”Close Relations” a multi- and interdisciplinary conference on critical family and kinship studies took place in the beautiful and historical university town of Uppsala, Sweden, on 24-26th October 2018. The 5-strong group from the CoreKin team attended the inspiring event!
Brilliant researchers from Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, US, UK, Russia and many other countries discussed passionately contemporary and future issues and imaginations about Queer Kinship, the diversity of families, Crip Theory, family law, post-heteronormativity, Queer Grief, alternative parenting and domesticities as well as other important topics.
The interesting keynote and panel discussions helped to create and widen focal networks between researchers from different generations and disciplines. It all worked out smoothly in the friendly and positive atmosphere of interest and acceptance, provided by the Swedish network that organised the event.
The CoreKin team presented 5 papers in different panels:
Dr Antu Sorainen presented her paper on “Queer Grief” that initiates collaboration with Dr Paul Boyce (Sussex). Presentation was made within the workshop “Queer Loss and Grief”, that was moderated by Prof. Ulrika Dahl. The paper was met with a wide audience and interest, and the discussion after the two presentations in the panel revealed that the topic of queer grief and mourning is significant for future research in the field. Within the same panel, for example, there was presented a very promising paper by Atalia Israeli-Nevo from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev “Queer Death, Queer Mourning: Inquiring Trans/Queer Kinships Facing Mouring”.
Dr Anna Moring presented her paper “(Re)Defining Kinship Relatedness and Closeness in the Law on Custody and Visitation in Finland” which was also followed by a very productive discussion about family law in Finland and Sweden, and the possibilities to influence its reform.
Alisa Zhabenko presented her paper “Chosen Kinship, Extended Families and Support Networks of Lesbian Mothers in Contemporary Russia”, in which she argued on the importance of analysing the kinship structure of Russian lesbian mothers.
Anna Avdeeva, in her paper on “Attachment Parenting in Russia: New Challenges for ”Traditional” Forms of Kinship” discussed the influence of neoliberal politics to new forms of parenting in Russia.
Anna Heinonen presented the first findings of her research in her paper “Chosen Families – Seeking the Possibilities of the Concept in the Case of Communal Living”.
The participants of the conference were fortunat enot only with the high level of the debates but also with the weather! Uppsala met us with a crispy but sunny autumn weather.