Global Digital Intimacies Conference
In the light of these transformations, the Global Digital Intimacies conference aims to gather together scholars from around the world to investigate digital intimacy in all its varieties.
Call for papers
Digitization is transforming intimate practices around the globe. The expansive reach of digital connectivity is reorganizing public/private, global/local boundaries, and pushing beyond dominant Western understandings of intimacy. Digital platforms and mobile apps—Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram, WeChat, WhatsApp, Tinder, Tantan, Blued, and Chaturbate—have rapidly become central to intimacy. These platforms and apps enable and allow for the traveling of new forms of self-expression and identity construction, including LGTBQAI+ cultures and identifications across the globe, as well as new types of social connections and attachments. Such connections interact in complex ways with conventional understandings of sex, love and desire, as well as of friendship, kinship, community, nationhood, partnership and collegiality.
While the digital is becoming intricately entangled with every social activity, these platforms and apps are characterized by distinct material characteristics within technological, geopolitical contexts. Economically speaking, social networks, live streaming platforms, and chat and dating apps constitute markets, connecting end-users, content producers, advertisers, data intermediaries, venture capitalists, and other third parties. Powered by large-scale infrastructures, they bring about the datafication and commodification of intimacy. Simultaneously, these techno-commercial assemblages cannot be separated from the affective exchanges and emotional experiences that constitute the immaterial content of digital interactions and relations.
In the light of these transformations, the Global Digital Intimacies conference aims to gather together scholars from around the world to investigate digital intimacy in all its varieties. We understand digital intimacy as affect, labor, a form of being, and structure of feeling. It takes shape through the digital, but is deeply material. It includes love, sex, and sexuality, but also wider sets of relations. Intimacy is conceived as a function that brings together humans and non-humans, shaping communities and identities.
Intimacy holds different meanings and takes various forms across the globe, and thus, in the spirit of decolonial and postcolonial thinking, we encourage participants to reflect and develop alternative interpretations of intimacy, and to avoid universalizing Western-centric understandings of intimacy in their papers. Similarly, digital technologies are used and imagined differently based on historical, cultural, and political contexts.
Dates & Times
27 June (starting 9:00 AM, CET) until 28 June (7:00 PM, CET), 2024.
University of Amsterdam (downtown) & Zoom
To maximize participation from scholars around the world, we have opted to organize this as a hybrid conference that will simultaneously take place on location (at the University of Amsterdam) and through Zoom. Scholars who are unable to travel to Amsterdam can participate virtually in live panels, which will be scheduled between 9 am and 6 pm CET. All keynote conversations will be live-streamed. For those attending in person, we will organize two social events (conference dinner & closing drinks).
Find out more about the event here.