Publication Details

Willis, I. (2007). Slash as queer utopia. Queer Space: Centres and Peripheries Conference at UTS (pp. 1-6). Sydney: University of Technology.

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UTS Conference Proceedings

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Drawing together scholars from a broad interdisciplinary field, the conference aimed to encourage discussion of queer space conceived in its broadest sense, by scholars working in disciplines as diverse as architecture, history, urban geography, design, visual communication, cultural studies, and the social sciences.


In Text, John Mowitt writes that textuality can be understood “in terms of the interplay between what takes place within a cultural production… and what, as yet, has no place within the social”. In this paper I will be trying to tease out the complicated topography produced by this interplay between what takes place and what has no place, in its specific relation to the utopic and queer spaces produced by slash fan fiction. I argue that Mowitt’s understanding of the text allows us to interrogate and to reframe the relationship between textuality and historical/social context (often metaphorized as ‘situatedness’, fixity, location). In this way we will be able to read the utopics of slash, not as the ‘no-place’ of a desire free from the constraints of the social, but as a model for politically and ethically responsible textuality.