International online seminar series

Technologies of Normalization

29 September & 1, 6, 8, 13 October 2020

Online > Registrations open


Normality is a well known concept in pathology, sociology and demography. It has statistical, qualitative and evaluative connotations. The norm describes rules and social expectations, while normativity expressly refers to ethical or legal standards. Canguilhem’s work on medicine established that the normal is valued as the opposite of the pathological. We see similar assumptions in social affairs where, in fields from law and politics to public health, the normal is often seen as a desirable state. When it is disrupted, by social, medical or legal deviance, measures are sought to re-establish the normal, or (increasingly, in extraordinary times) a ‘new normal’.

The seminars examine these measures in a range of fields: legal, urban, and sociological. The technologies of normalization to be examined include architecture, information technology, discourse and communications, and disciplinary fields from science to medicine. They are applied in a variety of case studies, including family conflicts, legal procedure, judicial deliberation, disaster planning and recovery, and death.

Fourteen scholars and practitioners from Italy, Australia, Portugal and the Netherlands will present insights into their work in a series of five seminars, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 29 September to 13 October 2020. Papers will be followed by questions and discussion.

To register for one or all of these seminars, email Patrícia Branco:

Organisers: Patrícia Branco, Francesco Contini, Richard Mohr