2nd Global Conference
The Allure of the Erotic: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Saturday 12th October 2019 - Sunday 13th October 2019
We have a curious and fascinating range of relationships with the erotic. Perhaps this is fitting given its widespread presence in all aspects of daily life and the power it has to elicit all manner of emotional, aesthetic, rational and irrational responses. In everything we do, from painting to sculpture to dance, from literature to letters to historical documents, from film and television to theatre and performance to photography and all forms of visual media, it is there. Across disciplines, professions, businesses, vocations and practices, the erotic is alive and flourishing.
Wherever humans have lived so has the erotic, as evidenced in fragments of letters between long-separated lovers, in carved phalluses and voluptuous stone goddesses and in music that makes our hearts yearn for something we cannot name. It draws people together yet can sow discontent when it cannot be attained. It crosses racial, ethnic, social, socio-economic, political, educational and age-related boundaries. It causes intense joy and excruciating pain. And it motivates demonstrations of both love and madness, and everything in between.
Yet grappling with ‘the erotic’ is somehow more difficult than it would at first appear.
Standard approaches define it as being “devoted to, or tending to arouse sexual love or desire; strongly marked or affected by sexual desire; generating desire.” Desire is the common factor. But what does it mean to desire a piece of art, a movement in a dance, a person? Is each erotic thing somehow similar, or are there different kinds of desire?
The erotic is a complex and often tangled web of meeting points and intersections at the centre of human existence. It informs our lives, shapes our perceptions and pulls us toward one another while being itself shaped by shifting tastes and perceptions. Shrouded in mystery, it is tantalising, alluring and dangerous all at once.
Perhaps the erotic is a yearning toward connection, toward touch, toward a symbiosis of some kind. Do we all wish, consciously or unconsciously, to connect with the erotic? Are we voluntarily or even involuntarily drawn toward the erotic? Could the erotic be considered a bridge between people, between us and them, between you and me?
Building on The Joys of the Erotic (2018), our second meeting will propose it is all these things and more. It is: a meeting point of intimacy, sensuality, arousal, sexuality, longing and desire; an interface between aesthetics, form, taste, art; a driver of photography, visual imagery and tactile textures; a component of music, performance, dance and fluidity; the object of fashion, design, marketing and social mass appeal; a unique avenue for ethical, political, social, economic, cultural, psychological, and philosophical insights and perspectives. The erotic unites, highlights, undermines and subverts the emotional and intellectual; it stands at the heart of (sexual) relationships, orientations, acts and behaviours and remains compelling to us all.
Traditionally seen as socially taboo and often associated with fear and shame, the erotic continues to erupt, thrusting itself into popular culture by any means possible. The erotic, as fitting for such a powerful concept, will not be denied.
This fully inclusive and accessible interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the challenging, paradoxical and ambiguous nature of the ‘erotic’ which finds a resonance inside us all with a view to forming a selective publication to engender further research and collaboration. By providing a forum for ideas, arguments and experiences that might otherwise not receive attention, we aim to explore the Erotic, those who study it, those who live within it, those who have never found it, and those who use it to build connections.
Key themes to be explored include but are not limited to:
Histories of the erotic
Local, national, international and global perspectives on the erotic
Politics and the erotic
Economics and the commercialization of eroticism
Public spaces and eroticism
Virtual spaces and eroticism
The law, crime and the erotic
Madness and eroticism (e.g. Elizabeth Bathory)
The erotics of death
Women who write and read gay erotica
Erotic encounters with the non-human: inanimate objects, sex dolls and erotic robots
The erotic imagination: literature, art, sculpture, photography, music, theatre, cinema, body art, selfies
The erotic and education
The erotic and identity: disability, ethnicity, gender, class and otherness
The eroticized, and de-eroticized body
The erotic, pornography and exploitation
The erotic, ethics and philosophy
The erotic: absence, control and excess
The erotic and the perverse
The erotic and sexual representation
The role of eroticism in relationships: romance, desire, arousal, excitement
Eroticism and fantasy or role playing
Eroticism & fetishism
The psychology of the erotic
Religion and the erotic
The erotic in popular culture
What to Send
The aim of this inclusive 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, round-tables etc. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.
300 word proposals for participation should be submitted by Friday 12th April 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 26th April 2019.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 23rd August 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: Erotic Submission.
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
Dr Robert Fisher
Priory House, Wroslyn Road, Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
Tel: +44 (0)1993 882087