CFP: Transnational & Transdisciplinary Bioethical, Biopolitical Concerns

Call for Papers–Rethinking the Self: Transnational and Transdisciplinary Bioethical and Biopolitical Concerns. International symposium at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland, 10-12 April 2012.

This international and interdisciplinary symposium addresses how cultural, medical and political understandings of the self are shifting and changing in contemporary societies. It explores how humanness is imagined and conceived in various symbolic systems of knowledge, and how gender, disability, class and ethnicity articulate these understandings. With a particular focus on how ideas of the flesh and national identity reconfigure experiences of the embodied self, the symposium aims to bring together scholars whose work engages with issues that range from medical and cultural technologies, globalisation, migration and neoliberalism to phenomenology and ethics, political ideologies and subjectivities, and theories of social transformation. This symposium aims to create a transdisciplinary dialogue regarding the local and global changing understandings of and practices related to the self by bringing together speakers from a broad range of cultural, methodological, national, disciplinary and transnational foci. It seeks to further conversations and research on topical and vexing questions of the self, especially in relation to recent medical, cultural, technological, political, social and neo-colonial developments. With an emphasis on the biopolitics of bodies, machines and institutional structures, the symposium also addresses the ethics of human selfhood, specifically how we define the human and what is atstake in our definitions of this now global being.

We welcome submissions for papers, poster-presentations and artwork from a broad range of disciplines and fields of research. Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories and technologies of the self (Foucault, Agamben, Butler, etc.)
  • Community belonging and violence
  • Contemporary medical therapies, technologies and ethics (organ donation and transplantation, gene therapy, HIV therapies, etc.)
  • Class dimensions of the self (Skeggs, etc.)
  • The self, disability and monstrosity (Shildrick, etc)
  • Self harm and narratives of the self
  • Medicalised race theories
  • Gender, sexuality and queering the self
  • Phenomenology, the senses and an embodied sense of self
  • Ethics and the ethics of the human

If you would like to participate, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a brief biography (max. 100 words) to Suvi Salmenniemi and Donna McCormack by 1st December 2011. For more information, see

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