Dr. Gianmaria Colpani

Muntstraat 2-2a
Muntstraat 2-2A
3512 EV Utrecht

Dr. Gianmaria Colpani

Assistant Professor
Gender Studies

Doing Gender lecture by Selma James

Utrecht University, 8 March 2024

Building a Movement: From the International Wages for Housework Campaign to the Global Women's Strike

To mark this year’s International Women’s Day, renowned socialist feminist campaigner and thinker Selma James will deliver a Doing Gender lecture on the historical and political trajectories leading from the 1970’s International Wages for Housework Campaign to the contemporary Global Women's Strike movement. James launched Wages for Housework in March 1972 and is today coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike. She was also the first spokeswoman of the English Collective of Prostitutes, which campaigns for decriminalization and for viable economic alternatives to sex work. She is a founder of the Crossroads Women’s Centre in London, and a founding member of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. With her husband CLR James (Author of The Black Jacobins about the 1804 Haitian revolution) she was active in the 1960’s movement for the independence and federation of the English-speaking Caribbean. She is the co-author (with Mariarosa Dalla Costa) of the classic The Power of Women & The Subversion of Community (1972) and the author, among others, of Sex, Race & Class (1974), Marx and Feminism (1983) and Our time is Now: Sex, Race, Class and Caring for People and Planet (2021).

Time: 15.00-16.30

Location: Janskerkhof 2-3, room 019

Chair: Gianmaria Colpani



A Fabulous Archive: Encounters with Porpora Marcasciano

Utrecht University, 18-19 January 2024

Organizers: Dr Gianmaria Colpani, Dr Monica Jansen, Dr Domitilla (domi) Olivieri


Thursday 18 January

Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, Grote Zaal, 16.30-18.00

Book launch of Porpora Marcasciano’s AntoloGaia: Queering the Seventies, A Radical Trans Memoir (Rutgers University Press, 2023)

AntoloGaia offers an insider’s look at the beginnings of the gay liberation movement in Italy and reveals how it was intimately intertwined with other forms of left-wing activism. At the same time, it powerfully conveys the queer joy of a young person from a small village first encountering the vibrant sexual minority communities of Naples, Bologna, and Rome. As Marcasciano starts to embrace her trans identity, she meets the famous anthropologist Pino Simonelli, who introduces her to Naples’s unique femminielli subculture and gives her the name Porporino, which she later shortens to Porpora. In keeping with this story of gender, sexual, and political discovery, AntoloGaia is the first piece of Italian life-writing to use gender-neutral and mixed-gender language.

Porpora Mascasciano will be in dialogue with Gianmaria Colpani (Gender Studies, Utrecht University), Monica Jansen (Italian Language and Culture, Utrecht University), Marijke Huisman (Cultural History, Utrecht University), and Vreer Sirenu (TGEU and Principle 17, Amsterdam).


Friday 19 January

Drift 25, room 1.03, 10.00-13.00

NOG Masterclass ‘Queer and Trans Archives and Activisms’

In this masterclass, participants will have a chance to encounter Porpora Marcasciano’s archive, to explore the political and epistemological challenges involved in building and working with queer and trans archives, and to discuss their own feminist, queer, and trans research projects with Marcasciano herself.


Friday 19 January

Kromme Nieuwegracht 20, Grote Zaal, 16.00-17.30

Film screening of the movie Porpora (Directed by Roberto Cannavò, 60min, Italy, 2021)

The battles of ’77, the crazy Roman nights, political commitment. On a road trip, the leader of the Italian trans movement, Porpora Marcasciano, relives her political and human education with Vittorio, a witness from a new generation. The journey towards her Southern hometown is a discovery of the effects of the past on the present, between intimate stories and encounters with historical figures of the trans movement and the femminielli community of Naples.

Q&A with Porpora Marcasciano and Domitilla (domi) Olivieri (Gender Studies, Utrecht University).



NOISE Summer School 'Queer, Trans, Sexual Archives'

Utrecht University, 28 August - 1 September 2023

Coordinators: Dr Gianmaria Colpani & Dr Domitilla (domi) Olivieri

Twelve years after the first NOISE summer school devoted to lesbian and gay sexualities and Queer Studies in Europe, this year’s NOISE returns to the topic while engaging with key transformations in the study of sex, sexuality, and sexual politics. By now the field of Queer and Lesbian & Gay Studies has been reshaped by the emergence and consolidation of Transgender Studies and by an ongoing process of critical clarification (and transgression) of the boundaries between queer and trans. Is there any difference between Queer Studies and Transgender Studies? And how does each field engage with the study of sex and sexuality? Additionally, Queer and Transgender Studies have been increasingly rethinking their objects – gender, sex, sexuality – through the kaleidoscope of colonial histories and racial formations. In the past twenty years, queer and trans of color critiques and postcolonial/decolonial analyses have been moving, if precariously, from margin to center within the field. What are the effects of this shift on the theory and politics of sexuality?

These transformations have also been accompanied by a growing interest in complexifying the intellectual and political genealogies of Queer Studies and Transgender Studies. This has produced new engagements with archives of sex, sexuality, and sexual politics as well as queer and trans engagements with medical, colonial, and other archives haunted by sexual investments and productive of gender and sexual formations. The archive itself has emerged as a very heterogenous site of knowledge production – from traditional and “actually existing” archives to embodied, affective, and cultural archives. The fever to expand what the archive is, means, or constitutes parallels the many revisions in theorizing and field formation that now shape Queer and Transgender Studies. How might the desire to document, record, and archive queer, trans, sexual histories reveal the territorialization of academic fields and their identity investments? Do archiving and archival work restage the role played by processes of identification in administrating libidinal sexuality? If so, could archives shine new light on the ampersand (&) that simultaneously separates and collapses Queer and Transgender Studies?

This edition of the NOISE summer school will introduce students to key debates and interventions at the crossroads of these developments, paying particular attention to the relations between queer, trans, sexual archives, ongoing processes of field formation in Queer Studies and Transgender Studies, and contemporary sexual politics.



Invited lecture and masterclass at 'Desire + Capital Vol. 2: The Commodity'

Erasmus University Rotterdam, 5-6 December 2022

In this lecture and masterclass, we will discuss the relations between contemporary queer Marxism and the political history of the gay and lesbian left, through the entry point of my current research on Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM), a solidarity group active during the 1984-85 British miners’ strike. The recent return of Marxism in queer theory has helped pose new questions and reframe old problematics within the field. On the one hand, Marxism foregrounds the problem of totality thinking for queer theory. How to theorize sexuality and sexual politics in relation to the social totality? On the other hand, by reconceptualizing the dialectical other of totality – reification – in queer terms, contemporary queer Marxism also restages a field-defining problematic for queer theory and politics: the dialectic between identity and anti-identity. In the masterclass, we will bring these theoretical questions to bear on the writing of LGBTQ political history, particularly the history of the gay and lesbian left. Looking at the experience of LGSM, we will ask what an aspiration to totality looks like in political practice and what role does identity politics (or its negation) play in articulating such aspiration. Finally, we will also ask what difference does it make to read the archive of such histories through the lens of contemporary queer Marxism.



Presentation of special issue 'Sexual Politics between the Netherlands and the Caribbean: Imperial Entanglements and Archival Desires' (Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies, 2019)

LGBTI Heritage - IHLIA, Amsterdam, 12 November 2019, 19.30-21.00

This special issue addresses the links between race, LGBTQ politics, gender, (post)colonialism and neo-colonialism, focusing on the relations between the mainland Netherlands, the Dutch Caribbean islands, and Suriname. Paying specific attention to political and epistemological questions entailed in the use of archives, it explores how queer (post)colonial subjects have been redefining citizenship through cultural and political practices at different points in time – both in the (post)colony and in the metropole.

With Dr Gianmaria Colpani (editor), Dr Wigbertson Julian Isenia (editor), Dr Paul Mepschen (chair), and Dr Esther Captain (discussant).