One-day workshop University of Kent, Saturday
4 March 2006 (provisional date) Quiet Staff
Common Room, Keynes College, University of Kent
This workshop departs from more conventional forms
of academic workshop. It will not be organised around
speakers presenting papers on their research etc. Instead
the workshop is focused on bringing together members
of the Centre with a research interest in the regulation
of intimacy to exchange views, deepen our individual
and collective knowledge and foster networks and collaboration
(formal and informal).
Although there will be panels and short presentations
the presenters will be asked to address particular themes
and provide overviews and critiques which will form
the basis of general and extended discussion. In this
way, we will all have the opportunity both to share
our work and ideas and attempt to locate them within
some general themes which provide the bridge for connecting
different research endeavours within the Centre. Suggested
themes and the general research context are further
Outline and themes
Within the normative framework of liberalism, intimate
relations have traditionally been viewed as outside
the scope of legal regulation, as part of a domain of
privacy from which the state should properly be excluded.
However, a key focus of feminist and other critical
theoretical approaches has been to dispel the idea that
intimacy is unregulated and to question the coherence,
viability and ideological effects of the public/private
dichotomy. Increasingly it is acknowledged that intimate
relations are a key site of regulation and governance.
This workshop will endeavour to move beyond a critique
of the public/private dichotomy as the primary critical
tool for viewing issues of intimacy and law to consider
intimacy within a governance and regulation framework.
Such a framework is concerned with identifying the range
of techniques through which rule or governance occurs
and with analysing the many ways of disciplining, controlling,
obtaining, segregating, classifying and ordering subjects.
This workshop will focus on the techniques, processes,
rationalities and normative structures which operate
in the context of intimate relations as well as notions
of gender, sexuality, race, class etc as they emerge
The workshop will be organised around three main themes:
• Conceptions of intimacy
• Intimacy and autonomy
• Intimacy and (re)distribution.
The first theme captures a clutch of issues around
how intimacy is or may be conceived within regulatory
and governance frameworks and the normative implications
of such conceptions. Intimacy may be posited in terms
of sex, sexuality, heterosexuality, monogamy, friendship,
and family. These are all key terms for interrogation
in the context of enquiries into the regulation of intimacy.
The second theme engages with tensions between notions
of intimacy and autonomy for example in the context
of sexuality, violence, reproduction and medical treatment.
To what extent do notions of intimacy depend on particular
conceptions of autonomy; when does intimacy violate
autonomy; can the recasting of ideas of autonomy pave
the way for more liberating, less oppressive conceptions
of intimacy? Or are the concepts inevitably in tension?
The final theme addresses the various ways in which
conceptions of intimacy are bound up with issues of
regulation, for example in the context of work relations
and/or the allocation of rights and entitlements in
relation to the family home and the disposition of personal
property. This theme also allows for a direct focus
on the implication of intimacy in inequality, whether
in a local or global context.
Intimacy Workshop Report
For more information, please contact Joanne