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Interdisciplinary Conference, July 2-3, 2021

Manufacturing Collectivity. Exploring the Nexus of Gender, Collectivities, and Law

You can download the conference program here.

↓ Session recordings below ↓

Call for Papers:
One of the most controversial issues in Western democracy today is the question of belonging and participation. Law plays a pivotal role here. Recent social conflicts such as those about antidiscrimination legislation and workers’ rights, the right to the city, the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, or the demand for sexual self-determination bear witness to this dynamic.

Against this background, the conference of the interdisciplinary Research Group (FOR) focuses on the nexus of law, gender, and collectivity. We question the efficacy of gendered collectivity in the context of a hegemonic male-oriented and hetero-normative tradition of civil law. Based on deeper insights into legally standardized and, at the same time, gendered collectivization processes, we are interested in learning how current social conflicts manifest themselves, and how they can be understood and described in all their complexity.

We look forward to receiving theoretical and empirical contributions, for instance, from a jurisprudential, historical, sociological, philosophical, and cultural anthropological perspective. We invite contributions in the form of 15-minute presentations addressing the following topic areas while always also factoring in the role of law and taking into consideration how the issues relate to process of gendering.

I. Law — Gender — Knowledge: Spaces and Demarcations

Given that juridicial knowledge creates gender as well as other differentiating and often discriminatory categories such as “race” or disability, we ask for the grammar and the formats a conflict, a political discussion, or a problem needs to comply with so that it can be formulated as a legal problem. How is juridicial and gendered knowledge (re)produced in legal practice and what epistemic role does the legal doctrine play here? To what extent is this knowledge intersectionally gendered? In what settings are intersectional perspectives sought, both dogmatically and empirically?

We are interested in the boundaries set and encountered by the law. How do legal practices create gendered spaces and thus also boundaries? Where does the discussion surrounding law call into question ontologies of humankind, nature, and technology.

II. Collective Strategies: Dynamics and Processes of Collectivization

Organizations, groups, processes of communitization, digital networks as well as looser formations such as social movements use very different collective strategies to establish capacity to act internally and externally. We are interested in the practices and factors that contribute to more or less stable interdependencies, in other words, to various aggregate states and intensities of collectives.

What are the models of solidarity and representation that emerge from these techniques? What are the ways in which law is increasingly and strategically used — for instance, as a knowledge resource, as an enforcement mechanism, or as an enabling and imaginary space? How is the structuring effect of gender normatively utilized?

III. Individualization and Collectivization

In what ways do tensions between individualization and collectivization arise and manifest? What kinds of negotiations and formations of subjectification practices at the interface of law, gender, and collectivity can be observed? What are the schisms and conflicts that occur here? How can we understand these negotiations and the possibly changing figurations of the individual and the collective from a theoretical point of view? In this vein, we look forward to receiving contributions that take into account the figure of the “economically rational individualism denoted as masculine” as it undergoes historical and geographical transformation, or that empirically examine subjectification practices at the interface between law, gender, and collectivity.

You can download the conference program here.

Welcome + Introduction

Keynote by Emily Grabham

Interdisciplinary Gleanings

Closing Remarks

PhD Workshop, Call for Participation:
In the half-day PhD workshop we explore the various ways of studying collectives, collectivity and processes of collectivization. In light of the international conference “Manufacturing Collectivity”, we understand processes of  collectivization to be gendered and shaped by legal norms. We analyze collectives as types of relationships that may be characterized by a shared sense of belonging and solidarity. Moreover, collectives are shaped by their ideas of collectivity as well as their different degrees of organization and juridification.

Recognizing particularities among disciplines and approaches, we are interested in how exploring collectivity plays out in distinct fields of research. With this workshop we aim at facilitating a conversation between different research settings exploring collectivity. We are interested in methodological specificities, commonalities and possibilities for mutual inspiration for interdisciplinary research.

In our conversation we address the following questions:

  1. What do we understand by the terms ‘collectives’, ‘processes of collectivization’ and/or ‘collectivity’?
  2. What are the connotations and implications these terms have in our respective fields of research and/or academic disciplines?
  3. How does interdisciplinarity play a role in studying collectivity?
  4. What are the challenges and/or surprises one encounters with regard to theory, methodology or ‘the field’ when exploring collectivity?

We are planning to include six short inputs of about 5 minutes each, followed by a collective discussion. For this, we  invited Martina Klausner and Sarah Elsuni as discussants to share their expertise in studying collectivity from social and/or legal perspectives.

You can download the protocol here.