CFP: Capitalism and Erotics

Call for Papers: RGS-IBG Annual Conference 2013, London, 28th-30th August 2013

Capitalism and Erotics

Organiser: Jason Lim (Queen Mary, University of London, UK)

Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group of the RGS-IBG

This session seeks to examine the multitude of ways of thinking about the relationship between capitalism and erotics. Much recent research has examined how our intimate and erotic lives have become more explicitly commodified, assigned value, advertised, commercialised, packaged and consumed. Feminist and queer analyses have addressed, for instance, how gendered domination associated with sexual divisions of labour (work, social reproduction etc.) is related to capitalist erotics, or how contemporary transformations of labour often rest upon a commodification of sexualised aesthetics. Other work has explored how capitalist processes and practices produce and manufacture our erotic desires. Erotic desires have also been theorised as residing at the heart of the Sovereign modes of power and subjectivity that are the correlates of the nihilism of contemporary post-Fordist and neo-colonialist capitalisms. Conversely, Eros has sometimes been understood as subversive of capitalism – a transformative desire that promises to incite new forms of economies beyond capitalism.

Contributions are invited that address or reflect upon some aspect of the relationship between capitalism and erotics, both broadly conceived. Empirical and/or theoretical contributions are welcome, and paper ideas both from within the discipline of Geography and from other cognate disciplines are invited.

Paper ideas may relate to, but are not limited to:

–          Erotics and sexual divisions of labour – the production of work and of social reproduction

–          The commodification of sexuality

–          Sex work, sexualised work and precarity

–          Erotics, business and finance

–          Pornography and the abstraction of sexual desires

–          Labour migration and erotic regulation

–          The erotics of leisure, consumption, distinction and taste

–          Online transformations of erotics, sexuality and citizenship

–          Capitalist imaginaries, simulacra and the circulation of erotic derivatives

–          Representation, erotic imagery, and the market (e.g. the role of the media and other cultural intermediaries in shaping erotic desire)

–          Eros and the contemporary capitalist city

–          Erotic capital

–          The eroticisation of class

–          Non-capitalist erotics/utopian erotics


Please send a title and abstract of c.250 words (with name, affiliation and contact email addresses of all authors) to by 8 February 2013

For more details about the conference, please visit the Royal Geographical Society (with Institute of British Geographers) website:

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