CFP: [Victorian] PHOBIA Conference: Constructing the Phenomenology of Chronic Fear, 1789 to the Present

full name / name of organization: 
Rachel Hewitt
contact email: 

Constructing the Phenomenology of Chronic Fear, 1789 to the Present

An international conference hosted by the Glamorgan Research Centre for
Literature, Arts and Science
Friday 8 â€" Saturday 9 May, 2009
The ATRiuM Campus, Cardiff, UK

Keynote Speakers:

Laura Otis (Emory University):
Networking: Communicating with Bodies and Machines in the Nineteenth
Century (2001)
Membranes: Metaphors of Invasion in Nineteenth-century Literature, Science
and Politics (1999)
Organic Memory: History and the Body in the Late Nineteenth and Early
Twentieth Centuries (1994)

Andrew Thacker (De Montfort University):
Geographies of Modernism: Literature, Cultures, Spaces (2005)
Moving Through Modernity: Space and Geography in Modernism (2003)

The history of phobias as disease entities is intimately connected to the
phenomenology of modernity. Whereas the emergence of spatial phobias such
as agoraphobia (Carl Otto Westphal, 1871) and claustrophobia (Benjamin
Ball, 1879) coincided with growing urbanisation and the development of the
modern metropolis, Sigmund Freud’s modern subject theory situated phobia
at the heart of his psychoanalytical practice (‘Little Hans’, Totem and
Taboo, Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety). The fin de siècle was rife with
cultural and social fears about the present and the future, and the
twentieth centuryâ€"with its two global conflicts, its natural disasters and
the threat of terrorismâ€"has ushered in a period of postmodern panic. Fear
and anxiety are omnipresent in the modern age. But when, how and why does
fear become chronic, morbid or abnormal? And in what ways has fear been
conceptualised by medical practitioners, cultural theorists and artists?
This interdisciplinary conference looks at the different ways in which
writers, artists, historians, art historians, cultural and human
geographers, scientists and medical practitioners have constructed,
represented and theorised phobia and chronic fear.

We welcome proposals for papers on any aspect of phobias and anxiety
disorders in the period from 1789 to the present. Interdisciplinary
approaches are welcome. Topics may include but are not limited to:
• spatial phobias
• biophobias
• social phobias
• phobia and the Gothic
• the fin de siècle
• phobia, modernisation and modernity
• phobia and psychoanalysis
• phobia and cultural geography
• fear of science and technology
• phobia, the senses and physical sensations
• phobophobia

The conference will include an evening trip to Cardiff Bay, home to
Wales’s iconic new architectures and a central location of recent
television dramas Dr Who and Torchwood. There will also be an opportunity
for conference participants to submit work for a special ‘Phobias’ issue
of The Journal of Literature and Science.

Please send paper proposals of 300 words to Dr Vike Martina Plock and Dr
Martin Willis at by 19 December 2008. Proposals for
panels (comprising three speakers) are also welcomeâ€"please submit the
title and a brief description of the panel as well as abstracts for the
individual papers.

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Thu Oct 30 2008 - 11:22:03 EST