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Conference Announcement: "Vulnerability, Gender, and Justice"

Mittwoch, 17.07.2019

Contemporary Feminist Debates - 17. - 18. July 2019 - at the University of Graz!

"Vulnerability, Gender, and Justice"


When? 17. - 18. July 2019, Start is at 8 o'clock.
Where? SR 15.34, Universitätsstraße 15 (RESOWI Building, Section D, third floor), Section of Political Philosophy (Institute of Philosophy)


Here you can find a poster.



The concept of vulnerability has come to occupy a prominent place in various political debates, as well as on the agendas of governments and international organizations. The idea of a generalized vulnerability (associated with mutual bodily exposure and conceptualized by Judith Butler as precariousness) could represent an enabling condition for ethical and political action.

Nonetheless, there are differential levels of precarity that need to be addressed. Its many uses today refer to the risks of poverty, unemployment, or loss of social security, to the exposure to climate change and natural disasters, or to bioethical considerations related to health practices.

This conference will address the multilayered dimensions of vulnerability, intertwined with matters that involve gender and justice. In this sense, it will foster interdisciplinary perspectives within contemporary feminism that provide with analytical tools to understand vulnerability and situations of precarity, and that also explore the possibilities of agency and critical engagement with social relations and institutions.


Keynote speakers:

  • Athena Athanasiou (Panteion University)
  • Elena Tzelepis (University of Athens; University of London). 
  • Leticia Sabsay (London School of Economics and Political Science). 
  • Tuija Pulkkinen (University of Helsinki)
  • Adriana Zaharijević (University of Belgrade)
  • María José Guerra Palmero (University of La Laguna, Spain). 


Wednesday, 17thJuly 2019

8:00: Registration and documentation (SR 15.34, Universitätstraße 15 (RESOWI Building, Section D), third floor)

8:45: Inauguration of the Conference.

9:00: Athena Athanasiou (School of Social Sciences, Panteion University): Beyond Vulnerability versus Affirmation: Reflections on the Aporias of Non-Sovereign Performativity

10:15: Coffee break

10:30: Panel

Alexandra Valadas (Michigan State University): Women at Risk – Furthering Precarity through Embodiment

Rebecca Hewer (University of Edinburgh): 

11:30: Adriana Zaharijević (Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade): Invulnerability and Bodilessness: Robinson’s Justice

12:45 - 14:15: Pausa para el almuerzo

14:15: Panel

Nicole Haring (Karl-Franzens University of Graz): Never Again: Ms. Magazine’s Fight Against Reproductive Powerlessness

Ľubica Kobová (Charles University): Vulnerable Working Bodies

15:15: Panel

Mareike Gebhardt (FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg): Critical Vulnerability: Genderization and Racialization in EU Migration “Deathscapes”

Carla Schiever (University of Oldenburg): To Resist Means (not) to Survive. Challenging a Butlerian Critique of Violence in the Case of Marielle Franco.

16:15: Coffee break

16:30: Elena Tzelepis (University of Thessaly): Politics of Vulnerability in Antigone’s Critical Poetics


Thursday, 18th July 2019

9:00: María José Guerra Palmero (Faculty of Humanities, University of La Laguna): Against the Liberal Subject. Martha Fineman on Vulnerability

10:15: Coffee break

10:30: Panel

Seunghyun Song (Karl-Franzens University of Graz): Vulnerability and Claims for Rectifications: Against Supersession Thesis

Perica Jovchevski (Central European University – Budapest): The Personal Autonomy of Members of Vulnerable Gender Groups: on the Demands for Domination – Free Epistemic Horizons

11:30: Leticia Sabsay (Gender Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science): Troubling Vulnerability: The Revolt of Gender in Post-Democratic Times

12:45 – 14:15: Lunch break

14:15: Panel

Constanze Erhard (University of Marburg): Escaping Vulnerability? Artificial Sex and Sexbots

Myriam Hernández Domínguez (University of La Laguna): Posthuman Vulnerability

15:15: Mónica Cano Abadía (Karl-Franzens University of Graz): (In)Vulnerabilities and Otherness

16:30: Coffee break

16:45: Tuija Pulkkinen (Gender Studies, University of Helsinki): Vulnerability and the Human - The Politics of Philosophy in Judith Butler’s and Adriana Cavarero’s Feminist Thought

18:00: Closing session

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