Close Relations: a multi- and interdisciplinary conference on critical family and kinship studies

Date: 24 - 26 October, 2018
Location: Uppsala university, Uppsala

Plenary speakers:

  • David Eng, Professor of English, University of Pennsylvania, US
  • Susan White, Professor of Social Work, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Rikke Andreassen, Professor of Media and Communication, Roskilde University, DK

About the conference:
Close Relations offers a platform for exploring urgent issues for critical family and kinship studies, across disciplines and areas. Few questions raise more heated debate than those of family and kinship, and few areas demonstrate more clearly the interconnectedness of the private and the public.

Recent years have witnessed a growing emphasis on "family values" in the EU, with ongoing debates about marriage, migration, procreative practices, parental leave, meanings of childhood, and gendered divisions of (care) labour. In a time marked by globalization and migration, as well as neoliberalism and the rise of nationalism, an increasing recognition of non-conventional families and kin constellations has run parallel with re-affirmations of the nuclear family form. Growing anxieties around the (welfare) state’s (future) ability to care for its citizens also refocuses the family’s caretaking and wealth extending function.

Close Relations wishes to explore how changes in family and kin formation materialize in everyday lives, in stories, in fiction and art; how they are facilitated, contested, or hindered in cultural, political, legal, and medical contexts; how close relations play out, become closer or closed off, in specific contexts and situations.