Romance, Intimacy, and Love
2nd Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference


Friday 28th May 2021 – Saturday 29th May 2021
Prague, Czech Republic

During these trying times, we see a renewed focus on Romance, Intimacy and Love, as well as the instances where they fail us. Many people feel a strong desire for intimacy during the lockdowns and quarantine directives imposed in response to the threat of the novel coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). Alternatively, some individuals experience a strain on their loving relationships because of the forced intimacy that results from spending long periods of time together in close quarters. People fall back on romantic narratives in novels, films and music; experiment with forms of digital intimacy; embrace non-normative forms of intimacy; or fear for the lives of their loved ones. In times of crisis, it is to our interpersonal relationships that we turn for comfort and affection or with fear and grief. And the affective orientations with which we turn towards these experiences can be as varied as the nature of these experiences themselves. It is precisely the variations of feelings, emotions and impulses associated with romance, intimacy and love that we seek to explore at the conference.  


This conference has a radically inclusive focus; it aims to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions from all disciplines, professions and vocations. We aim to bring together people from both within and beyond the academic world and bringing together researchers, community-members, and professionals engaged in work on on any aspect of Romance, Intimacy, and Love. The event will share the aims of the network, as well as studying them: the goal is to let our shared interest in (progressive) interpersonal connections be the foundation on which to build professional and personal progressive connexions between participants. One of the ways in which we wish to further this goal is with our intention to form a selective publication emerging from the meeting to engender further collaboration and discussion.


We welcome traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals, as well as other forms of presentation platforms (art, poetry, posters, video submissions, etc.), as we recognize that different people express themselves in various formats and mediums. 

Key Topics

Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:

(Re)defining Romance, Intimacy and Love

  • How should we understand the concepts and experiences of Romance, Intimacy and Love?
  • What phenomena can these terms include, what are their limits?
  • How are the concepts employed for commercial and other ends?  
  • How do phenomena such as non-normative romantic relationships relate to normative representations? How might we explore, learn from, or find/create a place for them?
  • Cultural representations of Romance, Intimacy and Love
  • Romance, Intimacy and Love in the future

Love, Desire, Lust and Sex

  • Romance, Intimacy, Love and Meaning-making
  • The death or killing of love, desire, lust, or sex 
  • The secular and the religious – the heretical and the sacred
  • Personhood and identity without love, desire, lust or sex


  • Different forms of relationships
  • Relationships with strangers
  • Historical, literary, and personal perspectives
  • Meaning, obligation, identity and belonging


  • Selfhood intimacies and pleasures of the self
  • Dreams, fantasies and desire – symbols, meaning and the unconscious
  • Time, space, solitude and the recognition of self and the inner-self
  • Body rituals: aesthetics, playfulness, health and functions
  • Alienation, madness, crisis of the self, despair and suicide


  • How does technology change how we love and seek love?
  • How technology creates and fosters community
  • Creating and maintaining long-distance relationships
  • The impact of technology on our currently lived intimate relationships
The Political

  • Inequality, power relations, and intimacy
  • Economics/commodification of romance, love and intimacy
  • Normativity and normalization – difference and dissidence
  • Productivity, efficiency, and the dwindling of free time
  • Homogeneity, identity and intimacy
  • Freedom, personhood, resistance and rebellion
  • Legal, legislative and policy frameworks that shape/define romance, intimacy and love

Romance, Intimacy, Love and Emotions/Affects 

  • Vulnerability
  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Affection
  • Trust
  • Care

Romance, Intimacy and Love during the Corona-crises

  • Intimacy and social distancing
  • Digital intimacies
  • Social media and its impact on romance, intimacy, and love
  • Virtual versus ‘Face to Face’ (FtF) relationships
  • Care of self/care of others
  • Staying connected
  • Quarantine and isolation
  • Displacement
  • Loneliness
  • Online communities
  • Love as a burden
  • Prioritizing (between) relationships

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, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainably inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops, publications, public interest days, associations, developing courses, etc which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the conference and ensure that our efforts are continued in our own communities.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 20th November 2020. 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 4th December 2020.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 9th April 2021

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: Romance Submission.

Where To Send

Please note: submissions are currently suspended due to rescheduling. 


Details and Information


Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ 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 20th November 2020
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 4th December 2020
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 15th January 2021
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 29th January 2021
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Friday 5th March 2021
Final date for payment

Friday 9th April 2021
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Friday 25th April 2021
Final programme to printing

The conference is being held at the Hotel Angelo, Prague

Radlicka 3216/1g. 15000 Prague +420 234 801 111

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 - Single Occupancy €109 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €119 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 15th January 2021 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 Friday 29th January 2021.

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.

Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques 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
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret 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.

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.

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.

We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to 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?

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.


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.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration