Romance, Intimacy and Love: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
15th to 16th July 2019
“Falling in love was not really a choice; it just struck me.” Many people identify with the sentiment in Helen Fisher’s writing about love; the elusiveness, the enduring, the mystery, the unknown of such a powerful emotion and experience. Artists, designers, writers, poets, singers, songwriters, musicians – we have all tried with various degrees of failure and success to describe and express the many forms of love.
What does it mean to love? What does it mean to be intimate? What is the connection between romance, intimacy, and love? Such broad questions, yet such diverse and personal answers. This project endeavours to explore romance, intimacy, and love within the context of persons and interpersonal relationships and across a range of critical, contextual, and cultural perspectives. Seeking to encourage innovative dialogues, we warmly welcome papers which struggle to understand what it is to be a person, how romance, intimacy and love impacts our familial, individual, personal, romantic, and social relationships. There is an intention to form a selective publication emerging from the meeting to engender further collaboration and discussion.
This conference has a global focus; it aims to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at the international level. We welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations, going beyond the academic world and bringing together researchers, community, and professionals engaged in work on Romance, Intimacy, and Love. We welcome traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals, as well as other forms of presentation platforms (art, poetry, posters, video submissions, etc.) favoured outside academia, given the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, recognising that different groups express themselves in various formats and mediums.
We seek submissions on any of the following themes:
Defining Romance, Intimacy and Love:
What is romance?; How is romance used in relationships?; Is romance needed in relationships?; How is romance used to sell fantasy?; What is intimacy?; What does it mean to be intimate?; What is love?; How and where to locate love?; Should we re-think the idea of love?; Cultural meanings; Identity and belonging; Structures, institutions and systems; Economics and romance, intimacy, and love; Work and romance, intimacy, and love; Acts and interactions; Representations and symbols
Love, Desire, Lust and Sex:
Persons and the search for meaning; Social norms that rule the intimacies of our lives; The death or killing of love, desire, lust, or sex; Commitment and obligation; Choice, respect, loyalty and trust; Consummate love; The secular and the religious – the heretical and the sacred; Personhood and identity without love, desire, lust or sex
Defining familial relationships: blood and heritage versus choice and happenstance; Defining friendship; Defining romantic relationships; Relationships without romance, intimacy, or love; Persons, acquaintances, others and the needs of strangers; Intimacies between strangers; Historical, literary, and personal perspectives; Meaning, obligation, identity and belonging; Loving and caring for children, siblings, and parents; Hospitality and bonds of care
Selfhood intimacies and pleasures of the self; Soul, emotions, ideas and the inner-self; Dreams, fantasies and desire – symbols, meaning and the unconscious; Time, space, solitude and the recognition of self and the inner-self; Body rituals: aesthetics, playfulness, health and functions; Alienation, madness, crisis of the self, despair and suicide
How does technology change how we love and seek love?; How technology creates and fosters community; Creating and maintaining long-distance relationships; The impact of technology on our currently lived intimate relationships; Social media and its impact on romance, intimacy, and love. Technology fails and its impact on relationships; Empowerment/disempowerment narratives; Ghosting and its impact; Virtual versus ‘Face to Face” (FtF) relationships
Inequality, power relations, and intimacy; Normativity and normalization – difference and dissidence; Productivity, efficiency, and the dwindling of free time; Homogeneity, identity and intimacy; The democratisation of intimate relations; Freedom, personhood, resistance and rebellion
Vulnerability and Shame:
What does it mean to be vulnerable?; Romance, Intimacy, Love, and vulnerability; Our authentic selves: Intimacy and shame; Love and shame
When Relationships End or Fail:
What does it mean when relationships end?; Norms, agreements and expectations; Betrayal, cheating and infidelity; The loss of intimacy – the destruction of trust; Isolation, alienation, loneliness and estrangement; Conflict, breakdown, crisis and the demise of relationships; Separation, mourning and bereavement; unlinking and unloving; Unrequited love: Rejection.
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 22nd February 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 8th March 2019.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 31st May 2019.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Romance, Intimacy and Love Submission.
Early Bird Submission and Discount
Submissions received on or before Friday 18th January 2019 will be eligible for a 10% registration fee discount.
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions