Call for Contributions

1st Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference

Current Calls for Contributions – Lisbon, 2015 (25th-27th September)

Deadline: 31st of May, 2015

English (academic call; artistic / activist / performance call)
Deutsch
Português
Castellano
Hungarian
Italiano

Academic Call for Contributions

Research in sociology, psychology, anthropology and contemporary history has shown that traditional concepts and practices regarding marriage, family, sexuality, and intimacy have been changing rapidly in recent decades. There have been radical revisions of thinking and practice not only related to sexuality but also involving gender roles, single-parenthood, family structures, contraception, abortion, and divorce. Many of these areas have been linked to transformations in broader social, economic and political constructs, such as same-sex marriage.

These changes are faced with mainstream negative representations of non-monogamy which describe it as “infidelity”, “serial monogamy”, or “failures” of the “normal” pattern of intimacy. Such perspectives assign a privileged role to the idealized couple, portrayed as intrinsically better. The dominant academic paradigm legitimates and strengthens monogamy’s normativity. At the same time, academia frequently fails to acknowledge the existence of open, consensual non-couple-based forms of relationships, and of a-romantic and/or asexual intimacies. Moreover, even the limited existing research on consensual non-monogamies focuses mostly on English-speaking and socio-economically privileged white groups and communities.

The rise in critical discourses regarding normative sexualities and intimacies (and the ways in which these two elements interact) calls into question the traditional paradigm of lifestyles that have been at the core of the sex-gender system, as well as hetero-mono-normative institutions and practices in general.

Topics: With this conference, we intend to bring together research, activism and other forms of social expression, focusing on, but not limited to, the following :

  • Lived experiences of polyamory, swinging, open couples and other non-monogamies considered consensual;
  • Changes in concepts and representations of coupledom, and associated challenges;
  • Tensions and transformations in academic and common definitions and understandings of partnerships, friendships, kinship and other forms of connecting;
  • Specificities of cultural practices and values regarding transformations in contemporary intimacies in non-Anglo-American and/or non-Global North countries;
  • Intersections between non-monogamies/contemporary intimacies and race, sex-gender, sexual orientation, kink, class, culture, dis/ability, education;
  • Non-sexual and/or non-romantic relationships and emerging identities, such as asexuality and a-romanticism;
  • Histories, herstories, and queerstories of non-monogamies and contemporary intimacies, grounded in specific times and places;
  • Activism and community-building around non-monogamies;
  • Differences, overlaps, and intersections between consensual and non-consensual non-monogamies, and their power relationships;
  • Legal and fiscal implications and challenges around non-monogamies;
  • Transformations in the meanings and practices of coupledom;
  • The roles of technologies in transforming social relations and intimacies;
  • Discourses on the (e.g., genetic or evolutionary) naturalness of monogamy or of non-monogamy;
  • Intersections between non-monogamies and feminist theories, LGBT studies, gender and queer studies, post/decolonialism and other anti-oppressive strands;
  • Sex work, pornographies (mainstream or otherwise) and other capitalist-sexual crossovers within the broader field of intimacies;
  • (Public) health and non-monogamies;
  • Connections between religion and non-monogamies considered hegemonic;
  • New normativities and new resistances: polynormativity and relationship anarchy, neo-liberalism and political contestation;
  • Consensually non-monogamous intimacies and challenges in counseling and psychotherapy;
  • Representations of monogamies and/or non-monogamies in literature, art, cinema, television, photography, theatre, music, or other media.

Our goal is community-building within and beyond academia in all its fields and disciplines, challenging traditional models of the hegemonic Global North system of knowledge production. Therefore, we encourage the submission not only of academic papers and thematic panels, but also round-table discussions, film screenings and debates, installations, activist-driven reflections and other modalities.

Language & accessibility: For logistic reasons, the conference’s common language will be English, and abstracts must be submitted in English. If you wish so, you can also send us your abstract in another language, provided that you also submit it in English. It is highly recommended (but not mandatory) that presentations during the conference are in English. The venue is wheelchair-accessible. If you require a Sign Language interpreter, please contact us via email; unfortunately we cannot guarantee that this will be provided. There is more info on accessibility here.

To submit: Abstracts of up to 250 words for individual submissions and up to 500 words for panel submissions, by May 18th, using this platform. Before submitting, please read the instructions HERE. Any doubts or technical difficulties should be addressed to the following email: nmciconference@gmail.com

Activist / Artistic / Performance Call for Contributions

For many people, in many places, and due to many reasons, monogamy is not working anymore. And yet, deviations from monogamy have generally only been portrayed in negative ways such as “infidelity”, “serial monogamy”, or “failures” of the “normal” pattern of intimacy. Such perspectives assign a privileged role to the idealized couple, portrayed as intrinsically better.

Activists and artists, as well as plenty of other kinds of people, are experimenting with their intimate relationships, exploring alternatives, living through painful and joyful experimentations around sexuality, love and embodied experiences. But who are “we”? Who are these people that, through their daily practices, through their artistic work, through their writing, challenge mononormativity and traditional coupledom?

The rise in critical discourses regarding normative sexualities and intimacies (and the ways in
which these two elements interact) calls into question the traditional paradigm of lifestyles that
have been at the core of the sex-gender system as well as hetero-mono-normative institutions
and practices more generally. Recent depictions in film (e.g.“Brokeback Mountain” and “The Dallas Buyers Club” or Pedro Almodovar’s and Wong Kar Wai’s movies) becoming widely seen in mainstream cinemas point towards this trend.

Political, cultural and socioeconomic transformations have given birth to new challenges and opportunities for activism to permeate traditional hegemonic institutions of power.

Visibility in mainstream media has grown in recent years. Alongside it, a bias that tends to focus overly on “sex” (sexy bias), rather than on other aspects of (consensual) non-monogamies. Asexual and aromantic relationships have barely gained any visibility, as the tendency towards sex seems to be the main bias in media presentations (e.g. newspapers, mainstream portrayals on TV).

Topics: With this conference, we intend to bring together research, activism and other forms of social expression (e.g. art, videos, installations, theater, discussions …), focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Presentations of (consensual) non-monogamies, asexuality, a-romance in mainstream media;
    Sexy bias in presentations of consensual non-monogamies in mainstream media;
  • Movies concerning the topic of consensual non-monogamies, and other forms of relationships like a-romantic and asexual partnerships;
  • Movies/books with BDSM as topic (mainstream and alternative) – also concerning the rise and visibility due to the “50 shades of Grey” effect – books and film;
  • Special film festivals, who recognize positive depiction of sexuality and kink in film and television;
    News media depictions of non-monogamies and contemporary intimacies, as well as experiences of managing contacts with the media;
  • Self-help groups concerning asexuality and aromanticism;
  • Photography and photographic art with non-monogamies and alternative contemporary intimacies as their main focus;
  • Art and art installations as activist and social expression for alternative lifestyles;
  • Experimentations with permaculture, anarchist governance, community-building and non-monogamies;
  • Experimentations around building new tools for communication, as well as new ethical principles for interpersonal communication;
  • Integration of feminism into contemporary intimacies, and its expression through art and activism;
  • Integration of queer theories and queer cultures into philosophies of contemporary intimacies, and expression through art, activities (e.g. Burningman, Boom-Festival and other expressions) and activism

We aim to have a diverse conference, both in terms of participants and in terms of different modes of engagement with the production of knowledge and social action. Therefore, we encourage the submission of film screenings and debates, installations, activist-driven reflections and other modalities. Our goal is community-building within and beyond academia in all its fields and disciplines, challenging traditional models of the hegemonic Global North system of knowledge production.

Language & accessibility: For logistic reasons, the conference’s common language will be English, and abstracts must be submitted in English. If you wish so, you can also send us your abstract in another language, provided that you also submit it in English. It is highly recommended (but not mandatory) that presentations during the conference are in English. The venue is wheelchair-accessible. If you require a Sign Language interpreter, please contact us via email; unfortunately we cannot guarantee that this will be provided. There is more info on accessibility here.

To submit: Abstracts of up to 250 words for individual submissions and up to 500 words for panel submissions, by May 31st, using this platform. Before submitting, please read the instructions HERE. Any doubts or technical difficulties should be addressed to the following email: nmciconference@gmail.com

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