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Strands

1. Beyond Modern Institutions

Many modern institutions, such as gendered work, the economy, education and family, are in flux in contemporary Europe. Generally, the employment patterns have become increasingly precarious in the new economy. Educational degrees do not guarantee life-long careers. The relatively permanent family structures have lost their significance in many people’s lives. However, at the same time, new ways and practices of organizing everyday life are emerging and binding together work, the economy, education and families. These new practices both rely on and create new femininities and masculinities and new ways of doing, performing and undoing gender and sexuality.

The strand invites critical theoretical and empirical analyses on topics which include, but are not limited to, the following:

- feminist encounters and coping strategies with work, the new economy, education and families;
- gendering consequences of the reorganization of the boundaries between public and private life (i.e. the asset-based welfare state, among others);
- web-based life in work, education and families;
- sexualization and embodiment in work, education and families;
- emerging gendered power relations beyond modern institutions;
- gendered continuums and transformations embedded in the reorganization and individualization of life;
- feminist futures and future visions of European societal life.


2. Embodiment and Affect

The discourse on global neoliberal culture and gender has emerged over the past decade. In particular, the myriad ways neoliberal ethos, policies and practices promote gender inequality have been addressed. In this strand we would like to take this discussion further and explicitly focus on contemporary capitalism. The (intersectional) body is given meaning, worked and reworked in the capitalist setting in a number of ways. We are seeking papers that explore subjectivity, body, embodiment, emotions and affect in relation to a wider context of present-day economics, capitalist logic and neoliberal culture. Emotional and economic discourses are intertwined and thus mutually shape each other. How is the capitalist ethos fused with emotional and intimate life? In the current capitalist conjuncture, how do emotions accumulate value and ascribe certain bodies with value? How do affects constitute bodies belonging or not-belonging to collectives, such as that of the nation or the middle class? What are the cultural and emotional resources for self-making in capitalist society? How are intersecting class struggles (gender and race) expressed by embodied subjects and through utterances of affect? This strand welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers from any field of study.


3. Feminist Histories, Feminist Futures

This strand aims to gather feminist researchers interested in feminist pasts, legacies and futures, including scholars working on a range of postcolonial, transnational, queer, trans*, crip and other feminist projects. The papers may range broadly, from empirical historiographical work and contemplation about gender history methodologies to accounts of the past and future directions of feminist historiography and theory. The themes of the papers may include, but are not restricted to, the following: What are the most pressing methodological and theoretical challenges for feminist historians and for writing histories of feminisms? What are the challenges and directions of research suggested by queer, trans*, intersex, postcolonial, transnational and antiracist critique and rethinking of feminist historiography and women’s or gender history? What are the most potent ‘traveling concepts’ in feminist historiography and how have they transformed feminist theorizing? How can the history of capitalism be rewritten using a gender/sex/class lens? Are there links and possible fruitful convergences between material feminisms, the recent debates about ontology and posthumanism, and feminist historiography/gender history? What are the practices, politics and implications of studying and formulating different pasts or futures of feminisms and feminist theory? How do we wish to see the future of feminist historiography?


4. Feminist Theory, Methodology, Practice


This strand invites presentations that address feminist knowledge production in academic teaching and research as well as in feminist activism.

Feminist scholars, organizations and activists have responded to the current global, transnational and local challenges in a multitude of critical, provocative, subversive and creative ways. In recent years, the importance of intersectional analyses has been emphasized more than ever, and the transgressive character of feminism has been problematized once again. Yet, tensions between feminisms also draw attention to a problematic discursive and material re/production of dominance and exclusion in terms of, for example, the existence of normative gender and sexual policies and practices; the continued low awareness of the existence of privileges, such as whiteness, ablebodiness and cisgender; being limited to national-level analysis and activism; the dismissal of religion and spirituality and the lack of engagement among more well-situated feminist groups with the intensification of class inequalities.

These are all examples of urgent complexities relevant to feminism that require further empirical, theoretical and methodological exploration. What space is there within feminism today to deal with such (or similar) complexities? How are issues like these manifested, managed and understood in feminist scholarship, organizations or activist groups? What methods and methodologies have scholars, grassroots feminists and practitioners developed to engage with the shifting nature of dominance and new forms of marginalization?

This strand invites contributions that analytically engage with contradictions within feminism as well as presentations that discuss critical or creative feminist methodologies and practices attempting to identify and impair power and dominance in its various forms. We are particularly interested in contributions that reflect on the relationship between the doing and knowing of feminism through analyses of the interplay between practice and theory in feminist teaching, research and/or activism.


5. Feminist New Materialisms and Science and Technology Studies (STS)

This strand invites papers from a wide range of (inter)disciplines that explore and develop feminist new materialisms and science and technology studies (STS). We would especially like to welcome methodological presentations on feminist research in these respective fields of study.

Some of the questions associated with the strand include the following: What does it mean methodologically – and theoretically and politically – for feminist studies to examine materialities as active, recalcitrant, capable of affectivity and change, and co-constitutive with discourses and knowledges? What new understandings of bodies, agencies, differences and ethics are being developed within feminist new materialisms and STS? What novel understandings of sex and gender are taking form? How can feminist new materialisms and STS establish new, critical and creative conversations between natural/life scientific knowledges and human and social sciences?

Additional topics of presentation might include, but are not limited to, the following: singular relationships between the theoretical and the empirical; feminist genealogies of new materialisms and STS; and feminist new materialisms’ and STS’ connections with posthumanism, digital humanities and environmental humanities.


6. Gender and Politics

This strand warmly invites papers that explore the connections between gender and politics – broadly understood. Neoliberalism is fundamentally reshaping the relationships between markets and politics, the effects of which impact a range of issues that gender and politics scholars have studied. Neoliberalism has arguably changed our subjectivities, agency, discourses, state politics and the ways in which feminists and women’s movements operate and formulate their claims and demands. Recently, the financial crisis has intensified these processes; therefore, in this strand, we wish to explore the impact of this crisis in Europe and beyond. We are interested in the transnational diffusion of ideas, norms and policies as well as the impact of international politics and crises on the national contexts and vice versa. We invite both theoretical and empirical papers that explore these issues in relation to such key themes as gender equality politics and policies, questions around gendered political representation, intersectionality and multiculturalism, different policy areas (violence, care, employment, prostitution, human rights), political institutions (political parties, parliaments, international organisations) and the position of women’s and feminist movements and knowledge formation.


7. Postcolonial Global/Local

We are living in a time of extremes – extreme poverty and wealth, extreme environmental disasters and extreme insecurity and securitization – referred to in feminist literature as ‘post-911 global restructuring’. This system of technomuscular capitalism, or capitalist
racist patriarchy, bears a direct impact on the lives of millions of people both in the Global South and Global North, fundamentally transforming what local means and how gendered subjectivities are lived.

In this strand we wish to discuss the ways in which the global/local dynamics and the interconnections between different forms of oppression and inequality manifest, while at the same time recognizing the variety of alternative forms of social organizing, resistance and projects aiming to create more justice, equality and well-being in the world. We want to encourage discussion on the possibility of building ‘noncolonizing feminist solidarity’, in line with Chandra Talpade Mohanty, that would be both global in reach and inspired by motivation for open-hearted dialogue. We invite theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions that address these themes in constructive ways by enabling us to recognise (and imagine) current (and future) forms of resistance, political activism, agency and feminist solidarity from a local perspective, a global perspective and a perspective which considers their intimate and complex interrelationship.


8. Genders, Embodiments and Sexualities

This strand understands that genders, embodiments and sexualities are vulnerable in different ways to economic pressures and hardships. Furthermore, they also vary in their ability to survive and/or transform these pressures and hardships into advantages.

You are welcome to present, problematize and discuss your ideas, thoughts and research on topics including, but not limited to, the commodification of certain kind of bodies and sexualities and resistance to such commodification; re/organization of kinship and sexual relations; the use of legal systems in a capitalist economy as a normalizing tool and challenges to that.

Scholars and activists who come from different disciplines and use different kinds of data are invited to suggest normcritical readings of, e.g. cultural products, social practices, political movements and citizenship.

We are looking forward to providing a space that challenges one’s own positioning by encouraging transversal dialogues among participants.


9. Sexualized and Gendered Violence

The sexualized and gendered violence strand handles both violent acts and their representations with a special focus on sexuality, femininities and masculinities. In fact, our understanding of violence as a social, cultural phenomenon – and not only as a private phenomenon – reveals and constructs sexuality in many ways. We will also discuss the national, ethnic and cultural differences, e.g. the different localities and positions in which gendered violence takes place. As feminists scholars have pointed out, it is not just about actors themselves but rather the cultural orders that enable and recreate violence in its various forms. Nevertheless, men and women, women and women, men and men or other gendered and non-gendered combinations of agencies in violent actions and processes will be identified and reconstructed.

This strand welcomes theoretically, methodologically or empirically motivated scholars and students to discuss sexualized and gendered violence.