Call for Presentations

7th Global Conference

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Monday 20th October – Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

(formerly Sexualities: Bodies, Desires, Practices)


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How do we understand the different desires and pleasures that people engage in, and by which they define who they are and how they interact with others? How do we conceive of and make sense of different sexualities beyond simple and often flawed notions of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ or ‘deviant’ or ‘perverse’? What is at stake when we discuss sex and sexuality in the context of embodiment and the material (and messy) physicality of sex play? How do desires, identities, behaviours and practices interplay in sexual expressions in contemporary life? What challenging questions do we face in researching and theorising sexuality in the 21st Century?

The study of sexuality has developed significantly over the last 20 years and this revamping of the ‘sexualities’ conference seeks to explore issues of sex and sexuality relationally. It departs from the understanding that sexuality is socially constructed and reproduced through practices. Classifications and definitions of sex, gender and sexuality are constructed in our culture but they come “alive” and are embodied as people define themselves as particular sexual subjects, and engage in sex according to specific orientations and desires. This position-taking of individuals occurs in the context of specific social spaces and social structures, such as gender, class, race and ethnicity, etc. As people intimately interface and erotically engage with one another, sexual practices are reproduced and re-grooved, at times shaping and ingraining classifications of difference and inequality; at times new and novel ways to understand and live sexuality are forged, transforming the realm of possibility beyond the normative.

The project seeks to develop a space for discussion and debate about the interplay of identities, orientations, desires, pleasures, taboos, relations, behaviours and practices of sex and sexuality across a range of critical, contextual and cultural perspectives. Seeking to encourage innovative, creative, inter, multi and post disciplinary dialogues in national and global contexts, we welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations which struggle to understand what it is to be sexual and how sex and sexuality are negotiated and lived. We particularly welcome papers that explore the creative spaces where biology, sexology, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, arts and humanities, philosophy and contemporary theories and critiques – social constructionism, queer theory, crip theory and affect theory – collide, oppose, conjoin and intermesh, bringing one another to fruitful crisis.

We welcome traditional papers, panels, workshop proposals and other forms of performance – recognising that different disciplines express themselves in different mediums and seek submissions on any of the following themes:

Being/Desiring/Doing

  • Homogeneity and heterogeneity, sameness and diversity, identity and fluid sexualities.
  • Theories sexuality – merging social constructionism, queer theory, crip theory and affect theory.
  • The other from within; unfixed sexualities, fluid identities; a sexual ethics for our times.
  • What are the limits and scope to defining ourselves in social spaces through our desires?
  • Structures, institutions and systems.
  • Acts and interactions; representations and symbols.

Sexual and Embodied Practices

  • Embodiment, bodies and mapping desires in flesh.
  • Sex as economic, social and symbolic capital.
  • Bonds of lust and desire; unleashing and containing; unlocking and repressing.
  • Body rituals and exchange: aesthetics, explorations, games, representations.
  • Persons re-inventing their bodies, desires and lust.
  • Consumption and consumerism: sex for purchase, sex work, sex toys.

Sexual Space/ Sexual Time

  • The public and the private: linking social and intimate identities and sexuality.
  • Hooking-up, casual sex, one-night stands; sex with strangers.
  • Local sexualities, international sexualities; sexual tourism.
  • Pre-modern, modern and postmodern sexualities and their expressions.
  • Old tech, new tech, new sex? Phone sex, cyber-sex, web sex and virtual sex.

Sexual Affect and Relationships

  • Sexual relationships: from marriage to fuck buddies.
  • The entanglements of romance and desire, sex and social relations, love and pleasure.
  • Norms that rule our sexual lives; the death or killing of desire and lust.
  • The meaning of sexual relationships: commitment, respect, exchange, use.
  • Isolation, loneliness, estrangement and sexual deprivation.
  • Pleasures of the self; masturbation as detached sex?
  • Detachment and the destruction of trust; betrayal, cheating and infidelity.
  • Separation, mourning and bereavement; unlinking, unloving and unsexing.

Narrative, Aesthetic and Creative Representations of Sexuality

  • The theatre of sex and sexual beings; sex on stage and on the stage of life.
  • The secular and the religious; the heretical and the sacred and their place in our desires.
  • Dreams, fantasies and desire; symbols, meaning and the unconscious.
  • Unfixing sexual categories of the self through art and artistic creation and narratives.
  • The grammar of lust and desire in artistic creation and representation.
  • Pornography and the erotic: artistic representation, aesthetic and creative virtue, narrative displacement?
  • Is there a creation of new sexual territories by way of art and the aesthetic realm?

Sexual Citizenship: Belonging and Activism

  • Sexual diversity – scope and limits?
  • Sex, health and safety and the impact of technologies and medicine.
  • New sexual expertise, changing understandings of the sexual?
  • Inequality, power relations, domination and sexuality.
  • Normalisation and the good sexual citizen; dissidence and the refusal to comply.
  • Social movements and their impact on rights and institutional change.
  • Sexual freedom, personhood, resistance and rebellion.

Uncomfortable Territories

  • Violence and sex; sexual abuse; abjection and sexuality; subjection and the sexual self.
  • Sex and animals, sex and pets; sex, desire and love across species boundaries.
  • Family, blood bonds and sex within boundaries of kinship; desire, sex and incest.
  • Sex games and sexual play that make people uncomfortable.
  • Scatological desire and sex; death, lust and sex.
  • Dislocated, homeless, disassociated, uprooted sex, desire and lust.

Proposals will be considered on any related theme.

What to send:
300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 11th July 2014. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 17th September 2014. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Sexualities 7 Abstract Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Serena Petrella: serep@inter-disciplinary.net
Rob Fisher: sexualities7@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Gender and Sexuality  programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.