The 5th Christina Conference on Gender Studies: Feminist Thought - Politics of Concepts

full name / name of organization: 
University of Helsinki / Gender Studies

The 5th Christina Conference on Gender Studies focuses on the role of concepts in feminist thought. Concepts are crucial in all research, and also often deeply political, as feminist scholarship creates and circulates conceptual innovations which transform social realities transnationally. Concepts such as "gender" and "queer" have already showed their transformational power. A plethora of others contest realitites, but are also prone to creating conficts and politics of its own within feminist thought: just consider "equality," "sexual difference," "representation," "sex work," "transgender," "social construction," "materiality," "affect," "masculinity," "body," "performativity," or "intersectionality." The choice of concepts in research is always a political choice, and it also takes part in the politics of concepts within feminist scholarship.

We invite feminist scholars of all disciplines to present papers in which they discuss conceptual choices and the role of concepts in their work. Papers can be theoretical studies or studies which highlight the role of concepts in empirical work, as well as case studies of particular concepts. Areas of interest in this conference include feminist studies of culture; feminist theory and philosophy; feminist studies of politics and law; queer studies;, study of race, class and nation; postcolonial research; intersectionality; and transdiciplinarity. Do particular sets of concepts, such as those of psychoanalysis, Deleuzian theory, postmodern thought, or Marxist theory guarantee good analysis? Do these vocabularies exclude and fight each other, and how do entirely new concepts come about? Which concepts work in your thought and writing? Why would you defend the use of a particular concept and refuse another one? How do concepts work: alone or in opposition with each other? The conference takes on the task of politiziging feminist scholarship by exploring the conflict of concepts withing the field of feminist scholarship.

The Organizing Committee invites abstracts for individual 20-minute presentations. Please submit your abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief biography (max. 100 words) via the electronic form at

Tina Chanter (DePaul University, US)
Davina Cooper, (Kent Law School, UK)
Elsa Dorlin (Université Paris 8, France)
Jack (Judith) Halberstam (University of Southern California, US)