What’s Left of Sexual Democracy? Ideals, Critiques, Struggles

by | 17 Apr 2023

This conference (25 – 27 May 2023) aims to use the “crisis” in liberal norms and institutions as an occasion to rethink the relationship between sexuality and democracy in the global present. Bringing together social, political, and legal theorists from diverse geopolitical locations, we will critically reflect on what remains of the liberal articulations of “sexual democracy” as well as imagine more radical ideals and struggles for erotic justice.

Supported by Newcastle University’s Global Conference Fund, which aims to bring international academics to Newcastle to reflect on matters of pressing global relevance, the conference will feature keynote lectures by Lyn Ossome (Makerere University, Uganda), Shireen Hassim (Carelton University, Canada), and Eric Fassin (University of Paris 8, France).

Plenary sessions will feature leading UK-based scholars on themes such as:

  • Law, Violence & Erotic Justice – Ratna Kapur (QMUL) and Yvette Russell (Bristol)
  • Circuits of Queer/Capital – Rahul Rao (St Andrews) and SM Rodriguez (LSE)
  • Sexes, Genders, Authoritarianisms – Alison Phipps (Newcastle) and Alyosxa Tudor (SOAS)
  • (Re)Imagining Sexual Citizenship – Leticia Sabsay (LSE) and Phoebe Kisubi Mbasalaki (Essex)

An additional plenary, Futures of Sexualities Studies, will showcase the work of early career researchers.

The conference will serve as the launch for a new Genders and Sexualities research cluster being organized by Alison Phipps, Mark Casey, and Stephen Seely.

The conference will take place at The Boiler House, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU. This is a free, catered event. Places are very limited. Register for the event here

Please be considerate when registering, and cancel if you can no longer attend. In the event that places are “sold out,” please join the waiting list to be notified on a first-come, first-served basis as places become available.

We want this event to be inclusive and accessible. If you have any accessibility queries, requirements, or anything you think we should be aware of, please let us know when making your booking.

For queries, please contact Stephen Seely (stephen.seely@ncl.ac.uk)


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