The(e)ories: Critical Theory and Sexuality Studies


Dr Noreen Giffney (UCD Humanities Institute)

Dr Anne Mulhall (UCD School of English, Drama and Film)

Mr Michael O’Rourke (School of Psychotherapy, Independent College, Dublin)


The(e)ories: Critical Theory & Sexuality Studies is an interdisciplinary seminar series that was founded and has been organised by Dr Noreen Giffney and Mr Michael O’Rourke since 2002. Originally entitled The(e)ories: Advanced Seminars for Queer Research, Noreen and Michael changed the subtitle to Critical Theory & Sexuality Studies in 2007 to reflect their broadening research interests in psychoanalysis and deconstruction respectively. Dr Anne Mulhall joined the organising committee of The(e)ories in 2012.

The(e)ories is devoted to examining issues relating to gender and sexuality within the context of critical theory across a wide range of disciplines. The term ‘seminar series’ is a misnomer as The(e)ories also includes conferences, symposia and roundtable discussions. The series has featured speakers from Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, including some of the world’s most eminent thinkers in this area: Judith Butler, Judith Halberstam, Lee Edelman, Leo Bersani, Eve Kosofksy Sedgwick, Jeffrey Weeks, Tim Dean, Nikki Sullivan, David M. Halperin, Bracha L. Ettinger, Sally R. Munt, Sasha Roseneil, Tamsin Wilton, Del LaGrace Volcano, Luciana Parisi, Lisa Baraitser, Sara Ahmed, Nicholas Royle, Elizabeth Freeman, Lauren Berlant, Lisa Downing and Martin McQuillan to name a few. This has led to The(e)ories being recognised as one of the leading seminar series devoted to theories of gender and sexuality. People have travelled from Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA to attend and participate in events.

The organisers have been keen to develop links with other people working on critical theory in the context of gender and sexuality, and have been committed to inviting participants and respondents—academics and postgraduates—based at UCD, TCD, UCC, NUIG, UL, QUB, UU, DBS, NUIM, DCU, NCAD, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Griffith College Dublin and Independent College, Dublin among others. Events have also attracted a number of professionals working in contexts outside or in conjunction with the university, in the applied fields of psychoanalysis, clinical psychology, counselling psychology, psychotherapy, psychiatry, medicine and counselling. The(e)ories also includes activists, artists and other non-academic members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities who wish to participate in events. The events have led to a number of publications, including The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory (2009), special issues or features of the journals, Irish Feminist Review (2007), Studies in the Maternal (2009) and Studies in Gender and Sexuality (2011), and a selection of essays in Feminist Theory (2004).