettina Heinz

Associate Professor, School of Communication, University of North Dakota

Bettina Heinz, a native of Trier, Germany, is an associate professor in the School of Communication at the University of North Dakota. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in 1998 with a dissertation focusing on back channeling practices in bilingual speakers. She has published articles in journals such as the International and Intercultural Communication Annual, Communication Teacher, Journal of Homosexuality, Journal of Pragmatics, Communication Education, International Journal of Sexuality and Gender Studies, Multilingual, and The Journal of International Communication. She has presented more than 40 papers at regional, national, and international conferences. She employs critical and interpretive methods in her research with a focus on discourse analysis. All of her work focuses on language processes and the role of culture in communication, most frequently applied to gay and lesbian communities. Her secondary area of expertise lies in intercultural and international communication pedagogy.

Ref: H05P0193