2nd Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference Vienna

The 2nd Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference will be held between 31st of August and 2nd of Sepember at the Sigmund-Freud-University in Vienna, Austria.

Stefan Ossmann is member of the Local Organising Comittee.

Here the link to the programe.



Call for Contributions – Academics, therapists, counsellors, etc.

After the success of its first instalment in Lisbon in 2015, the second Non-Monogamies and Contemporary Intimacies Conference (NMCI), to be held 31 August to 2 September 2017 at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna (Austria), aims to continue to bring together academics, therapists/counsellors, artists, activists and other practitioners to address the conditions, experiences, challenges, and opportunities involved in interpersonal relationships that go beyond paradigms such as compulsory monogamy or compulsory (hetero-)sexuality.

In recent decades, researchers from a wide range of academic disciplines have documented  ongoing social changes in regards to concepts and practices such as marriage, family, sexuality, and intimacy. Concurrently, radical revisions of perspective and practice are taking place around gender roles and behaviours, trans issues, parenting, family and kinship structures, contraception, abortion, divorce, as well as issues concerning cultural, national, or religious belonging in light of migration. Many of these areas have further been linked to transformations in broader social, economic and political constructs, such as same-sex marriage.

Layered into these changes are backlash and negative critiques of certain ways of relating that ‘break the rules’, both from within and outside academia: representations of non-monogamy which describe it as ‘infidelity’ or ‘failures’ of the ‘normal’ pattern of intimacy illustrate the privileged role of the idealised couple, portrayed as intrinsically better. Similarly, perspectives that delegitimise intimacies that do not fit mainstream moulds – such as asexual, aromantic, or non-binary-gender-based intimacies – demonstrate the entrenchment of dominant relationship paradigms, resulting in limitations on how members of a society are able to imagine and conduct their intimate lives. Moreover, the limited existing research on consensual non-monogamies, asexualities, or BDSM focuses to a large degree on English-speaking and socio-economically privileged white groups and communities.

The rise in critical discourses regarding normative sexualities and intimacies (and the ways in which these two elements interact) calls into question the traditional paradigm of lifestyles that have been at the core of the sex–gender system, as well as hetero-mono-normative institutions and practices in general. The approaches sought by NMCI are critical, multi-/transdisciplinary, and intersectional.


With NMCI, we intend to bring together people from a variety of backgrounds in order to foster a platform for the exchange of ideas and experiences, as well as opportunities for collaboration and solidarity. We welcome contributions from academics/researchers as well as therapists/counsellors, artists, activists, practitioners, community members, and others who have a stake in these issues.

Contributions could focus on, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Lived experiences of polyamory, swinging, open couples and other non-monogamies;
  • Non-sexual and/or non-romantic relationships and emerging identities, such as asexuality and aromanticism;
  • Intersections between non-monogamies/contemporary intimacies and race, migration, sex–gender, sexual orientation, kink, class, culture, dis/ability, education;
  • Challenges and realities in psychotherapeutic/counselling practice around consensual non-monogamies and other non-normative intimacies;
  • Changes in concepts and representations of coupledom, and associated challenges;
  • Tensions and transformations in academic and common definitions and understandings of partnerships, friendships, kinship, and other forms of connecting;
  • Specificities of cultural practices and values regarding transformations in contemporary intimacies in non-Anglo-American and/or non-Global North countries;
  • Histories, herstories, and queerstories of non-monogamies and contemporary intimacies, grounded in specific times and places;
  • Activism and community-building around non-monogamies;
  • Differences, overlaps, and intersections between consensual and non-consensual non-monogamies, and their power relationships;
  • Legal and fiscal implications and challenges around non-monogamies;
  • Transformations in the meanings and practices of coupledom;
  • The roles of technologies in transforming social relations and intimacies;
  • Discourses on the (e.g., genetic or evolutionary) naturalness of monogamy or of non-monogamy;
  • Sexual/emotional/… infidelity;
  • Intersections between non-monogamies and feminist theories, LGBT studies, gender and queer studies, post/decolonialism and other anti-oppressive strands;
  • Sex work, pornographies (mainstream or otherwise) and other capitalist-sexual crossovers within the broader field of intimacies;
  • (Public) health and non-monogamies; public health and ageing sexual and gender minorities (e.g. LGBTIQ*);
  • Connections between religion and hegemonic non-monogamies;
  • New normativities and new resistances: polynormativity and relationship anarchy, neo-liberalism and political contestation;
  • Non-normative intimacies in literature, art, cinema, television, photography, theatre, music, or other media.

Accessibility & language

We are dedicated to providing an inclusive, safe and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of personal/professional and financial background, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, dis-/ability, physical appearance, body size, race, class, age or religion.

The venue – Sigmund Freud University – is wheelchair-accessible. If you have additional accessibility requirements (e.g. sign-language interpreting), please contact us via e-mail. We will do our best to provide for everyone’s requirements. If you are not sure whether your particular set of requirements ‘counts’, please e-mail us anyways!

While the main conference language will be English, we plan to include a German-language stream to make the conference more accessible to local participants in and around Vienna/Austria.


Our goal is community-building within and beyond academia, art, activism, psychotherapy/counselling, community etc., challenging conventional models of the hegemonic Global North system of knowledge production. We are therefore open to a variety of formats and encourage the submission not only of academic papers and thematic panels, but also round-table discussions, workshops, storytelling, project presentations, performances, film screenings, debates, installations, activist-driven reflections, reflexive exercises, and other formats. (See also the sibling call for activist, artistic, etc. contributions.) Contributions should normally take either 20 or 90 minutes, but we are open to other timeframes depending on your requirements.

If you would like to propose a German-language contribution, please send your abstract or proposal in German. For all other contributions, the preferred submission language is English. Provided that, upon acceptance, the contribution itself can be in English or German at the conference and the abstract can be resubmitted in English for the conference programme, abstracts and proposals can also be submitted in the following languages: Esperanto, Finnish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

Please send abstracts or proposals (up to 250 words for individual submissions and up to 500 words for panel submissions), a short bio (up to 50 words), and your contact details to nmciconference@gmail.com by 14 February 2017. If applicable, please also include information about your technical/spatial/temporal/etc. requirements.