full name / name of organization:
Scientific and Cultural Representations of the
Normal and the Abnormal
March 16–17, 2007
Keynote Speaker: Rachel Adams, Ph.D., associate professor of English and American Literature and associate director of American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of several books and essays, including Sideshow U.S.A: Freaks and the American Cultural Imagination and editor of The Masculinity Studies Reader.
From the Sokal affair to the proliferation of sub-disciplinary fields such as posthumanism and disability studies, the sciences and the humanities are engaging with each other in new and often surprising ways. This conference is interested in exploring what “the two cultures” can learn from one another. In particular, we are interested in how these areas of research work—both in opposition and collaboration—to imagine and construct the normal and the abnormal. From phrenology to eugenics to critical race theory, the sciences and the humanities are both responsible for influencing the ways we think about and categorize identities and the relationship between the functional and the defunct, the tolerable and the intolerable, and the orthodox and the unconventional. We hope that this conference will open new pathways for collaborative work between the two disciplines.
Paper topics could include but are not limited to:
v The representation, management, and history of physical and mental disease
v Disability studies, including the management of bodies, the gaze and the disabled body, accessibility, and disability rights and culture
v Metaphors or tropes of the healthy or diseased body
v Social disorders, both individual and collective, such as misanthropy, anxiety, hate crime, hypocrisy, and racism
v Literatures and theories that describe and diagnose social behaviors and disorders, from conduct literature and popular periodicals to psychiatric diagnostic manuals and textbooks
v Subculture, crime, perversion and other social deviance
v Racial and sexual difference
v The (ab)use of normative categories in colonialism
v Theoretical position papers exploring the fundamental questions of what literary studies can learn from the sciences and what the sciences can learn from literary studies
We invite both individual and panel submissions from all disciplines. Please send abstracts of 200 words or less to ricesymposium2007_at_hotmail.com. Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Our submission deadline is January 29, 2007.
Questions? Contact Andrew Klein (andrewaklein_at_yahoo.com) or Victoria Ford (vford_at_rice.edu).
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sun Jan 28 2007 - 15:00:45 EST