Europes in Margins

Welcome to the conference 'Europes' in Margins. Below you will find practical information and the programme of the conference.

*Abstract submission has ended*

Who gets to think about, write and shape ideas of Europe? How are bodies, stories, and perspectives made invisible or visible? What political horizons open up when we think across marginalisations of bodies, ecologies and societies that have been produced in the making of ‘European’ institutions? 

The conference attends to the plural, many-voiced prisms of ‘Europes’ seen from and in different margins and marginalities. In doing so, we are particularly interested in ways of moving beyond mere criticism of Eurocentrism and the production of margins of Europe. We invite contributions that speak from locations and positions that disrupt and dislocate Europe as the centre of the world yet seeking alternative ways of knowing that erode binaries of centre/margin and internal/external. Our wager is that tackling contemporary global crises (racial violence, populism, wars, epistemicide, legal and ecological crises, among others) requires moving towards horizons emerging from knowledges understood as being neither of, in or from Europe, what we call ‘Europes’ in margins. While we welcome postcolonial and decolonial approaches, we are especially interested in works that speak across locations, positions and regions canonically obstructed as the margins in a broad sense.  

The conference invites participants to engage with and think further from the plurality of ‘Europes’ in margins – in the intellectual traditions, political practices, ways of knowing, legal traditions, relational ecologies and ways of being.  

We welcome abstracts for papers. Paper presentations can address one or several of the following topics, or other related questions:  

  • Architectures of juridical violence, European rule of law and democracy 

  • Relational ontologies of being, especially perspectives on abolition, border thinking and marginalized forms of knowledges 

  • Racisms across locations and histories 

  • The ecological crisis and alternative politics of nature 

  • Institutional and mundane politics of gender/sexuality 

  • Marginal temporalities, memories and ways of thinking about time 

We are looking forward to receiving your individual paper proposals! We welcome abstracts until 15th of June 2023. Please submit your abstract (max. 300 words) via the electronic from link below. In the abstract include your name, affiliation and contact details. For questions, please contact:

Registration for the conference is open from 1.10. to 31.10.

We are happy to announce our keynote interventions from our esteemed invited guests Denise Ferreira da Silva and Fatima El-Tayeb.

Denise Ferreira da Silva (Keynote lecture cancelled)

We regret to inform you that the keynote lecture by Denise Ferreira da Silva has been cancelled.

We at EuroStorie extend our apologies for the unforeseen cancellation of the keynote lecture scheduled to take place next Wednesday, November 15th. Together with Denise Ferreira da Silva, we have collaborated to find a suitable alternative that aligns with the theme of our conference. The keynote presentation will be replaced by a recorded lecture delivered by Denise Ferreira da Silva.

Unpayable Debt (recorded lecture by Denise Ferreira da Silva)

Unpayable Debt offers a reading of the architecture of the global present from a Black Feminist critical perspective. A poethical intervention in modern philosophy, it excavates and surveys the very infrastructure of modern thinking, with the objective to open up for an approach to thinking and existing that corresponds to the perspective of those colonially and racially subjugated populations whose trajectories are located at the ‘margins’ of Europe. Inspired by Octavia Butler's novel Kindred, in which an African-American author is transported from 1970s Los Angeles to the antebellum South to save the life of a slaveowner's child who is also her ancestor, the concept of "unpayable debt" - a debt that someone owes but is not theirs to pay - relates post-Enlightenment understandings of value - in both its ethical and economic senses - to colonial subjugation. Focusing on the philosophical underpinnings of these interpretations of value, Denise Ferreira da Silva shows how coloniality and raciality work in the legal, ethical and symbolic systems that facilitate the expropriation of labor and the extraction of land that are essential to capital accumulation.

In this presentation, Denise Ferreira da Silva will outline one possible interpretation of how the argument of her book is inspired by the main character of Octavia Butler's novel Kindred; an interpretation that focuses on the deviations it generates from the modern philosophical point of view. Indeed, in addition to the metaphysical problems the plot poses, Dana's disruption of modern onto-epistemological intra-structures allows us to consider (and experiment with) the possibility of thinking beyond these existing constraints and their deadly consequences.

The artist and philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva is a full professor at the Institute of Social Justice at UniversAge of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), adjunct professor at the Monash University School of Art, Architecture, and  Design (Melbourne, Australia).)  This fall 2022, she is acting as a visiting professor at the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. In spring 2023, she is occupying the International Chair of Contemporary Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy of the Paris 8 University. 

She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), The Impagavel Divide (Workshop of Political Imagination and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg / MIT Press, 2022) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013)  

Her artwork includes the films Serpent Rain (2016), 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018) and Soot Breath / Corpus Infinitum (2020) in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational artistic practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has performed shows and lectures in important artistic spaces, such as the Pompidou Centre (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (São Paulo), Guggenheim (New York) and MoMa (New York). She also wrote for publications for major art events (Liverpool Biennale, 2017; São Paulo Biennale, 2016, Venice Biennale, 2017 and Documenta 14) and published in art spaces such as Canadian Art, Texte Zur Kunst and E-Flux. She lives and works in the traditional, ancestral and unceased territory of the Musqueam people (xwməθkwəyưəm) 


Fatima El-Tayeb 

(Un)Archiving Marginalized Knowledges: The Intersectional  Black European Studies Project as a Transformative Archive

This talk offers the notion of queer diasporic spacetime as an alternative to the hegemonic logic of an evolutionary spatio-temporality tied to European colonial modernity. Centering the role of archives in producing both dominant and counternarratives, El-Tayeb traces a multinodular network of marginalized knowledges that together form a transformative archive, making visible temporalities of resistance that cannot be contained within the hegemonic logic of linear (colonial) time. El-Tayeb suggests that the Intersectional Black European Studies Project with its grounding in this queer diasporic activism offers a different view from and of Europe’s margins.

El-Tayeb is a Professor of Ethnicity, Race & Migration and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Her research interests include Black Europe, comparative diaspora studies, queer of color critique, critical Muslim studies, decolonial theory, transnational feminisms, visual culture studies, race and technology, and critical European studies. Her publications deconstruct structural racism in “colorblind” Europe and center strategies of resistance among racialized communities, especially those that politicize culture through an intersectional, queer practice.

She is the author of three books - Schwarze Deutsche. ‘Rasse’ und nationale Identität 1890 – 1933 (2001), European Others: Queering Ethnicity in Postnational Europe (2011) and Undeutsch. Die Konstruktion des Anderen in der postmigrantischen Gesellschaft (2016).

Professor Fatima El-Tayeb will be presenting via Zoom.

Find the final programme here:


We warmly invite you to participate in the 'Europes' in Margins conference from 15th to 17th of November 2023 at the University of Helsinki, Main Building (Fabianinkatu 33). The conference will be held in the Small Hall of the Main Building located on the 4th floor. 

There is no conference fee for participants. You can find the registration form above. Travel to and accommodation in Helsinki is covered by the participants. 

Below you will find some practical information about the venue, what to do in Helsinki and how to apply for a visiting visa.


Coming to the University of Helsinki

You can reach the conference venue University of Helsinki, Main Building (Fabianinkatu 33) easily by walking or public transport. It's a 10 minutes walk from the Central Railway Station to the University's Main Building located on the left side of the Senate's Square. You can also take the trams 2, 4 or 7 to the stop Senaatintori. . 

You can buy tickets for the public transport either via the HSL app or through ticket machines at selected stops, for example the main train station.

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Welcome to the University of Helsinki (video)

If you have any questions or need more information concerning the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Conference organizing committee

Personal contact details of the conference organizing committee will be published here closer to the date of the conference.