Diverse Families

Joint Conference of the Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies (ZtG), the Department of Sociology of Work and Gender Relations, and the DFG Project VielFam at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, in cooperation with Universität Hamburg

What is a family and who can be part of it? Parenthood, family, and kinship are negotiated in many arenas throughout history: in politics and the media, comics and films, in the arts and sciences, technology and medicine, in law as well as the private sphere and in everyday life. In addition to the “heterosexual nuclear family”, which was legally and normatively institutionalized in the “golden age of marriage”, parenthood and family are and have been realized in diverse constellations. Today this plurality is partially recognized by law and society. At the same time, however, parenthood and the family beyond the heterosexual norm are fiercely fought against in many countries. The guiding principles, representations, and lived realities of family and intimate relationships  - both historically and globally - are neither presocial nor definitively given, but are subject to constant change.

The conference *Diverse Families* aims to explore this topic in all its complexity, leaves room for the discussion of ambivalences, and invites contributions on the following topics:

  • The historical change and persistence of ideals about motherhood and fatherhood: Parenthood beyond cis-normativity;
  • Reproductive and familial actions, representations, and imaginations of queer utopias and visions in theater and literature, film and other media;
  • (Unequal) legal and sociopolitical recognition orders for parenthood, family, and kinship;
  • Biopolitical regulation and facilitation (or limitation) of reproductive medicine in a trans-/national context, including implications for a scientific-theoretical and/or practical everyday understanding of family and kinship;
  • Family and reproductive (everyday) practices on within and beyond the heterosexual norm and gender binary;
  • Population policies: gender - sexuality - racism - nation; Post-/colonial and migration studies perspectives;
  • Legal imaginations of the "good family": best interest of the child and parental rights, knowledge of parentage, and contesting paternity;
  • Family and/or childlessness: intergenerational relationships, single mothers and fathers by choice, the conscious decision for a life without children, etc.;
  • Family(s) of the future? Utopias and dystopias between blood ties and families of choice, intimacy and solidarity, the nucleus of the state and political privacy.

We welcome contributions (maximum 1 page abstract and a CV, maximum 300 characters) in English or German from a variety of disciplines such as cultural, social, historical, legal, regional, literary, film, and theater studies. Over the course of the conference, we will be discussing the above-mentioned topics from comparative, post-colonial, inter- and transdisciplinary perspectives, in particular gender and queer theory approaches. This call invites submissions of abstracts for 20-minute lectures or suggestions for other presentation formats (e.g. debates, short presentations, performances, commentaries). We ask you to check whether you dispose of sufficient funding for travel and accommodation, as there is only limited financial aid available.

Please submit your abstracts to ztg-vielfam (at) hu-berlin.de

Publication Date:

28 February 2020


15 June 2020