The Closure Epidemic: How Disruptions Affect Queer Nightlife

11:00am -12:00pm
Friday, January 19th, 2024
Social Science Centre 5220

A lecture by Amin Ghaziani

Amin Ghaziani is Professor of Sociology, Canada Research Chair in Urban Sexualities, and Co-editor of Contexts, the public-facing magazine of the American Sociological Association (ASA). Prof. Ghaziani is author or editor of 6 books and 60 articles, book chapters, and essays. He has won several awards for this body of work, including a Sage Prize for Innovation and Excellence from the British Sociological Association; a Charles Tilly Honorable Mention Award for Best Book as well as a Best Article Award from the Collective Behavior/Social Movements section of the ASA; Clifford Geertz Honorable Mention Award for Best Article from the Culture section; Robert E. Park Honorable Mention Award for Best Book from the Community and Urban Sociology section; and a Distinguished Article Honorable Mention award from the Sexualities section.


Gay bars are closing around the world, and they have attracted urgent attention from scholars across disciplines. But loss is not the whole story. The image of nightlife as besieged by closures obscures what else is happening—and that what else provides a point of departure for this talk. Drawing on ethnographic observations and more than one hundred interviews, I argue that bar closures disrupted the field of nightlife and consequently encouraged the greater visibility of underground forms of fellowship called “club nights.” Unlike the fixed, place-based model of bars, club nights are spatially mobile, event-based occasions that reorient nightlife, often in response to the intersectional failures of gay bars. This argument showcases nightlife forms seldom studied by social scientists, highlights the creative capacity of disruptions, and redirects conversations in the academy from deficit to asset and joy.

The Sociology Colloquium Series, brought to you by the Department of Sociology and the Social Science Student Donation Fund, is open to the public, students and scholars of any discipline.