Call for papers

Intersections of Intimacies and Inequalities

A workshop hosted by UCL and the Institute of Advanced Studies on the 18th September 2018


This workshop aims to explore the myriad ways in which intimacies and inequalities intersect.

As argued across the disciplinary spectrum, experiences of intimacy are shaped profoundly by material and other inequalities. Poverty severely restricts the kinds of intimate practices which can be enacted, while disparities of power shape interactions at both micro and macro levels. Social, cultural and legal frameworks govern the kinds of relationships that are possible, with uneven access across the globe. For example, while some countries are introducing same-sex marriage, others are further entrenching legal barriers against same-sex relationships.

At the same time, scholars debate whether intimacy may act as an equalising force across social inequalities, or whether it serves to further entrench such inequalities.

We invite contributions from scholars interested in examining both persistent and diminishing inequalities in the experience of intimacy and access to intimate citizenship. Given the growing attention to spiralling global and local inequalities, as well as to the gendered and intersectional dynamics which shape intimate relations, the workshop is intended to address contemporary social movements, including, for example, #metoo and #timesup.

We therefore seek contributions from any area of the social, historical, and health sciences concerning the topic of intimacies and inequalities, broadly conceived. We welcome contributions from a range of global locations and from colleagues at all career stages.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

·      Regulation of intimacy – social, cultural, legal

·      Intimate citizenship

·      Intimacies across borders, including issues around migration

·      Intimacy across social intersections including gender, caste, race, class, sexuality, ability and human/non-human

·      Sex, sexuality, relationships and stigma

·      Relationship breakdown and divorce

·      Singlehood and couple normativity

·      Intimacy, inequalities and technology (including, for example, dating apps)

·      Inequalities in relational and sexual health and well-being

·      Historical shifts in connections between intimacy and inequality

·      Globalisation and intimacy

·      Capitals and intimacy

·      Innovative methods for studying intimacy and inequalities

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words via this form by 9th April 2018. We will notify selected presenters by the end of April 2018.

We anticipate producing an edited volume or special journal issue from the workshop, and scholars who are not able to attend but who would like to be included in future events or.potential publication plans are encouraged to contact the organisers, Katherine Twamley, Charlotte Faircloth and David Frost, via