Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Call for Papers: Sensualising Deformity: Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment, Edinburgh, June 15-16

I just got word of a call for papers for an excellent sounding upcoming conference. Details below:
The University of Edinburgh
Sensualising Deformity: Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment
June 15-16, 2012

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Prof. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
George Washington University

Dr. Peter Hutchings
Northumbria University

From freak exhibitions and fairs, medical examinations and discoveries to various portrayals in arts and literature, images of deformity (or monstrosity, used separately or interchangeably depending on context) have captivated us for centuries. The result is a significant body of critical and artistic works where these bodies are dissected, politicized, exhibited, objectified or even beatified. Nonetheless, there remains a gap, an unexplored, unspoken or neglected aspect of this complex field of study which needs further consideration. This two-day interdisciplinary conference aims to bring the senses and the sensuous back to the monstrous or deformed body from the early modern period through to the mid-twentieth century, and seeks to explore its implications in diverse academic fields.

We hope to bring together scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines to engage in a constructive dialogue, network, and exchange ideas and experiences, connecting a community of researchers who share a fascination with deformity, monstrosity, and freakery.

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
  • Spectacle/fetishisation of monstrosity and deformity; monstrous sexuality/eroticisation
  • The monster as a catalyst of progression/ historical perspectives
  • Monstrous symbolism, prodigality, or beatification
  • The racialised body; exoticising difference
  • Monstrosity in medical literature; disability narratives
  • Monstrous becoming; the ‘sensed’ body
  • Deformed aesthetics; monstrosity in the visual arts
  • (De) gendering the deformed body; humanisation vs objectification
We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations from established scholars, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students from various teratological backgrounds, e.g. in literature, history, media and art studies, philosophy, religious studies, history of science,medical humanities, and critical and cultural theory. Proposals should be no more than 300 words, in .doc format, and should include a brief 50-word biography.

Please submit your abstracts no later than 31 January 2012 to sdefconference@ed.ac.uk

Dr. Karin Sellberg (The University of Edinburgh)
Ally Crockford (The University of Edinburgh)
Maja Milatovic (The University of Edinburgh)
For more info, visit the conference blog by clicking here.

Image: From the conference blog, where they cite the images as courtesy of the BMJ Publishing Group, BMJ 1889, June 8; 1(1484): 1288–1289.

1 comment:

Chelsea said...

I'm so excited about this conference and the intriguing scholars it will bring together! I feel like it is being planned specifically for my enjoyment.