Genealogy of Normalcy and Experienced Ambiguity

April 20, 2023 - April 21, 2023
Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Latvia

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University of Latvia
University of Latvia

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Normality and ambiguity appear to be opposing concepts. Nevertheless, it becomes clear that what is considered a norm and normal is subject to change when concepts, theories, or even individual opinions or beliefs are contrasted with the notion of norms and normalcy. As a result, the differences and experienced ambiguities become crucial for defining normalcy. 

In the field of feminist philosophy, nevertheless, such cases are discussed in various studies regarding gender, sex, and race, where it has been observed that it affects both the lived-body and society as well as the formation of new normalities. It could be attributed to the idea of “throwing like a girl” (Iris Marion Young, 1980) and what it means to be expected to act a certain way, “being the embodied other” (Sarah Ahmed, 2000) and the question of being estranged based on already pre-existing notions of selfhood and belonging, or even talking about ambiguity as a necessity. For example, in The Ethics of Ambiguity Simone de Beauvoir pointed out “the notion of ambiguity must not be confused with that of absurdity. To declare that existence is absurd is to deny that it can ever be given a meaning; to say that it is ambiguous is to assert that its meaning I never fixed, that it must be constantly won.” (1964, 129)

In the symposium, during the two days we will discuss and hold workshops and presentations about ambiguity in the context of feminist philosophy, exploring how social concepts (such as gender norms, race, or sex) are affected by genealogies of knowledge and the body, as well as lived spaces, the environment, and culture.

Baltic and Nordic participants are eligible for travel reimbursements thanks to Nordplus support.

If you wish to participate with or withour paper, please, fill out the google form by the April 12, 2023:

There is no participation fee, however participation requires Nordic Summer University membership (€25 - researchers, €10 - freelance researchers and students), filling out the form please indicate the NSU study circle "AdHoc1".

If you have any questions, contact us: [email protected] and [email protected]

Baltic and Nordic countries are eligible for travel reimbursements thanks to Nordplus support.


Anne Sauka, University of Latvia Faculty of History and Philosohpy

Kitija Mirončuka, University of Latvia, Institute of Philosohpy and Sociology

Nicole des Bouvrie, Netherlands, freelance researcher

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April 12, 2023, 11:45pm +03:00

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