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Call: SGGF-Tagung «Violent Times, Rising Protests: Structures, Experiences, Feelings»

University of Berne, 12-13 September 2019

The Swiss Association for Gender Studies (SGGF/SSEG) calls for panels and papers for its biannual conference on the theme of Violent Times, Rising Protests - Structures, Experiences, and Feelings  to be held at the University of Berne, 12-13 September 2019.

Violence is a persistent element of modern history. This notwithstanding, a growing number of people experience today’s world as particularly violent. The media’s incessant coverage of continuous warfare, the rise of hate in social media, the growing number of angry citizens or Wutbürger, the increasingly open racist, sexist and homophobic discrimination against all ‘others’ and ’strangers,’ and last but not least the persistency of sexual assaults, are just a few examples of violence’s omnipresent, global dimension. Are these expressions of violence connected to each other and if so, in which way? How can violence be analyzed in its historic distinctiveness? How to grasp the way it makes people feel?

We seek contributions that analyze violence from a transdisciplinary gender perspective. Violence is not just a central and powerful structuring principle of gender, sexuality, race and class identifications and discourses, it is also part of the fabric of modern societies and structures all social relations. In fact, it forms a constitutive part of most states and societies, their gender orders, family organizations, economic systems, and looking relations (this list is not exhaustive). It shapes conditions of precarity and migration, as much as the daily exposure to stigma, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. We are particularly interested in work on the multiple ways in which feelings such as hatred, envy, anger, rage, and insecurity impact private and work lives, laws and discourses, at times violently.

Importantly, today’s violent times have also politicized and mobilized new publics, generated creative forms of protest, incited the most unlikely coalitions, and emboldened to live life differently. From the Arab Spring, Occupy, Black Lives Matter and #MeToo through to the increasing visibility of trans* rights movements - the growing plurality of collective practices and calls for more viable modes of existence is intricately connected to the violence experienced. Our aim is thus twofold, first to get a better understanding of structural violence and its multiple - physical, symbolic, economic, affective and epistemic dimensions – and secondly to explore strategies and tactics of being, doing and feeling Otherwise, and visions of a livable life in solidarity.

Possible Subthemes

  1. Political Violence: The relationship between domestic violence and war; the relationship between war and sexual violence; the invisibility and seemingly unmanned nature of new forms of (drone) warfare; masculinity, nation and violence; heterosexuality, state and violence; interventions, protests, social movements, coalition and community building in the quest of a viable life and solidarity - from Pussyhat Feminism to the Polish Black Protests.
  2. Socio-Economic Violence: Economic precarity and/as violence - from welfare cuts, unemployment, poverty, migration and deportation, racial profiling and policing, through to the neoliberal individualization and economization of feelings in fields as varied as the work place, commodity culture, law, domestic violence discourses and responses, and new questions through diversity, integration and gender equality management.
  3. Symbolic and Epistemic Violence: Visibility and/of violence; image and knowledge production, and othering and self-affirmation processes of the sciences and humanities, mass media, new media, social media, state and corporate data collection, e.g. the effect of imaginaries of "black sheep" and "welcome culture" or the normalization of fake news.
  4. Affective Violence: The entanglement of structures of violence with structures of feelings – from the politics of fear and terror, the insecurity spawned by an economics of austerity, the toxic masculinity of "lone wolf" terrorist rage, through to the neoliberal Psycho Politics’ governing of the soul and the pathologization of violent experiences and feelings.

Submission Guidelines

The Swiss Association for Gender Studies accepts panel and individual paper submissions from academics, practitioners, activists, early-career researchers and doctoral students worldwide. Submissions must thematize violence from a gender and/or feminist perspective and may be from a range of disciplines including (but not limited to) gender studies, social science, political science, history, cultural studies, visual studies, anthropology, literature, neuroscience, social psychology, economics and law. We consider submissions in French, German and English.

Panel submissions are encouraged. A full panel consists of a chair and up to four presenters (four papers, though we will accept panels with three presenters as well). If your panel is accepted but short of authors and/or chair, we will help you complete the panel.

Panel Proposals

The panel proposal should be sent in by the panel organizer. The panel organizer must gather the details of all the participants in the panel including:

  • Full Name
  • University/Institution
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address
  • The Title of the Paper
  • Keyword(s)
  • Research Discipline
  • A 250-Word Abstract

Individual Proposals

You will need to provide:

  • Your Full Name
  • University/Institution
  • Postal Address
  • Email Address
  • The names and email addresses of any co-authors (if your paper has more than one author, the paper proposal should be submitted by the person who is most likely to present the paper at the conference. Any co-author(s) will be recognized on the conference program)
  • The Title of Your Paper
  • Keyword(s)
  • Research Discipline
  • Research Theme
  • A 250-Word Abstract

Submission Deadline: 30 October 2018

Conference Languages: French, German, English

Contact: conference@genregeschlecht.ch / www.genregeschlecht.ch