Space, gender and sexualities: where are we at?

Published on 14 December 2021 par Héloïse Humbert

Call for papers - IGU 2022, July 18-22, Paris
Commission Gender and Geography: Care, Connection and Change

Space, gender and sexualities: where are we at?

Key words: Gender, Sexualities, Space, Feminism, Queer

This session aims to provide an overview of current research in the geographies of gender and sexualities, in order to reflect on contemporary works of this ever-growing field. We wish to initiate and encourage dialogue between young French and English-speaking researchers, scattered throughout the academic world. We will give preference to proposals for papers that fall within the following four axes, embodying thriving research approaches on space, gender and sexualities.
Over the past decade, relational approaches as well as the mobility turn (Sheller & Urry, 2006) have greatly influenced research in spatial disciplines and participated in the renewal of gender and sexuality studies (Cattan & Vanolo, 2013; Nash & Gorman-Murray, 2014). In what ways are researchers engaging with these epistemological and geographical developments? What are the implications for contemporary spatial approaches to gender and sexualities?

A second element in the recent work in the humanities and social sciences is the emerging reflexive and critical approach on deployed research methods. How does this attention to methods of inquiry, whether classical or innovative, translate into spatial research on gender and sexualities? At a time of what some have called a moral turn in geography (Lee & Smith, 2004), how does attention to the ethics of research and respect for the communities being surveyed fit into the feminist and queer positioning of spatial disciplines? Interdisciplinarity is also increasingly valued in contemporary research practices, while having had an early impact on the geography of gender and sexualities (Blidon, 2007). As contemporary geography increasingly takes on key notions from sociology (Blanchard, Estebanez & Ripoll, 2021), how does this take place in relation to gender and sexuality issues? Papers questioning the interest of mobilizing approaches from other disciplines to unravel the multiple spatialities of gender and sexuality relations will thus be particularly appreciated.

Third, gender and sexualities have traditionally been understood separately in spatial disciplines. The seminal work on gender and sexualities, both francophone and anglophone, has been criticized for its heteronormativity (Hubbard, 2008), homonormativity (O’Brien, 2015), and cisnormativity (Doan, 2010), upending the historical separation between gender and sexualities. New epistemological and methodological positionings such as queer approaches have recently emerged, advocating for a scholarly approach that challenges traditional academic, social, and disciplinary binarities and boundaries (Vallerand, 2014; Prieur, 2015; Dadour, 2018). What have these new approaches contributed to the understanding of gender and sexualities in spatial disciplines? Paper proposals questioning or demonstrating the unity of this field of research, beyond the different themes, will be
particularly appreciated. We will also be attentive to works that highlight the contributions related to the intersection of gender and sexuality.

Finally, these new approaches have led to the study of social groups that are still marginalized whether in spatial studies or in the humanities and social sciences, notably queer, trans and intersex populations. What significant position do these social groups occupy in spatial approaches to gender and sexualities? Do they benefit, and how do they benefit, from the bringing together of gender and sexuality issues? Moreover, we will be sensitive to reflections on the contributions of the opening of works on space, gender and sexualities to interlocuters directly concerned by the double query of gender and sexuality.

Submission process

The call for participation is particularly addressed to young researchers (masters, PhD candidates, young scholars) interested in the renewal of contemporary gender and sexuality geographies. Papers may be submitted in French or in English.
Paper proposals can be submitted onlineuntil January 11, 2022. Each proposal should include a title (255 characters including spaces), an abstract (2000 characters including spaces), keywords (5 maximum) and a short bibliography (5 references maximum).

Coordinators of the session

  • Milan Bonté, PhD candidate in geography, research unit Géographie-cités, University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. Temporary associated to teaching and research at the University of Paris X - Nanterre, attached to the research unit LADYSS.
  • Jean Makhlouta, Architect. PhD candidate in geography, research unit Géographie-cités, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Associate researcher, research unit Architecture, Culture, Société, ENSA Paris-Malaquais.
  • Clément Nicolle, PhD candidate in geography, research unit Géographie-cités, University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne.

If you have any questions about the session, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Blanchard, S., Estebanez, J. & Ripoll, V. (2021). Géographie sociale. Approches, concepts, exemples. Malakoff, Armand Colin, “Cursus”.
Blidon, M. (2007). Distance et rencontre : Éléments pour une géographie des homosexualités. Thèse de doctorat en géographie. Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7.
Cattan, N. & Vanolo, A. (2014). Gay and lesbian emotional geographies of clubbing: reflections from Paris and Turin. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 21(9), 1158– 1175.
Dadour, S. (2020). Introduction. Architecture et féminisme : de la théorie critique à l’action. Re-vue Malaquais, no. 6, 4–19.
Doan, P. L. (2010). The tyranny of gendered spaces – reflections from beyond the gender dichotomy. Gender, Place & Culture, 17(5), 635–654.
Hubbard, P. (2008). Here, There, Everywhere: The Ubiquitous Geographies of Heteronormativity: Geographies of Heteronormativity. Geography Compass, 2(3), 640-658.
Lee, R., & Smith, D. M. (Éds.). (2004). Geographies and moralities: International perspectives on development, justice, and place. New Jersey, Blackwell Pub.
Nash C.J. & Gorman-Murray, A. (2014). LGBT Neighbourhoods and ‘New Mobilities’: Towards Understanding Transformations in Sexual and Gendered Urban Landscapes. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(3), 756–772.
O’Brien, J. (2015). Heterosexism and homophobia. In J. D. Wright (Éd.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences (pp. 790–795). Second Edition. Amsterdam, Elsevier.
Prieur, C. (2015). Des géographies queers au-delà des genres et des sexualités ?.
Sheller, M. & Urry, J. (2006). The New Mobilities Paradigm. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 38(2), 207–226.
Vallerand, O. (2014). Making Homes, Building (Self-)Identities: Queer subversions of Domestic Space, 1994-2004. Thèse de doctorat en architecture. Université de McGill.