CFP: Books of Blood

CFP: Books of Blood: a cross-disciplinary investigation into blood as representation, symbol, and text in modern culture

All humans ‘are books of blood—wherever you open us, we’re red’ (Clive Barker). If our bodies are books of blood, then they can be read; we invite such readings and contributions where blood is the signifier. We are also interested in analyses and representation of the literal presence of blood in our culture, the importance of the actual material substance of life itself. This is the first stage of a funding bid and collaborative project on blood for the Wellcome Trust Submissions will be chosen to contribute to an exhibition, a series of public talks, and an illustrated book. Initial contributions will be drawn from any of the following fields: science. technology, medicine, forensics, history of science, history of ideas, philosophy, theology, anthropology, myth, legend, folklore, literature, creative writing, painting, sculpture, performance, conceptual art film, TV, video games, song lyrics, popular culture. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

changing scientific notions of blood in their context

Harvey and the circulation of the blood;

blood lust: vampirism, bloodsucking

consuming blood and its virtues

Landsteiner and blood groups

bloodlines: pure blood, blue blood, bad blood identity; race, genealogy, degeneration; haemophilia; blood libels and racial purity

blood letting, medical practices blood economy: circulation, exchange; wealth as vampirism

vital fluids: the four humours, creative juices; blood and metonymy with other bodily fluids; blood and semen

true blood, synthetic blood, fake blood

the blood of Christ; the Eucharist and the meaning of transubstantiation

the blood is the life: taboos and rituals; menstrual blood, churching; blood letting, kosher and halal

blood, religion, and sexuality

the bleeding boughs of Virgil and Dante

blood crimes and punishments: retribution; forensics

coughing up blood: consumption and Romantic sensibility

the blood of the body politic

medical practices: blood letting, leeching

blood lust: the appeal of blood; vampirism, bloodsucking; splatter movies, the current vampire vogue

blood disorders: blood poisoning, infection, contagion; tuberculosis, AIDS, CJD

blood money: the economy of blood: circulation/exchange/transfusion; blood tanks/ blood reserves

blood as gift: martyrdom, sacrifice; blood pacts, blood brother ritual; blood donation; the ethics of transfusion and exchange

Please send abstracts of 1,000 words describing how your current research/practice fits the remit of the project and what you would offer in relation to the various outcomes (i.e. exhibition, talks and book). Submissions should be sent by November 1st 2015 as an email attachment in MS Word document format to the following: Dr Sam George,; Dr John Rimmer, You should also include a 250 word biographical statement.

Please use your surname as the document title. The abstract should be sent in the following format: (1) Title (2) Presenter(s) (3) Institutional affiliation (4) Email (5) Abstract (6) Biog.