ESSHC 2014; CFP Cultural Mobility of Sexual Liberation - deadline abstracts 15 May 2013

full name / name of organization: 
European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC), Sexuality Network

I am putting together a panel on the Cultural Mobility of Sexual Liberation for the Sexuality Network of the European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC) in Vienna, 23-26 April 2014.

The large transformations regarding sexuality that could be witnessed in the 1960s and 1970s have a strong cultural dimension. Not only are cultural artifacts – novels, films, plays, songs –perceived as having lifted sexual taboos, they also functioned as identification models for emancipating groups. Dennis Altman, for example, starts his classic Homosexual: oppression and liberation (1971) with his own formative reading history, in which writers like James Baldwin and Gore Vidal prominently figure.
Nowadays, sexual liberation forms an important, albeit contested reference point in debates on culture and identity, in which writers /artists sometimes figure as national icons of sexual liberation.
Hence, writers/artists and their works both function in articulating forms of national belonging, as well as in stressing the international character of sexual liberation, symbolizing the mobility of new ideas and ideologies regarding sexuality.
This panel aims to explore the cultural dimensions of sexual liberation. What are the functions of (and ascribed to) writers/artists and their works in sexual transformations of the 1960s/70s, in different countries? To what extent are these transformations captured in national terms, or do they travel across national borders? What role do they play in cultural memory, nationally and internationally?

Possible topics are, but are not limited to:

- The role of cultural artifacts and their makers in spreading
ideas and mobilizing discussions about sexual liberation, nationally and internationally
- The international reception of novels controversial because of
sexual issues
- The international reception of consciousness-raising novels in different countries; in mainstream media and/or different national feminist/ gay/lesbian movements
- The 'reading biographies' of key figures and participants in
these social movements
- The impact of writers/artists' international visits, book
fairs, film festivals, etcetera, as points of contact.
- Artists/writers as national / international symbols of sexual liberation
- The possibly different roles of different media (literature,
popular music, cabaret, film)
- Methodological issues: how to research the cultural dimensions of sexual liberation?

My own paper will deal with the Dutch reception and memory of national and international novels controversial because of sexual issues. If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please contact Agnes Andeweg at with a brief description of your work and a short CV by May 1st. More information about the conference: .
Deadline for registering panel proposals at ESSHC is 15 May 2013 and requires that each panelist provide a paper description.

Kind regards,

dr. Agnes Andeweg
Dept Literature and Art / Centre for Gender and Diversity Maastricht University, the Netherlands