Transgressive Bodies and Social Orders

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Ruhr-University Bochum
contact email: 

Transgressive Bodies and Social Orders

Conference, 07.06.–09.06.2022, Ruhr-University Bochum

Body practices imply moments of transgression, be it in the active or in the passive crossing of borders. The conference aims to explore the topic of transgressive bodies beyond classical disciplinary boundaries and addresses scholars from the humanities and social sciences, but also natural scientists and physicians who either already conduct research at the interface with the social sciences and/or are interested in an interdisciplinary exchange.

Current social and global political challenges resulting from technological innovations, globalization, migration and digitalization bring forth new phenomena of boundary crossing. The creation and perfection of virtual realities, for example, shifts familiar ways of looking at the relationship between people and the world in favor of a new dimension of experience. This presents the sciences with the challenge of reanalyzing the effects on interpretations of the self and the world, social hierarchies and the negotiation of values. While on the one hand the physical boundaries of humans are increasingly transgressed by new technologies (such as AI, robotics, prosthetics), on the other hand the question arises whether national, ethnic, gender and cultural boundaries are firmly anchored in contrast - evidence for different changes of orders?

The conference is organized by a interdisciplinary research group that has been addressing questions of boundary demarcation and corporeality since 2017 and aims to focus on the enormous academic and social productivity of transgressive bodies. The transdisciplinary project connects different disciplines and builds a bridge between the natural sciences and the humanities. Participants come from the fields of history, medicine, media studies, American studies, theology and religious studies.

With this conference, the project group aims to gather new impulses and face up to new discourses. Topics of possible contributions include, but are not limited to: Technology and the Body, Virtual Reality, (De-)Construction of Bodily Boundaries, Body Norms, Critique of Science, Body Phenomenology / Body Knowledge, Gender and Sexuality, Dis/ability.

Please send an abstract of no more than two thousand characters (including spaces) and a short biography to Kristina Göthling-Zimpel ( and Malte Cramer ( by January 31, 2022. Presentations should not exceed thirty minutes. The conference languages are German and English. Submissions will be peer reviewed and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by February 28, 2022. A publication of the contributions is planned.

The Transgressive Bodies research group includes the following investigators: Jun. Prof. Dr. Rebecca Brückmann, Prof. Dr. Dr. Benedikt Göcke, Kristina Göthling-Zimpel, Prof. Dr. Claudia Jahnel (Speaker), Dr. Naciye Kamcili-Yildiz, Prof. Dr. Christain Klaes, Prof. Dr. Antje Klinge, Prof. Dr. Britta Konz, Dr. Ulrike Sallandt, Dr. Anne Schröter, Jun. Prof. Dr. Heike Steinhoff, Prof. Dr. Peter Wick.