CfP special thematic dossier "Queering the city: spatiality and territoriality of LGBT lives in the cities of Southern Europe and Global South"


Since the 1980’s several studies, particularly in Anglo-Saxon and francophone literature, have demonstrated how the settlement and the development of “gay villages” or LGBT neighbourhoods in specific parts of urban contexts around the world (but mostly in North America and Europe) have given space to specific forms of living the city and to promote liveliness to particular urban spaces, more or less open to the rest of the cities in which they are integrated. With similarities with many other areas that have been the main drivers of urban revitalization of inner-cities, such as cultural and creative quarters or multicultural spaces, these areas are distinguished by the social practices of their users and inhabitants, the specificities of their economic activity, or their contribution to creativity or social integration. More than community ghettos, these areas have been characterized by the coexistence of diverse lifestyles, trajectories and identities, but also by the contribution of LGBT people to gentrification processes through their strong commercial, residential and symbolic presence.

However, this model does not cover the complexity of practices, attitudes and representations that naturally take place in these cities, which naturally are not restricted to those areas in those towns, nor does it encompass the diversity and complexity of identities that are inherent to them. Furthermore, these studies are reporting interesting data and results based on empirical work on the spatiality and territoriality of LGBT communities (essentially the most visible ones), but mostly just in the Global North (particularly North America and Northern and Central Europe). The importance of socio-cultural specificities in these countries (e.g., in religious, cultural or regulatory terms) in these processes can be specially considered when we question the practices, the representations, the values, and the (in)visibilities of these populations in predominantly Catholic or Muslim countries, for instance. Further studies, assuming the social, cultural, religious, economic and political diversity of realities such as the ones of Southern Europe and of the Global South, particularly Latin America and Africa, gain pertinence, and seem essential to be undertaken.

More recently, literature on these topics - particularly originating from the fields of cultural and gender studies and spreading also to other social sciences - has been drawing attention to the relevance of queer identities in these processes, emphasizing much more diverse, flexible and complex patterns that the spatialities and the territorialities of LGBT lives assume in contemporary cities, as well as the need to look more attentively at the social, cultural, economic practices of these communities. In line with this, the need to look further into the

used mechanisms in the negotiation of their identities is also underlined, in order to disentangle the complexity that marks the individual and collective LGBT life in the city and the reconfiguration of self and group identities in the urban space, from a queer perspective.

This special dossier aims to shed new light on these topics by questioning spatiality and territoriality of LGBT lives in the cities of Southern Europe and of the Global South, in these multiple perspectives. The editors welcome conceptual and empirically-based contributions to this subject for this special dossier, claiming for a wide diversity of disciplinary and theoretical approaches on the spatial patterns and the territorially embedded mechanisms inherent to the life of LGBT people, their practices and identities, and the queer identities in contemporary urban space, including, although not exclusively, the following topics:

-      Spatial patterns and territorial dynamics of LBGT communities in the city

-      LGBT life and queer identities in the city

-      Specificities of LGBT quarters/villages in Southern Europe and in the Global South

-      Ghettos, open communities and (re)construction of identities

-      Gaytrification?: LGBT communities and gentrification

-      From LGBT communities to flexible queer communities

-      The queer city vs. the LGBT city: which differences in spatial practices?

-      The real and the virtual: spatial practices and digital mediation

-      Safe zones and city spatiality

-      Ephemeral or temporary safe spaces in the city

-      Spatialities and temporalities of liminality and of transgression

-      LGBT sociability, urban conviviality and city’s nightlife

-      Art, body and queer identities and the city

-      Performativity, festivalization of public space and queer identities

-      Queer identities and the public space

-      LGBT tourism and the city dynamics

-      Social control, violence and neo-obscurantisms in contemporary city

-      LGTB social movements: association, citizenry and participation in the urban life

-      Performativity and political resistances: the aesthetics of LGBT parades


Papers can be presented in English, Portuguese, French, Italian or Spanish, and should follow the submission rules of CCT journal: