Queer Kinship: Affects, Families, Bonds CFP

University for Foreigners of Siena, 9-10 April 2024

In recent decades, critical, cultural, political and legal discourses on the family have undergone significant shifts leading to new perspectives on the ways in which societies conceive of, recognise and experience affective bonds. New legislation, such as civil partnerships, same-sex marriages and increased access to technologies of reproduction, have enabled new family forms to be established and legitimised. Cultural representation of these new families has increased their visibility and shone new light on “alternative” affective forms of co-existence. However, the queer family is not a new phenomenon, and many modalities of queer kinship, beyond legal family structures, or the pervasive norm of the ‘couple’, have existed for a considerable time: these include, for example, so-called romantic friendships, Boston marriages, polyamorous communities, queer kinship groups, fillus de anima and many other different forms of affective ties that may change across the life course. Due to discrepancies in law and problematic socio-cultural attitudes, certain forms of queer kinship, or kinships between certain individuals, are more culturally accepted and officially recognised than others, resulting in intersectional discrimination.

This international conference aims to open up a space for critical debate on these issues and to develop interdisciplinary scholarly networks. It is the first of three conferences on this theme that will be held in 2024-2025, in Siena (Italy), Birmingham (UK) and Toronto (CA). The three conferences constitute different stages of a research project on affective bonds and queer families from an inter- and transdisciplinary perspective, which seeks to identify emerging trends in cultural representation, and to develop new methodologies for analysing socio-cultural and discursive phenomena in a plural, multicultural and inclusive optic.

The main focus for this conference will be cultural texts and discourses, from the late 19th century onwards. The conference will lead to the publication of an edited volume in English with an international publisher.

Confirmed plenary speakers are:
Prof. Simonetta Grilli (University di Siena)
Prof. Maria Federica Moscati (University of Sussex)
Prof. Nicoletta Vallorani (University of Milan)

Please submit a 250-word abstract plus a brief bio (max 100 words) by 29th February 2024 via this form: https://forms.gle/Jz1JYCNX5i1HiasL9. For any information, please contact Silvia Antosa: silvia.antosa@unistrasi.it. Speakers will receive a notification of confirmation by March 5th 2024. The languages of the conference will be English and Italian. There will be no conference fees. This is an in-person event. The extended call for papers can be found here: https://class.unistrasi.it/603/3664/Queer_Kinship_Affects,_Families,_Bonds.htm

This post has been re-published by permission from the
BAVS Postgraduates Blog
. Please see the original post at https://victorianist.wordpress.com/2024/02/06/queer-kinship-affects-families-bonds-cfp/