CfP: POSTER PRESENTATIONS: Violence and Agency: Controversies and Confrontations/Gewalt und Handlungsmacht: Widerstände und Widersprüche (Conference, Vienna 12/2012); DL: 15.09.2012

Initiativkolleg “Gender, Violence and Agency in the Era of Globalization” (Web)

Venue: University of Vienna, Austria
Time: 6-7 December 2012
Deadline: 15 September 2012

  • Keynote speaker: Jasbir Puar (Rutgers University, New York), author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (2007)

Critical engagements with neoliberalism necessitate a rethinking of the relationship between violence and agency. Violence and agency are not mutually exclusive opposites. Neither can they be seen as specific to singular discourses. Violence, for instance, does not only cause physical injuries; it does not inhere in discourses on armed conflicts. Especially in neoliberalism, violence is multifaceted, local, and embodied. This is apparent in the ongoing precarization of working relations, where flexibility has brought about increased uncertainty regarding job security and benefits, and the extension of poverty. The family and kinship relations are reconstructed as a sacred site seemingly deregulated by the state. However, this re-essentializing of the private sphere is the by-product of the privatization and individualization of care. With women remaining the chief caregivers within these settings, it becomes obvious that relations of violence are gendered (Sauer). But violence is also structural and institutionalized. The construction of national homosexuality, or the enfolding of white gayness as finally proper to the ongoing narrative of the nation, is defined in contradistinction to racialized others. Puar has called this the pinkwashing of national ideology.

In this conference, we are interested in the different entanglements of violence and agency. In what practices can they be observed, and how can we think and theorize their relationship in neoliberal times? Is agency always a product of, or a reaction to, violence? Or can agency be thought of as something other than violence’s correlative? Under what conditions is agency seen as a natural attribute of the subject?

We are seeking submissions that thematize violence and agency in relation to one or more of the following topics:

  • bodies, biotechnology and (reproductive) technology
  • gender in the military, armed conflicts, and resistance movements
  • gendered and sexualized border crossings (e.g. sex tourism, immigration)
  • transsexuality, representation, and self-affirmation
  • the normalization of sexualities in legal discourse
  • body, experience and identity (e.g. ageing, binge-drinking)

We especially encourage scholars with minoritarian interests to apply. The conference venue is accessible by wheelchair. If you have special needs, please contact us at the email address below.

Please send an abstract of max. 250 words to: The deadline for submission is July 31, 2012. Applicants will be notified by August 15, 2012.

Please note that this call is for POSTER presentations ONLY. All costs arising from the manufacture of the poster will have to be borne by the presenter.

The Initiativkolleg “Gender, Violence and Agency in the Era of Globalization” is an interdisciplinary doctoral program that includes Cultural and Social Anthropology, Law, Literary Theory, Media Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, and Sociology.


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