LOVA International Conference 2014



The Alcoholic Body in Mexico

Prof. Dr. Stanley Brandes (University of California, Berkeley)

Renowned socio-cultural, visual and medical anthropologist - anthropology of masculinity, alcohol use and popular religion, specializing on Latin America and Europe.


Bodily Pleasures and Methodological Dangers:

Twists and Turns in Feminist Research on the Body

Dr. Rachel Spronk (University of Amsterdam)

Dutch feminist anthropologist - anthropology of gender and sexuality, love and intimacy, personhood and agency, modernity and globalization, specializing on Africa.




9-11 July 2014, Amsterdam - The Netherlands


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Lova is proud to announce its third international conference. This year’s theme will be on the body and embodiment theory. Corporeal theory deals with affects, emotions, experiences, embodied discourses, physical contact, communication, movements, the control over bodies, bodies as never ending projects, embodied representations, subjectivity and agency, etc., etc. This conference will put the body at the centre stage of feminist anthropology.  We invite scholars to present their ethnographic research and case studies and contribute to the empirical, methodological and theoretical development of this exciting field of study.


Ever since Gayle Rubin introduced the sex gender system in 1975, the body has been heavily debated in feminist studies. The sex/gender system suggests a distinction between biology and culture.  As it enabled scholars to perceive femininity and masculinity as cultural and social constructs, separated from biology, it meant an important leap in the development of gender studies. But is the body indeed as pre-cultural, pre-social and un-gendered as the distinction suggests? Is the body an unproblematic factual base on which gender is being inscribed? And if we answer the latter question with yes, can the female body then be the argument to somehow reclaim the universality of the category of women? Or are bodies themselves gendered and is the distinction between biology and culture a false one? Rosi Braidotti, Elisabeth Grosz, Judith Butler, Henrietta Moore, Kathy Davis, Anna Aalten and Anne Fausto-Sterling are all feminist scholars who deal with these questions from different disciplinary angels.

Within mainstream humanities, social sciences and anthropology, one can also notice an increasing attention for the body and embodiment theory. The linguistic approaches of discourse and representation that have been so very influential in social theory from the 1970s onwards show a tendency to reduce the body and experience to language, discourse and representation. Sayings such as  the “the body as text” and “the inscription of culture on the body” are exemplary. In response to the representation paradigm, critical scholars show a renewed interest in bodily theory.

This conference intends to bring together an international group of feminist scholars and gender experts who share an ethnographic approach and who are inspired by what can be called the corporeal turn in feminist and other social theory.  Questions will be discussed such as: What are the newest insights within feminist anthropology on the body? What can feminist ethnography offer to embodied theory? What is the  social significance of the female and the male body? What are their implications for human action and society? How are bodies controlled, ordered and  lived? In what way do men and women socially and culturally experience their bodies? How is subjectivity embodied. Can we speak from our bodies? And if so, do women speak differently than men? How are bodies’ fleshy materiality and the realm of the symbolic interconnected? Is the sex/gender distinction indeed troubling? Can we sever the body from the biological? And, last but not least, can and should we embody gender?

Participation and registration: Lova invites scholars to participate in this international conference by presenting their research in a panel or as an individual paper. We encourage participants to submit audio-visuals and other alternative ways of presenting their research too. We also encourage students (under-graduate and graduate) to present their research. Participants may register by sending panel proposals and individual paper abstracts to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it before February 15st, 2014. Participants will be informed in due time after having submitted their abstracts whether or not their panels and/or papers have been accepted.

Panel proposals include a short panel abstract (about 200 words), several paper abstracts, and names of organizers/chairs, presenters and a possible discussant. Please also mention the affiliation, address, email-address and discipline of each participant.

Preferred panel format:  Panels last 1 hour and 45 minutes. Panel organizers have a certain freedom in the number of papers they wish to present and the length of the presentations. Nevertheless, we encourage 15 to 20 minute paper presentations with 3 - 4 speakers in one session, so that there is time for discussion after the presentations.

Individual paper proposals should not exceed 200 words. Please also mention affiliation, address, email-address and discipline.


Registration fee: to complete their registration, all participants should pay the registration fee before June 1st, 2014. The regular registration fee is € 110. Members of Lova, researchers from developing countries and students (graduate and under-graduate) pay € 50.


Auditor fee: to meet costs of participation in the conference as an auditor we charge an auditor fee. This includes you in coffees, lunches, and the party at the end of the conference, and gives you a conference badge plus access to all panel presentations and keynote lectures. The auditor fee is €25 per day or €50 for the whole conference (three days). Please pay your auditor fee before July 1st, 2014.


Language: the conference will be held in English.


Programme: will be made available in June 2014.


Location: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. The address of the conference rooms will be announced in the programme. Please visit our website regularly to keep up-to-date.


Accommodation: hotel accommodation can be arranged through internet. We kindly refer you to: www.book-a-hotel-in-amsterdam.com. For budget options see www.hostelworld.com.


Lova is the Netherlands Association for Gender Studies and Feminist Anthropology and

provides a professional network for its members since 1979.



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