Programme 2024 and keynote speakers

The Annual sociological Conference will be held at the University of Eastern Finland’s Kuopio campus. The program and venues for the working groups will be updated on the website at a later time. All other common events will take place in auditorium SN100 of the Snellmania building. The registration and information desk will be located in the main lobby of Snellmania throughout the conference. Additionally, publishers will showcase and sell their books in the lobby during the event.

The city reception and evening event will be held at Scandic Kuopio (Satamakatu 1). Please note that pre-registration is required for the dinner. 

On Thursday evening, there will be an event for students from 18:30 to 21:00. More information about the student program will be provided later.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

11:00 Registration begins, Snellmania lobby
13:15-13:30 Welcome words
– Tapio Määttä, Academic rectorUniversity of Eastern Finland 
– Ilpo Helen, Chair of Westermarck Society
– Sirpa Lappalainen, Chair of the organising committee  
13:30-14:00 Thesis Award and Sociologia-Magazine’s Article Award
14:00-15:00 Andreas Wimmer: ”The making and unmaking of border and boundaries. A global historical perspective”. Chair: Antti-Jussi Kouvo.
15:00-15:45 Coffee break and book presentations, Snellmania lobby
15:45-18:15 Working groups
19:30-20:00 City reception, welcome drinks, Scandic Kuopio
20:00-21:30 Dinner (for registered participants), Scandic Kuopio
21:30-23:30 Evening celebration, Scandic Kuopio

Friday, March 22, 2024

9:00-11:00 Working groups
11:00-12:00 Lunch
12:00-13:00 Erika Cudworth: ”Borders, boundaries, and encounters in social relations with other animals”. Chair: Salla Tuomivaara.
13:00-13:15 Break
13:15-14:15 Lena Näre: ”Welfare-state bordering as a form of migration control”. Chair: Saara Koikkalainen.
14:15-14:30 Introduction to the Westermarck Society’s history – a chronicle book presentation
14:30-15:00 Westermarck Society’s spring meeting
15:00 Conference closing remarks

Keynote speakers

Erika Cudworth, De Montfort University

Erika Cudworth currently works in the School of Applied Social Sciences at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Relationships between humans and non-human animals has been her preoccupation across her academic career. She is delighted that this is a far less lonely road to travel than it was when she first set out. Erika’s research interests include complexity theory, gender and theoretical and political challenges to exclusive humanism.  Her books include Environment and Society (2003), Developing Ecofeminist Theory (2005), Social Lives with Other Animals (2011), and the co-authored Posthuman International Relations (2011) and The Emancipatory Project of Posthumanism (2018). She has co-edited various collections, most recently Feminist Animal Studies (2023); and her new book Animal Entanglements: Muddied Living in Dog-Human Worlds will be published in 2024.

Erika Cudworth: Borders, boundaries and encounters in social relations with other animals

The social is animal. Human lives are bound up with, and produced through, relations with other beings and things. Even our bodies are not exclusively human, but rather, we human animals are each a multispecies crowd. Our encounters with other animals are rarely acknowledged as social, or as an inevitable, inescapable aspect of everyday life. At the margins however, sociology is animalizing, and increasingly rising to the animal challenge. Animals are seen as part of homes, families and personal relations as companions or ‘pets’, while the sociology of food and eating has considered the use of other animals and ‘animal products’ as food. Social theory has been open to the challenge of rethinking what it means to be human and of how to capture the relations between humans and other creatures. Empirical studies have grappled with the difficulties of animalizing method, in particular by multispecies ethnography.

In this presentation I will draw on aspects of my work in animal sociology which speak to the bordering of our relations with other species and the violence this often implies, by considering responses to the recent zoonotic outbreak of COVID-19. I will also draw on my work on relations with dog companions in considering the ways boundaries between humans and other animals are reproduced, contested and reshaped. This will also involve an examination of the forms our encounters with animals take and the questions this raises for traditional sociological concepts such as family and community.

Andreas Wimmer, Columbia University

Andreas Wimmer is the Lieber Professor of Sociology and Political Philosophy at Columbia University. His research assumes a long term historical and globally comparative perspective. It asks how states are built and nations formed, how ethno-racial boundaries and hierarchies form or dissolve in the process, and when these inequalities will lead to armed conflict and war. Most recently, he is trying to understand how ideas and institutions travel across the world and with what long term consequences. His latest book is Nation Building. Why Some Countries Come Together While Others Fall Apart (Princeton 2018).

Andreas Wimmer: The making and unmaking of border and boundaries. A global historical perspective

This talk reviews how, over the past 200 years, the dynamics of drawing state borders, the increasingly consequential selection and discrimination mechanisms associated with them, and the process of ethno-racial boundary formation interacted with each other to create a world that is highly integrated and fragmented at the same time.

Lena Näre, University of Helsinki
Lena Näre is Professor of Sociology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She holds a DPhil in Migration Studies from the University of Sussex, UK and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on migration, asylum, transnationalism, ageing, care work and precarity. Her research has been published in Sociology, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Citizenship Studies, Journal of European Social Policy, among others. Her recent books include Care Loops and Mobilities in Nordic, Central, and Eastern European Welfare States (Palgrave, 2022), co-edited volume with Lise Isaksen, and The Politics of Ailment: A New Approach to Care co-authored with Minna Zechner, Olli Karsio, Antero Olakivi, Liina Sointu, Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania and Tiina Vaittinen for Policy Press in 2022. She is currently leading a research project ’Tackling Precarious and Informal Work in the Nordic countries’ (PrecaNord, 2022-2026) funded by Future Challenges in the Nordics programme. She is also the PI of the Finnish research team in a Horizon Europe project ‘Improving the living and labour conditions of irregularised migrant households in Europe’ (I-Claim, 2023-2025) funded by the European Commission. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of Nordic Journal of Migration Research (Helsinki University Press) in 2012-2022 and is currently serving as an Associate Editor of Global Social Challenges Journal (Bristol University Press).

Lena Näre: Welfare-state bordering as a form of migration control 

A growing number of migrants live and work in temporary, precarious, and conditional legal positions, with the threat of deportation shaping their everyday lives. Depending on their legal status and/or employment, they have differentiated access to welfare services. European Union and European Economic Area (EU/EEA) and third-country nationals alike struggle to access welfare benefits in their European countries of residence due to limited knowledge of the welfare system, language, lack of documentation and/or discrimination. While EU/EEA citizens enjoy the right to move freely within the EU/EEA territory, this freedom is closely connected to remunerated activity, such as working or job seeking and reliance on social security can constitute a basis for expulsion. Thus, the rights for mobility, work and welfare are closely connected in Europe. In my talk I will discuss the ways in which European nation-states try to manage and control migration via welfare-state policies, services, and practices and what kind of autonomous practices migrants mobilise against welfare-state bordering. The talk is based on previous ethnographic research with asylum seekers and precarious migrant workers in Finland and on-going research conducted as part of two research projects Tackling Precarious and Informal Work in the Nordic countries (PrecaNord, Future Challenges in the Nordics programme) and Improving the Living and Labour Conditions of Irregularised Migrant Households in Europe (I-Claim, Horizon Europe) and a forthcoming Special Issue on the topic co-edited with Synnöve Bendixsen for Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. 

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