Permeable Bodies in Medieval and Early Modern Visual Culture

Laura Spada's picture

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Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
October 5, 2018 to October 6, 2018
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies

In recent years, the human body has gained a prominent position in discussions of medieval and early modern cultures. The troublesome contingency of the human body encompassed critical boundaries between inside and outside, and became a central concern in religious, political, and economical developments. Medieval bodies were permeable microcosms, not only sites containment but also of revelatory experiences. In the early modern period, body and identity were indistinct, interdependent categories, inseparable from the natural and cultural space that they inhabited. This logic of perpetual fluidity both generated a disquieting sense of impending doom, but also allowed for the propagation of multiple possibilities of understanding, which materialised into a rich visual and material culture.

We are delighted to invite all those interested in medieval and early modern studies to a 2-day conference on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 October 2018 at University College London. This event will explore medieval and early modern notions of the changing body, as well as changing notions of the body. Images and ideas of permeable bodies will serve as an inclusive platform of inquiry into bodies of different race, gender, sex, and ability.

We welcome 20 minutes talks from scholars of any career stage. We are particularly interested in incisive and provoking perspectives on bodies traditionally relegated to the margins, in conjunction with gender and disability studies. We seek critical and original responses on the theme of corporeal permeability across not only disciplines, but also chronological and geographical boundaries.

The conference includes a workshop at the Wellcome Library, where selected images from the archives will be displayed in a private study room.

Keynote speaker: Dr. Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia)

Please send a short abstract (200-300 words) and a biography (100 words) by Monday 23 July to Laura Scalabrella Spada and Lauren Rozenberg at permeablebodies@gmail.com. We will notify applicants by Monday 6 August.                                                                                                  

Bursaries available on application. Please visit permeablebodies.wordpress.com for more details on how to apply, updates, and additional information.

Contact Info: 

Laura Scalabrella Spada

Lauren Rozenberg