“Falling in love was not really a choice; it just struck me.” Many people identify with the sentiment in Helen Fisher’s writing about love; the elusiveness, the enduring, the mystery, the unknown of such a powerful emotion and experience. Artists, designers, writers, poets, singers, songwriters, musicians – we have all tried with various degrees of failure and success to describe and express the many forms of love.
What does it mean to love? What does it mean to be intimate? What is the connection between romance, intimacy, and love? Such broad questions, yet such diverse and personal answers. This project endeavours to explore romance, intimacy, and love within the context of persons and interpersonal relationships and across a range of critical, contextual, and cultural perspectives. Seeking to encourage innovative dialogues, we warmly welcome papers which struggle to understand what it is to be a person, how romance, intimacy and love impacts our familial, individual, personal, romantic, and social relationships. There is an intention to form a selective publication emerging from the meeting to engender further collaboration and discussion.
This conference has a global focus; it aims to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at the international level. We welcome papers from all disciplines, professions and vocations, going beyond the academic world and bringing together researchers, community, and professionals engaged in work on Romance, Intimacy, and Love. We welcome traditional papers, panels and workshop proposals, as well as other forms of presentation platforms (art, poetry, posters, video submissions, etc.) favoured outside academia, given the interdisciplinary nature of the conference, recognising that different groups express themselves in various formats and mediums.
Key topics, themes and issues for discussion may include, but are definitely not limited to:
Defining Romance, Intimacy and Love: What is romance?; How is romance used in relationships?; Is romance needed in relationships?; How is romance used to sell fantasy?; What is intimacy?; What does it mean to be intimate?; What is love?; How and where to locate love?; Should we re-think the idea of love?; Cultural meanings; Identity and belonging; Structures, institutions and systems; Economics and romance, intimacy, and love; Work and romance, intimacy, and love; Acts and interactions; Representations and symbols
Love, Desire, Lust and Sex: Persons and the search for meaning; Social norms that rule the intimacies of our lives; The death or killing of love, desire, lust, or sex; Commitment and obligation; Choice, respect, loyalty and trust; Consummate love; The secular and the religious – the heretical and the sacred; Personhood and identity without love, desire, lust or sex
Relationships: Defining familial relationships: blood and heritage versus choice and happenstance; Defining friendship; Defining romantic relationships; Relationships without romance, intimacy, or love; Persons, acquaintances, others and the needs of strangers; Intimacies between strangers; Historical, literary, and personal perspectives; Meaning, obligation, identity and belonging; Loving and caring for children, siblings, and parents; Hospitality and bonds of care
Self: Selfhood intimacies and pleasures of the self; Soul, emotions, ideas and the inner-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
Technology: 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; Social media and its impact on romance, intimacy, and love. Technology fails and its impact on relationships; Empowerment/disempowerment narratives; Ghosting and its impact; Virtual versus ‘Face to Face” (FtF) relationships
The Political: Inequality, power relations, and intimacy; Normativity and normalization – difference and dissidence; Productivity, efficiency, and the dwindling of free time; Homogeneity, identity and intimacy; The democratisation of intimate relations; Freedom, personhood, resistance and rebellion
Vulnerability and Shame: What does it mean to be vulnerable?; Romance, Intimacy, Love, and vulnerability; Our authentic selves: Intimacy and shame; Love and shame
When Relationships End or Fail: What does it mean when relationships end?; Norms, agreements and expectations; Betrayal, cheating and infidelity; The loss of intimacy – the destruction of trust; Isolation, alienation, loneliness and estrangement; Conflict, breakdown, crisis and the demise of relationships; Separation, mourning and bereavement; unlinking and unloving; Unrequited love: Rejection.
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, roundtables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 22nd February 2019. 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 8th March 2019.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 31st May 2019.
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, Intimacy and Love Submission.
Early Bird Submission and Discount
Submissions received on or before Friday 18th January 2019 will be eligible for a 10% registration fee discount.
Details and Information
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
~ Monday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Monday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Monday lunch
~ Monday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Monday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Tuesday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Tuesday lunch
~ Tuesday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines
Friday 18th January 2019
Early Bird Abstract/Presentation with 10% registration fee discount
Friday 22nd February 2019
Friday 8th March 2019
Friday 29th March 2019
Booking Form Submissions
Week Beginning 8th April 2019
Circulation of Draft Programme
Friday 10th May 2019
Final date for payment
Friday 24th May 2019
Circulation of Revised Programme
Friday 31st May 2019
Full draft of presentation to be submitted
Monday 10th June 2019
Final programme to printing
Via Longhena 42,
(+39) 045 569 011
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
€70 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy
€85 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.
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 14th December 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 Friday 10th May 2019.
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.
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
149b Wroslyn Road
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
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.
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.
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.