Lezing bij de UvA: ‘Cosmopolitan Sexualities’

Het Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality (ARC-GS) van de Universiteit van Amsterdam verzorgt op vrijdag 16 mei de lezing ‘Cosmopolitan Sexualities‘ door Prof. dr. Ken Plummer, emeritus professor sociologie aan de universiteit van Essex. De lezing is van 15.30 tot 17.00 uur in de VOC Zaal van het Bushuis, Kloveniersburgwal 48. De lezing is openbaar en gratis; registratie is niet nodig. De voertaal is Engels.


Cosmopolitan Sexualities. Definition: Living with the differences of genders and sexualities, both within and across cultures, usually entailing:

1) An ontology of a real global humanistic universalism of sexual differences

2) An agon of perpetual conflicts about these sexual differences, the source of much human suffering

3) A recognition of these sexual differences of others as being part of what counts as being human.

4) An imagination of ‘openness’ and ‘tolerance’ towards sexual differences; often accompanied by a playful sense of irony, paradox, and contradiction

5) A politics of sexual differences connecting local political struggles with global ones through dialogue and a search for common grounds

6) A social structure of social solidarity of reciprocal inter and intra cultural awareness of sexual differences, becoming enshrined in rights, institutions and everyday practices.

7) A social psychology of tangled emotional and biographical differentiated gendered and sexualised bodies, suggesting the need for self-awareness, empathy and dialogue stretching through a ‘circle of others’ spreading across the globe

8) An ethics which fosters a global sense of empathy, care, justice, dignity and a flourishing of different lives living together well

9) A legal framework of international laws that provide frameworks for organizing the diverse sexualities in the modern world

10) A utopian process of people living together and learning from their sexual differences to help make a better world for all
In this lecture I ask how we can best live with sexual differences in times ahead. These are normative questions, for which I make no apology. I take Hannah Arendt’s maxim that ‘politics rests on the fact of human plurality’ very seriously and look to the plural politics and cultures of the futures (‘dreaming ahead’, to use Ernst Bloch’s nice term) through confronting the problems, politics and practices of what I will call ‘Cosmopolitan Sexualities’ head on. Drawing from a range of contemporary political and ethical theories, I give them my own pragmatic -humanist twist. My task is to draw a map of how this can be approached, but it is not meant as an encyclopedia of world details and answers. As if it could be.


Ken Plummer is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. Amongst his key books are Sexual Stigma (1975), The Making of the Modern Homosexual (1981), Telling Sexual Stories (1995), Documents of Life (2001), Intimate Citizenship (2003) and Sociology: The Basics ( 2010). He was the funder editor of Sexualites . His next book will be Cosmopolitan Sexualities (Polity, 2015).

Date : Friday, May 16

Time : 15:30-17:00

Location : VOC Zaal (Bushuis, Kloveniersburgwal 48)

The lecture is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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