Bodies in Literature, Art, Film, Museums, and New Media

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of St. Thomas

Call for Papers

Bodies in Literature, Art, Film, Museums, and New Media

University of St. Thomas, April 26, 2019

The University of St. Thomas Art History, Museum Studies, and English graduate programs will host an interdisciplinary conference on Friday, April 26, 2019. While papers addressing any aspect of literature, art history, architecture, museum studies, and culture will be considered, the graduate programs particularly welcome proposals for papers exploring the topic “Bodies” across all time periods, media, and geographical regions.

Bodies are central to many works of art, museums, and literature as sites of political and cultural struggle, both affirming and challenging the status quo. The aim of this conference is to explore this theme in an interdisciplinary way, engaging with a wide variety of approaches, traditions, innovations, and points of view, in texts from any historical moment.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Bodies in Public Discourse: Control of/over the body; human rights; struggles for autonomy; subverting and transgressing the politics of bodies; rape culture; crime, punishment, and incarceration; histories of oppressed/resistant bodies, empowered bodies, women in politics.
  • Bodies in Built and Natural Environments: Architectural design and bodies; the body as natural/unnatural; the body and the Anthropocene; bodies in/of nature; the body and climate change; bodies in museums; the museum as a body; animal studies.
  • Embodied Genders and Sexualities: Gender identity; gendered/sexual double-standards; eroticism; nudity; performance of gender and sexuality; non-binary conceptions of the body.  
  • Bodies and Racial Identity: Threats to racialized bodies; racial profiling; affirmative action; discrimination; “passing”; physiognomy and “scientific” othering of non-white bodies.
  • Bodies in Motion: Restricted bodies; migration, immigration, emigration, and movement between physical, social, and political boundaries; issues of art repatriation; dislocation and travel narratives; dance, performance art, and aesthetic motion.
  • Bodies and Mobility: “Abled” and “disabled” bodies; bodies and labor; illness and disease; athleticism; agility; inertia; progress.
  • Representations of Bodies: Ethics of representing bodies; bodies in the visual arts and museums; human and animal bodies; fat bodies; bodies on display; beautiful and “grotesque” bodies; selfies and other digital representations of the body.
  • Bodies of Work: Canons and counter-canons; collections of work and art collectors; ethical considerations of private collections; databases and digital collections inside and outside of museum spaces.
  • Bodies, Science, and Technology: Genetics; cyborgs; robots; artificial intelligence; medicine; bioethics; pseudo-science and its effects on the body.

We encourage analyses of artistic, literary, architectural, historical, cultural, cinematic, digital, and/or other textualities. Proposals from whole panels (three presenters) or roundtables (four or more presenters) are welcome in addition to individual papers.

For consideration, please submit a 400-word abstract for individual papers, panels, or roundtables to by March 1, 2019.