PATHOLOGIES: Questions of embodiment in literature, arts and sciences

August 20-21, 2007

Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science, University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Plenary Speakers: Tim Armstrong, Kelly Hurley & Jonathan Sawday

To consider how the body has been pathologized is to ask questions of what it means to be human. As the originating site of humanity the body (extending from the individual to society and nation) is the physical, metaphorical and philosophical place for the inscription of selfhood, identity, normality and change. The multiple pathologies of the body invite us to reflect upon bodily conditions and behaviours that mark out the boundaries of the individual, the social and the national as well as their transgressions. Where does the self begin and end? How do we construct normality, deformity, and monstrosity? How do culture, society and the individual relate and connect across the many pathologies that invade, infect, distress and reconstruct the human?

The conference organisers invite the submission of abstracts for 20 minute papers dealing with pathologies (broadly defined) across the intersections of literature and science or the arts and science. Papers may deal with any historical, artistic or literary period. Topics may include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Representations of disease
  • The Socio-politics of medical research
  • The art and science of early modern medicine/pathology
  • Dissection
  • The body and the machine
  • Gothic bodies
  • Cultural pathologies of identity
  • Pathologizing gender through science
  • Neurasthenia and modernism
  • The degenerate body

Your abstract should be no more than one page of A4 (approx 400-500 words), should include details of your university affiliation and position and should be sent to each of the Conference organisers, and Co-Directors of the Centre: Professor Andrew Smith, Professor Jeff Wallace and Dr Martin Willis by March 31, 2007. Decisions will be made in April 2007.

“PATHOLOGIES: Questions of embodiment in literature, arts and sciencesâ€? is the inaugural conference of the Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science, based at the University of Glamorgan.