Regulating Intimacy: A Research Symposium

Regulating Intimacy: A Research Symposium

“Intimate Labors and the Labors of Intimacy”

Indiana University, Bloomington

September 26, 2015

Paper submission deadline: May 8, 2015

Regulating Intimacy is an interdisciplinary research symposium held annually at Indiana University. We seek to bring together scholars and professionals at all levels from a wide variety of (inter)disciplines, including women’s and gender studies, law, education, public health and biology, to discuss the institutional forces– legislation, policy, religion, and scientific authority, and many more– and the gendered, raced, classed, and dis/abled sociocultural norms that define and regulate human relationships.

The theme of the 2015 Regulating Intimacy Research Symposium is “Intimate Labors and the Labors of Intimacy.” Both labor and intimacy are broadly understood to include traditional notions of workplace, markets, and the labor force as well as emotional labor, caregiving, relationship building, and networks. How is work intimate? Which jobs/occupation/labors are or can be considered “intimate”? Should intimacy and labor be intertwined? What labor goes into creating and sustaining intimacy? How do work spaces generate or inhibit intimacy? Regulating Intimacy will explore the cultural, technological, and historical legacies, significances, and implications of laboring alone or together, on small and grand scales, and across time and space.

We are accepting proposals for both full panels and individual papers. Full panel proposals should include panel rationales of 300 words, and up to four paper abstracts of 250 words each. Individual proposal should include abstracts of 250 words.

Submissions may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Sex Work (prostitution, stripping, sexual surrogates)

  • Pregnancy & Surrogacy

  • Caregiving (nursing, child care, elder care, companions, care for disability)

  • Professional Relationships (doctor-patient, attorney-client, co-workers, bosses)

  • Workplace Intimacy (dating, harassment, power dynamics)

  • Parenting, Homemaking, & Intergenerational Care

  • Intimate Spaces (physical, virtual, transient)

  • Networks of Intimacy (markets, community, government, production)

  • Spheres of Intimacy (work/play, public/private)

  • Building and Maintaining Relationships (courtship, friendship, networking, marriage)

  • Laboring Bodies (committees, councils, body politics; vulnerable bodies, physical labor)

Individual and panel submissions are due on Friday, May 8, 2015.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, please see the Regulating Intimacy website at

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