CFP: Rethinking Disruptive Sex from the 19th to the 21st Century

Sarah Kenny's picture
Call for Papers
April 15, 2019 to April 16, 2019
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Sexuality Studies, Social History / Studies, Social Sciences

This interdisciplinary symposium will bring together work on the history of childhood, medicine, gender, emotion, sex, and sexuality to question what it is that has given some sex disruptive or normative power from the 19th to the 21st century. The aim of the conference will be to question the assumptions we have about what disruptive and non-disruptive sex is, what contexts move sex from one category to another, and how these categories have changed over time and place. We encourage participants to particularly consider how the answers to these questions change across transnational contexts and time periods.

We welcome and anticipate papers considering the disruptive and normative potential of:

  • Queer identities (LGBTQIA+)
  • Youth and adolescence
  • Sex work
  • Activism
  • Disease
  • Emotion
  • Promiscuity
  • Abstinence
  • Drugs
  • Disability
  • The law
  • Gender
  • Public and private space
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Representations of sex
  • Technology
  • Faith
  • Class

We would also be grateful for papers considering disruptive and new ways of writing the history of sex and sexuality, offering thoughts on:

  • New archives
  • Public engagement work
  • Methodologies
  • Interlocutors
  • The future of the field

Proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes or panels of up to 90 minutes are invited for topics relating to the theme of disruptive sex and sexuality from the 19th to the 21stcentury. We anticipate that the conference will lead to an edited collection, and ask that prospective papers reflect critically on the suggested themes. Abstracts of 200-250 words for individual papers, or panel blurbs of 300 words plus individual abstracts for each paper, should be sent to Dr Hannah J Elizabeth and Dr Sarah Kenny at by December 15th.

Contact Info: 

Dr Sarah Kenny

Teaching Fellow in Modern British History, University of Birmingham

Dr Hannah J Elizabeth

Research Assistant, Placing the Public in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine