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Conference ‘Expanding Intersex Studies’ | ‘The Future of Intersex Rights’ high-level panel

Date: 31 janvier – 1 février 2024

Place: ULB & City Hall of Brussels (see programme for maps and details)

Registrations: :https://forms.office.com/e/34DXMpMKqL


Intersex studies are an emergent field that developed in the 1990s and early 2000s. This field has changed the ways intersex people and their bodies are addressed. As such, it articulates the debate, and brings into focus issues such as rights, autonomy, subjectivity, and social movements. It insists on intersex people’s knowledge and epistemologies and questions the medical authority over intersex bodies. This growing body of literature in sciences and humanities has started a new conversation on intersex issues, arguably one directed towards a more ‘critical’ approach that goes beyond the scope of medical practices and clinical research. Critical intersex studies aim to show how the medicalization of intersex bodies and the jurisdiction of medical power classify intersex variations as ‘disorders’ and intersect with other systems of oppression, such as gender, race, class, disability and religion which restrain the rights and autonomy of intersex people. This conference aims to bring together researchers in the field of critical intersex studies from multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to show the current state of intersex research.

For the larger part of the 20th century, intersex people have mostly only been seen and understood through medical lenses. From the ‘optimal gender policy’ to the Chicago Consensus Statement, intersex bodies have been institutionalized within the medical discipline. As research indicates, intersex people face numerous challenges and barriers throughout their lives. One of the main abuses and claims, as social movements highlight, is the unnecessary and non-consensual medical interventions aimed to ‘normalize’ their bodies and a lack of recognition of their human rights as well as stigma and discrimination. Despite this, intersex-related research has mostly focused on the medical and clinical fields, leaving other approaches behind or invisible until recently.


Conference aims 

This conference aims to bring together scholars, advocates, activists and other experts from a variety of disciplines and approaches to explore the various aspects of intersex rights recognition, including the legal, medical, social, and cultural aspects.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Intersex people’s lives, experiences, and subjectivities
  • The emergence of intersex activism, advocacy and politics
  • Protection of intersex human rights and the role of law and policy
  • Intersex children and families
  • Intersex medical treatments, consent, and interdisciplinary approaches
  • The representation of intersex experiences in the media, arts, culture and religion
  • Intersex inclusion in sports and education
  • Intersex research and ethics
  • Innovative intersex research approaches


How to register? Here is the link to the online form for registration :https://forms.office.com/e/34DXMpMKqL

Please register early as places are limited.

And the current conference programme is attached to this message or can be found on the INIA website here: https://www.intersexnew.co.uk/expanding-intersex-studies/


The conference will be held in person in Brussels.

Attendance is free but participants will be responsible for their accommodation and transport.

The academic conference will be followed by a stakeholder event at the City Hall of Brussels on the evening of 1 February. You are all welcome to attend.

This event is part of the INIA project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 859869 ‘Intersex – New Interdisciplinary Approaches’ (INIA).