Queer Kinship and Relationships
International Conference, 08-11 June 2015
Zalesie, Masuria, Poland
[CALL FOR PAPERS]
Studies of non-heterosexual kinship in modern societies are well established in the Anglophone countries, dating back to such ‘classical’ text as Eshter Newton’s ‘Mother Camp’ (1972) and
especially Kath Weston’s ‘Families We Choose’ (1991). The once original body of work has now become ‘canonical’ and mandatory point of reference for subsequent researchers.
Canonization, however, presents us with the obvious perils of hegemonization and domination of theories that perhaps do not necessarily fit into the diverse (i.e. non-Western) social and cultural realties. At the same
time, it is hard to escape the existing theoretical vocabulary, since scholars from various localities researching non-heterosexual families use them as the
only pre-existing point of reference, and inspiration for their own terminology and conceptualizations. Consequently, although studying ‘their own’ localities,
they presumably have no choice but to use ‘not their’ language and concepts to capture developments and local narrations of queer families/kinship.
During the conference we want to concentrate on different understandings of queer kinships/relationships, and present more insights into the dynamics of
non-normative kinship configurations in various geo-temporal contexts. Thus we seek to address the following questions among others:
1. How non-heterosexual people define their relationships? What concepts are used to think through, understood and describe the non-normative kinship practices?
2. How ‘queer families’ are socially framed and understood in various localities, where the social and political significance of ‘traditional family’ is strong?
3. Does 'queer kinship/family' have the potential to become a (new) reference point of the LGBTQ activism, in the place or in conjunction
with ‘marriage equality’ or ‘rights politics’?
4. How do specific local contexts influence the debates on sexual politics in diverse locations?
We seek contributions about various configurations and aspects of relationships spanning across the following:
- daily practices of queer kin-work, doing queer families, defining queer relationships,
- gender roles/identity in homemaking and household labour,
- queer and LGBT parenting,
- changing patterns of household formation (e.g LATs, communal/collective living, single living, cohabitation),
- friendships, strategic partnerships, neighbouring, and other forms of relating
- relations with animals and pets,
- using ‘familial’ concepts in sexual rights’ activism,
- queer and LGBT intimate citizenship, political dimensions of intimate life,
- migration/ borders/ transnational queer families/kinship,
- state and public discourses and recognition, public (hetero)normativity, policing intimate lives, seeking recognition through legislation,
- consumerism/consumption in queer families,
- home violence in queer relationships,
- queer family/kinship failures, queer breakups and divorces,
- non-monogamy and polyamory,
- queer families vs. outer world/families of origin, coming out as families,
- intersectional perspectives on non-normative intimacies.
We keep the CFP purposefully open, to accommodate a
diversity of propositions, who share an interest in exploring queer forms of relationships.
We are pleased to announce that following speakers have accepted our invitation to participate in the conference:
Prof. Judith Butler (University of California, USA),
Dr Ulrika Dahl (Södertörn University, Sweden),
Dr Jacqui Gabb (Open University, United Kingdom),
Dr Ruth Preser (ICI-Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Germany),
Dr Ana Cristina Santos (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal).
Conference venue and the idea of the conference
The idea of the conference is to meet in a relaxed and more intimate atmosphere away from the busy metropolis. Thus way, we hope to inspire
more personal and individual an exchange between the participants. Therefore we have decided to organize the conference in Masuria – beautiful lake district of
Poland. The conference will take place in a conference centre situated on the lake, the “Zalesie Mazury”, Zalesie near Olsztyn.
Deadlines & Submission
15 September 2014- submission of abstracts and bio notes
30 October 2014 - information about selection outcomes
1 January 2015 – 30 April 2015 - online registration open
08-11 June 2015 - conference takes place
Submitted document should include: 250-300 word abstract, 6 keywords, short bio note (all in one document).
To submit an abstract please follow this link http://queerkinship.systemcoffee.pl/ or visit http://familiesofchoice.pl/
Conference Fee & Registration
Conference fee is: 200 Euro ( includes conference materials, accommodation, and meals). We will also provide free transport to/from Warsaw to the conference venue.
Registration will open in January 2015 and will be facilitated by the online payment system.
To facilitate the exchange with scholars from the geo-politically disadvantaged regions, we will offer a number of fee-waivers
and travel bursaries for: PhD students, independent and untenured researchers, and junior tenured academics. The primary recipients will be people form
‘Global South/East’, but students and freelancing academics in hardship from the ‘Global North/West’ should feel encouraged to apply too.
To apply for the fee-waiver/bursary, please indicate that in your submission, explaining your reasons.
We encourage scholars from beyond the ‘West’, as much those working on ‘non-Western’ contexts.
EU Schengen visa requirements - please get in touch,
and we will assist you individually.
The conference is organized as a part of the research
project ‘Families of Choice in Poland’(http://familiesofchoice.pl/) (2013-2015), Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
by the following team:
Dr hab. Joanna Mizielińska, PI on the project,
Dr Robert Kulpa,
Dr Sylwia Urbańska,
All questions should be sent to: