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Call for Papers : Intersex 2020: A Vision for the Future

The Helix, Dublin City University, Dublin 19th and 20th November 2020

This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together a multiplicity of discourses about intersex/variations of sex characteristics in society. This conference continues on an important path that takes intersex out its historical confines in the medical space where babies, children, adults and their bodies have been problematised in the quest to “normalise” difference. Contemporary understandings of intersex/variations of sex characteristics demand more informed and multidisciplinary perspectives. This conference aims to provide an inclusive and diverse platform through which to listen and discuss intersex for the new decade.

This conference welcomes contributions from academics, activists, non-activists, civil/public servants, representatives from NGOs, policy makers and other interested parties. We welcome papers and contributions from diverse disciplines including, but not limited to, art, business studies, drama, education, ethics, fashion, film, gender studies, geography, history, humanities, language, law, library and information sciences, linguistics, management, medicine, mental health, midwifery, music, nursing, philosophy, psychology, public health, sociology, sport, theology, the performative arts and theatre studies.

We welcome proposals for individual papers/contributions (300 words) and for panels (1000 words) consisting of 3 to 4 papers. Please also include a short biography (50 words) of paper author/s.

Papers/panels could address themes such as:

  • Activism, policy and law reform
  • Experiences of children, their families, young people with intersex/variations of sex characteristics
  • Global perspectives on intersex/variations of sex characteristics
  • Healthcare for older intersex people
  • Historical analysis
  • Human Rights
  • Institutional responses to intersex/variations of sex characteristics
  • Literary analysis
  • Terminology

Please email proposals to intersex@dcu.ie by March 2nd 2020.  We will notify you about acceptance of proposals during the week commencing April 6th 2020, at which point Early Bird Registration will open.

Confirmed Keynote speakers:

  • Sara Philips, Chair, Intersex Ireland
  • Morgan Carpenter, M.Bioeth, University of Sydney, Co-Executive Director of Intersex Human Rights Australia


There are a limited number of bursaries available to support people to attend this conference. To apply for a bursary please email intersex@dcu.ie stating your name, address, institutional or other affiliation. You will need to include a detailed statement, between 350 and 500 words, outlining your reasons for why you would wish to attend/participate in this conference and indicate an approximate cost that would be incurred by you to attend. Please be aware these bursaries will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Conference Dinner:

The conference dinner will take place in Dublin City Centre and further details will be shared in due course.

Conference Code of Conduct

This conference is a safe space for people with intersex variations and those with a supportive interest in intersex issues to share their research, advocacy work, and experience. In order to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for all attendees, please adhere to the following code of conduct.

For all attendees:

  1. Be inclusive – support people of all backgrounds, abilities, neuro-divergences, sexualities and identities;
  2. Be respectful to all attendees and speakers. Verbal or physical aggression will not be tolerated;
  3. If you are a member of the media/press, please identify yourself to all attendees by wearing the provided lanyards;
  4. Avoid using stigmatising language;
  5. Be respectful of individuals’ self-defined gender identities and pronouns;
  6. All events will be chaired. Speakers will be given time to receive questions after the delivery of their paper, please wait for the chair to invite questions – do not interrupt papers.

For speakers:

  1. Please keep your paper within the time allocated and respect the chair of the panel when any guidance is given regarding time;
  2. Please be respectful, stay on topic and do not address interpersonal, academic, inter-activist, or any other disputes in your paper;
  3. Please be aware that visual imagery may be upsetting to some attendees;
  4. Please send all slides to the conference organiser to be reviewed in advance of the conference.


Is you have any questions or queries about this event, please feel free to get in touch by emailing intersex@dcu.ie .

This Conference is part of the project Mapping the Lived Experience of Intersex/Variations of Sex Characteristics in Ireland: Contextualising Lay and Professional Knowledge to Enable Development of Appropriate Law and Policy. The project is funded by the Irish Research Council under the COALESCE 2019 Call IRC Coalesce/2019/156. The Project has received ethical approval by the Research Ethics Committee of Dublin City University DCUREC/2019_119.