Queer (i.e., LGTB+) people occupy spaces around the world at corporations, governments, the media, universities, and many other institutions. They are also parts of our families, friend groups, and classes. Although they form an essential part of society, they often face misrepresentation and exclusion. Unfortunately, this is also true for research.
However, communication science, as an interdisciplinary social science, has the potential to be more integrative not only to queer communication theory but diverse communication in general.
The Communication Science Department’s Efforts
While the department always acknowledges the shortcoming of including diverse communication, such as non-Western theory and research by acknowledging their emphasis on Western-based research, they are not doing enough to include minority communication concerns.
Students who want to explore non-normative positions, such as queer communication theory, when writing their assignments or theses have to do it on their own. There isn’t an entire class or week of a course dedicated to marginalized communication topics. Students are on their own to find the often-hidden literature.
Pointing out and acknowledging shortcomings is the first step, but action can bring change.
As a top-ranked program, the Communication Science program at the University of Amsterdam should include diverse communication concerning alternative perspectives such as indigenous, feminist, and queer theory, among others. It is their responsibility as a leading institution in the field of communication science. Pointing out and acknowledging shortcomings is the first step, but action can bring change.
The Student’s Effort
To create this change, Mark O’Neill, a current Corporate Communication master’s student, founded the Queer Communication Library intending to increase the inclusion of intersectional topics in the department. As Mark pointed out: “Good communication scientists should strive to understand how (all) humans communicate.”
The Queer Communication Library focuses on collecting and saving material concerning queer research and theory relevant to the field of communication. It is a start, but by no means an end, in the fight entsorgung for inclusivity within the communication science department. Similar libraries regarding, for example, non-Western literature, racial, or feminist theory might even be inspired.
The project concentrates on building a crowd-sourced literature matrix that can be a useful resource for conducting research. They already have over 100 resources and have identified knowledge gaps in the field, but this is only the beginning!
Since it was launched in early 2021, the Queer Communication Library has been endorsed by student leaders, alumni, UvA Pride, the faculty and central student councils, ASVA, Amsterdam United, Student Pride NL, and the UvA’s Chief Diversity Office, among others.
The Queer Communication Library Needs YOU!
Have you ever written an assignment on a topic concerning the queer community, simply used an article in one of your essays, or are you just interested in supporting the Queer Communication Library? Then take a look at it and add your resources.
To add your resources, simply go to the Google Sheets of the Queer Communication Library. There are different sheets for every major field of the course, namely Corporate, Political, Persuasive, Entertainment, and General Communication. Choose the sheet you have material for and add the necessary information such as author, date, keywords, type of study, etc. Materials that can be added include scientific papers, blog entries, films, but are not limited to these as long as they concern Communication.
It is the goal to make the Queer Communication Library permanent: a library for everyone to find resources, get inspiration for future assignments, and add literature. It is an ongoing project that lives on because of us: students, lecturers, alumni, and everyone interested.
Therefore, the Queer Communication Library needs YOU to become a LIVING RESOURCE!
Cover: Margarete Schweinitz
Edited by: Debby Mogot