The inaugural international conference “Unthinking Sex, Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives” will be held April 26-27, 2019 at Simon Fraser University’s Downtown Campus in Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Evening events will include an Asexual & Aromantic Art Show and a Group Book Celebration.
Asexuality studies is an emergent field of study that critically interrogates "compulsory sexuality," or the idea that sex is necessary to health, well-being, happiness, and social belonging. Creating space for asexuality within sexuality studies is important not only because it increases awareness of a marginalized sexual identity and orientation but also because it raises questions as to the role of sex in relationships and society more broadly. Scholarship and activism on asexuality has given us more tools for thinking about relationships, intimacy, pleasure, and health without centering sex in those discussions.
Our event celebrates the work that has been done in this burgeoning field, but also attempts to address gaps in the scholarship and imagine what the future of the field could look like. We hope to foster further visibility, education, and acceptance of asexuality. While asexuality has gained in visibility in recent years it is still widely rejected within LGBTQ2+ spaces, and asexual experiences are often invisible or silenced. Further, asexuality is routinely medicalized and misdiagnosed as a desire disorder. Our conference will invite conversations about how to challenge pathology models, as well as ignite creative forms of asexual expression. We hope to inspire future intersectional and interdisciplinary research on asexuality since, at present, there is no academic conference devoted solely to the topic of asexuality.
420 Strategy Room
SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (580 West Hastings Street) in Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Sponsors + Thank you
We would like to thank your sponsors:
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowment
Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU
David Lam Centre at SFU
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Office of the Vice-President, Academic at SFU
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SFU
Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU
Work-Study Program at SFU
Arts Council of New Westminster
Little Sister’s Book and Art Emporium
Conference co-organizers Ela Przybylo and KJ Cerankowski would also like to thank the following for their help in organizing the conference: Roberta Neilson, Helen Hok-Sze Leung, Lara Campbell, The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at SFU, and Beverly Neufeld. Thank you to research assistants Daisy Lee, Evelyn Elgie, and Erica Mulder. A major thank you to all of our sponsors. Thank you to Jeff Kulak for the dynamic graphic design for this conference.