Manufacturing Collectivity. Exploring the Nexus of Gender, Collectivities, and Law

Manufacturing Collectivity. Exploring the Nexus of Gender, Collectivities, and Law

DFG Forschungsgruppe Recht-Geschlecht-Kollektivität
Freie Universität Berlin
Vom - Bis
01.07.2020 - 03.07.2020
Veronika Springmann

One of the most controversial issues in Western democracy today is the question of belonging and participation. Law plays a pivotal role here. Recent social conflicts such as those about anti-discrimination legislation and workers’ rights, the right to the city, the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers, or the demand for sexual self-determination bear witness to this dynamic.
Against this background, the conference of the interdisciplinary Research Group (FOR) focuses on the nexus of law, gender, and collectivity. We question the efficacy of gendered collectivity in the context of a hegemonic male-oriented and hetero-normative tradition of civil law. Based on deeper insights into legally standardized and, at the same time, gendered collectivization processes, we are interested in learning how current social conflicts manifest themselves, and how they can be understood and described in all their complexity.
We look forward to receiving theoretical and empirical contributions, for instance, from a jurisprudential, historical, sociological, philosophical, and cultural-anthropological perspective. We invite contributions in the form of 15-minute presentations addressing the following topic areas while always also factoring in the role of law and taking into consideration how the issues relate to process of gendering.
I. Law – Gender – Knowledge: Spaces and Demarcations
Given that juridicial knowledge creates gender as well as other differentiating and often discriminatory categories such as “race” or disability, we ask for the grammar and the formats a conflict, a political discussion, or a problem needs to comply with so that it can be formulated as a legal problem. How is juridicial and gendered knowledge (re)produced in legal practice and what epistemic role does the legal doctrine play here? To what extent is this knowledge intersectionally gendered? In what settings are intersectional perspectives sought, both dogmatically and empirically?
We are interested in the boundaries set and encountered by the law. How do legal practices create gendered spaces and thus also boundaries? Where does the discussion surrounding law call into question ontologies of humankind, nature, and technology?
II. Collective Strategies: Dynamics and Processes of Collectivization
Organizations, groups, processes of communitization, digital networks as well as looser formations such as social movements use very different collective strategies to establish capacity to act internally and externally. We are interested in the practices and factors that contribute to more or less stable interdependencies, in other words, to various aggregate states and intensities of collectives.
What are the models of solidarity and representation that emerge from these techniques? What are the ways in which law is increasingly and strategically used – for instance, as a knowledge resource, as an enforcement mechanism, or as an enabling and imaginary space? How is the structuring effect of gender normatively utilized?
III. Individualization and Collectivization
In what ways do tensions between individualization and collectivization arise and manifest? What kinds of negotiations and formations of subjectification practices at the interface of law, gender, and collectivity can be observed? What are the schisms and conflicts that occur here? How can we understand these negotiations and the possibly changing figurations of the individual and the collective from a theoretical point of view? In this vein, we look forward to receiving contributions that take into account the figure of the “economically rational individualism denoted as masculine” as it undergoes historical and geographical transformation, or that empirically examine subjectification practices at the interface between law, gender, and collectivity.
Please send all proposals – title and abstract (max. 300 words) – for contributions in the formats described above to by January 3, 2020.

Conference language: English

Call for Participation

Interdisciplinary PhD Students’ Workshop

July 1, 2020, Freie Universität Berlin,
1.30 – 6.00 p.m.

preceding the conference
Law – Gender – Collectivity.
Processes of Standardization, Categorization and Generating Solidarity

Prior to the conference, the DFG Research Group “Law – Gender – Collectivity” is offering a workshop for PhD students. This half-day workshop gives young researchers the opportunity to put their current research projects forward for discussion. We aim to foreground gender as a central dimension of analysis, and, taking into account different disciplinary approaches, critically examine it together.
In particular, we would like to pursue the question of how gender is interwoven with the categories of law (standards, laws, practices, legislation, or mobilization of the law, etc.) and/or collectivity (groups, organizations, social movements, etc.) and/or may have an effect on these, and what research perspectives can be derived from this. In the contributions, gender should therefore be examined primarily in relation to at least one of the two categories, and perhaps also in connection with other categories.

Possible approaches to this include:
- Gendering as a means of facilitating or preventing collectives and/or collective action
- Creating/eroding solidarity along gendered divisions in social movements
- Gender in processes of legislation/mobilization of the law and/or collectivization
- Gender relations and social change

We invite PhD students of all disciplines to share and discuss their research with us. All participants who would like to present their research should submit two-page papers that form the basis for the discussion. These papers will be sent to all registered participants in advance.

Please send applications for contributions by e-mail to (subject: phD workshop) with the following information:
- Title of the contribution
- Abstract (max. 300 words)
- Short CV (length of no more than half to one page)

The deadline for contributions is January 3, 2019. If your contribution is accepted, the deadline for submitting the two-page paper is June 5, 2020.
The registration deadline for participants in the discussion who are not presenting their own paper is also June 5, 2020.

We look forward to receiving your submissions and registrations.

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