Conferences

The Joys of the Erotic: Building Human Connections
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project

Friday 29th June 2018 – Saturday 30th June 2018
Palermo, Italy

 

The erotic. A complex, tangled, and ephemeral web of meeting points, interfaces and intersections at the centre of human experiences. 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. Eroticism is frequently displayed in film, embedded in music, intimated in art and literature, as well as in the advertising on city streets, travel shows and fashion events. Above all, it builds pathways which bring us closer to each other.

African-American lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde believes the erotic provides “the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person.” Sharing physical, emotional or intellectual joy “forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” The shared joy of the erotic offers a bridge that allows us to make connections between and among people across various gender, racial, social, cultural, and political divides.

In fact the erotic is many things: 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, fluidity, and movement; 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 compellingly unique 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. 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, and those who allow it to build those bridges as an outreach to others.

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.  It has three overarching themes: 1. The erotic as a bridge in the context of human and personal relationships; 2. The erotic as a bridge in the context of social, cultural and historical behaviour; 3. The erotic as a bridge in the context in intellectual enquiry.

Key themes to be explored include – but are not limited to –

  • Inclusive interdisciplinary approaches to eroticism and the erotic
  • Histories of the erotic
  • Local, national, international and global perspectives on the erotic
  • The erotic imagination: literature, art, music, theatre and cinema
  • Politics and the erotic
  • Economics and the commercialization of eroticism
  • Public spaces and the eroticism
  • Virtual spaces and eroticism
  • The law, crime and the erotic
  • Madness and eroticism (e.g. Elizabeth Bathory)
  • The erotics of death
  • Exploring women who write and read gay erotica
  • Erotic encounters with the non-human: inanimate objects, sex dolls and erotic robots
  • Eroticized combat (e.g. the Trojan war myth)
  • Erotic imagery (pictures, art, sculpture, photography, 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 sexual representation
  • The role of eroticism in relationships: romance, desire, arousal, excitement
  • Eroticism and fantasy or role playing
  • The erotic and the perverse; eroticism & fetishism
  • The psychology of the erotic
  • Religion and the erotic
  • The erotic in popular culture

Our main goal is to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at an international level, in a dynamic and interactive setting. Thus, we welcome participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and vocations (NGO personnel, aid workers, researchers, mental and physical health professionals, educators, human rights activists, counselors, social workers, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, politicians, business owners, military personnel, customs workers and members of the border patrol, labour specialists, historians, sociologists, psychologists, economists, anthropologists, ethnographers social media experts, artists and many more)

What to Send
The aim of this 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, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 19th January 2018. 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 2nd February 2018.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 11th May 2018.

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: Joys of the Erotic Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Dr Natalia Kaloh Vid: natalia@progressiveconnexions.net
Project Administrator: palermojoys@progressiveconnexions.net

Palermo 2018 Details and Information

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £255.
(Please note: in exceptional circumstances this may fluctuate depending on the £ - € exchange rate).
This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ Friday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Friday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Friday lunch
~ Friday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Friday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 19th January 2018
Proposal Submission deadline

Friday 2nd February 2018
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 23rd February 2018
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 9th March 2018
Invoices issued
w/b Monday 12th March 2018
Circulation of Draft Programme

Monday 9th April 2018
Final date for payment

Friday 27th April 2018
Circulation of Revised Programme

Friday 11th May 2018
Final programme to website and to printing.

Friday 18th May 2018
Full draft of presentation to be submitted.
The conference is being held at the Best Western Hotel Al Cavalieri Palermo.

Via Sant'Oliva 8, 90141 Palermo PA, Italy
Phone: +39 091 583282: Fax: +39 091 6126589

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.


Standard Room - Singe Occupancy €90 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €120 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed. Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking. You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 9th February 2018 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Monday 2nd April 2018.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheque’s should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

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.

Ethos
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.