The conference is sponsored by the Belonging and Ethnicity Research Group (BERG), the Bangor University School of Social Sciences, the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research Data and Methods (WISERD) and the British Sociological Association Theory Study Group.
Current debates on gender, nation, sexuality, religion and other categories of social divisions and belonging often address the relations between these categories with the term 'intersectionality': intersecting in an infinite variety of ways, each of these categories helps construct all the others. What we are, what we suffer, what we belong to, or what we long to be, is multifaceted and contradictory. Our longings, or aversions, are related to our belongings in complicated and ambiguous ways, and what social group or category we belong to does not determine our political or cultural values, goals or dreams. And yet: the former inform the latter, if only to the extent that we do not wish to remain tomorrow what we are today. Nor do our positionings, situatedness and belongings simply add up to an 'identity' (being one way and not other) – as if my hold of 'ethnicity no. 7' plus 'gender no. 2' plus 'citizenship in state no. 11' etcetera could ever equate to exactly what 'I am': 'citizenship in state no. 11' does not mean the same depending on whether I am of this or that sex, or sexuality, or age, or ethnicity. These intersections complicate, perhaps thwart, any efforts to ground the cultural and political projects, coalitions, emancipation that we long for in the spaces (physical, virtual, rhetorical) we belong to.
The organisers welcome critical contributions on all aspects of 'spaces of belonging' under the perspective of the concept of intersectionality. Theoretically informed contributions from scholars in all disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, broadly conceived, are invited, as well as from social and community activists or artists.