Storytelling and the Body: An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
15th to 16th July 2019
We live in an era where stories about bodies – in/visible bodies, glamorous bodies, engineered bodies, trafficked bodies, dismembered bodies, persecuted bodies – are omnipresent. While bodies are literally made of flesh and blood, our understanding of bodies is constructed through fictional and non-fictional stories that shape perceptions of what constitutes the body, how a body should look, how a body should behave, how a body should experience the world and how bodies should interact with each other. By creating these types of norms, stories also shape perceptions of what constitutes deviant, non-normative and otherwise undesirable bodies. Telling stories about the body is therefore an act loaded with ideological, political, sociological, theological, ontological and aesthetic implications.
At the same time, notions of the body have also had a significant impact on the stories cultures have created and passed down through generations. Suffering bodies are central to the foundational narratives of various religious, cultural and political traditions. Genres have emerged with stories about monstrous bodies, sexual and erotic bodies, bodies at war, modified bodies, bodies coming of age and ageing, bodies being tested by nature, bodies enhanced by (bio)technology, politicised bodies and so forth.
At a time when the socio-political landscape is dominated by the construction of barriers among the population based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and class, it is more important than ever to consider how stories about bodies and perceptions of bodies shaped by stories not only foster division and difference, but also inspire cohesion and belonging. Stories help to create tangible and intangible barriers and borders between human beings. At the same time, stories can also foster awareness and compassion for our common humanity in order to transcend borders and overcome barriers. Some barriers are more personal, and therefore less obvious, because they take the form of a physical or psychological issue that somehow limits an individual’s capacity to participate in their community and/or to achieve their full potential.
Accordingly, the second inclusive interdisciplinary Storytelling event seeks to explore the complex, multi-faceted dynamics of this symbiotic relationship between storytelling and the body with a view to forming a publication to engender further collaboration and discussion.
Particular disciplines, practices and professions have inscribed stories and bodies with particular meanings that, when viewed in isolation, can be skewed and limited. Accordingly, the project aims to break down these boundaries through inter-disciplinary engagement that emphasises inclusivity, dialogue and collegiality.
Consistent with its interdisciplinary ethos, the event proposes to step outside the traditional conference setting and offer opportunities for artists, photographers, practitioners, theorists, independent scholars, academics, performers, writers, and others to intermingle, providing platforms for interdisciplinary interactions that are fruitful and conducive to broadening horizons and sparking future projects, collaborations, and connections.
The organisers welcome proposals for presentations, displays, exhibits, round tables, panels, interactive workshops and other activities to stimulate engagement and discussion on any aspect of the interplay between stories, bodies, barriers and borders, particularly in relation to:
~ Law, jurisprudence and public policy
~ Morality and ethics
~ Religion and spirituality
~ Labour/human capital
~ Medicine, health and wellness
~ Science and technology
~ Social work
~ Social media
~ Film and television
~ Fine Art
~ Popular culture
~ Body art: implants, painting, piercings, tattoos, scarification, sculpting, shaping
~ Body modifications
~ Non-human bodies, the bodies of other species
~ Post-human bodies
What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, roundtables etc.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 22nd February 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chair.
All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 8th March 2019.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 31st May 2019.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Storytelling and the Body Submission.
Early Bird Submission and Discount
Submissions received on or before Friday 18th January 2019 will be eligible for a 10% registration fee discount.
Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions
Dr Robert Fisher
Priory House, Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
Tel: +44 (0)1993 882087