SKC Annual Conference 2021

Kierkegaard and the Question of Identity, Gender, and Sexuality

Identity is a key issue in Kierkegaard's authorship, and, for Kierkegaard, identity is connected with important questions concerning—among other things—autonomy, authenticity, and existential continuity. In addition, gender and sexuality play a prominent role in the authorship, and Kierkegaard's understanding of these various aspects of our identity are central to his account of what it means to be a human self.

However, the sociocultural understanding of gender and sexuality has changed dramatically since Kierkegaard's death, as has the very concept of human identity. It is obvious that present scholarly work on questions concerning identity, gender, and sexuality in Kierkegaard's authorship cannot avoid taking these sociocultural changes into consideration. Therefore, the SKC Annual Conference 2021 will examine how our understanding of Kierkegaard's account(s) of identity is (are) affected by these changes in our understanding of gender and sexuality.

A number of more particular questions arise from this basic research question: What do female and male signify in Kierkegaard's texts? What is the role of sexuality in The Concept of Anxiety? Does Kierkegaard's relational theory of the self operate with essential, and basically non-relational notions of sexuality and gender? What are the roles assigned to the female figures in authorship? How are we, today, to understand Kierkegaard's marked distinction between female and male despair? Which conceptions of gender are in play in the "Seducer's Diary"? How would Kierkegaard's account(s) of identity hold up when subjected to an intersectional analysis of identity markers such as sexuality, class, race, and gender? Are there male and female forms of discourse present in Kierkegaard's texts? What is the status of and role played by sensuality in Kierkegaard's approach to human identity? Is Kierkegaard's implicit reader (as expressed in "my dear reader") gendered? What have been the reactions—in philosophy, literature, and gender studies—to Kierkegaard's understanding of gender and sexuality?

For this year's conference, the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre invites papers that deal with these and other questions concerning the complex intersection(s) of identity, gender, and sexuality in Kierkegaard's authorship.

The conference will take place August 11-13 at the Søren Kierkegaard Research Centre, Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen, located at Søndre Campus, Karen Blixens Plads 16, DK-2300 Copenhagen. If covid-19 restrictions are still in effect, the conference will be held online.

Call for papers:

If you wish to present a paper at the SKC Annual Conference 2021, please submit a paper proposal including a title and a short description of your paper (max 350 words) before March 15, 2021

You can submit the proposal here: Bjarne Still Laurberg



Joakim Garff                         René Rosfort                        Iben Damgaard

Associate Professor             Associate Professor            Associate Professor

Director of SKC