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The Australian National University

Call for proposals: Radically Rethinking Marriage

Deadline for Submissions: September 20, 2013

Workshop: July 2015

Description:

Over the last few months the issue of same-sex marriage has once again received a lot of international attention with the partial repeal of DOMA in the United States, the overturning of Proposition 8 in California, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom. But as with previous debates in countries that have already introduced same-sex marriage, the public debates have contained little or no critical interrogation of the institution of marriage itself. Feminist critiques of marriage, once widespread in academia, have been silenced by the difficulty of interjecting in an argument strongly shaped by discourses of love, and where the premise of the dispute is itself delimited by a framing that understands marriage as an unquestioned good that should either be protected in its ‘traditional’ form, or available to all couples. But how could feminists radically rethink marriage? What is at stake (politically, materially, affectively) in such an endeavour? What would “rethinking marriage” look like?

This two-day workshop . We seek papers that offer an engaged analysis and re-imagining of marriage within law, attending to the complexities of its racial, sexual, gendered, class and colonial effects. Abstracts may engage any of the following (or other) broad themes:

  • Same-sex marriage
  • Polygamy
  • Polyamory
  • Alternative property regimes
  • the ‘Beyond Marriage’ movement
  • Conjugality
  • Sovereignty and/or decolonization
  • Marriage and wealth

In the spirit of the feminist judgments projects,* we ask that abstracts (1) identify a specific case, statute or key article and/or debate from the literature and (2) offer a re-thinking, new interpretation or rewriting: How could we decide a case or interpret a statute differently? Is it even possible to (re)imagine its transformative potentiality? How could we fill gaps in the key articles or debates, in ways that fundamentally challenge the existing legal institution of marriage? Is there a feminist alternative to marriage?

Submissions are encouraged from scholars, activists and artists and are not limited to traditional academic papers.

Once we have abstracts we will apply to hold the workshop at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Oñati, Spain. If this is not possible, it will be held at the University of Kent’s campus in Paris. Participants are responsible for their own travel and health insurance, travel costs, registration fee, and accommodations.

Deadline for Submissions: A 500 word abstract and title, along with affiliations and a short biography, should be sent in electronic form (Word document) to Suzanne Lenon, Women & Gender Studies, University of Lethbridge,  and Nicola Barker, Kent Law School, University of Kent, by September 20, 2013.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

*For more information on the Feminist Judgment Projects, see: Women’s Court of Canada; Feminist Judgments Project; Irish Feminist Judgments Project; and Australian Feminist Judgments Project. See also E. Brems (ed.) Diversity and European Human Rights: Rewriting Judgments of the ECHR (CUP, 2013).

Updated:  7 November, 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute