Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Charlotte Spear and Maddie Sinclair, University of Warwick, UK

Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis

Saturday 25th February 2023


With keynote addresses by: Prof. Kathryn Yusoff and Dr. Lauren Wilcox


In his discussion of the socio-ecological crisis of capitalism, Jason Moore dismisses the theoretical tendency to describe ‘twin’ social and environmental crises, arguing that ‘these are in fact a singular process of transformation that today we call a crisis’ (2011: 136). In order to interrogate the singular socio-ecological crisis further, this conference proposes 'territorial bodies' as a critical framework for readings of contemporary world culture, synthesising interdisciplinary approaches to embodiment and violence studies. It considers how the ‘territorial body’ offers an analytical tool for addressing urgent social, ecological, and political challenges, from ecological breakdown to the rise of statelessness, to violence against women and racial exploitation. Key questions include:


  • How is the intersection between bodies and territories registered in world culture today?
  • How do cultural registrations work to locate the body as a distinct site of socio-ecological crisis?
  • What happens to our conception of a ‘culture in crisis’ when explored through the lens of ‘territorial bodies’?


The concept of ‘territorial bodies’ takes inspiration from the Latin American feminist transnational concept of ‘body-territory’, which has been used as a ‘strategic’ tool to engender new forms of global solidarity, linking multi-form violence at various scales (Gago, 2020: 95). 

More broadly, ‘body-territory’ becomes a lens through which to critique overlapping forms of violence in an era of socio-ecological crisis. The expanded notion of ‘territorial bodies’ offers a new methodology to explore and critique the registration of socio-ecological crisis in contemporary world culture.

Our scope encompasses wide-ranging perspectives on the concept of ‘territorial bodies’, from the extractive plunder and dispossession of land, to the violation of gendered bodies, to the exploitation of racialised bodies and uneven flows of migration. We invite papers on a broad range of topics including but not limited to:

  • The body as a site of crisis
  • Territorial bodies in world-culture and the humanities
  • The body as a site of resistance
  • The body as a site of the removal of rights
  • The body as a site of accumulation
  • Violence and the gendered body
  • Bodies without assigned territory
  • Trauma and the body
  • Embodied extractivism
  • Disposable bodies
  • Epidemics and ecological breakdown
  • Embodied geographies
  • Social reproduction theory

Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis will be a one-day interdisciplinary conference, bringing together scholars from across the humanities. We aim to rethink dominant notions of crisis, using the framework of “territorial bodies” to generate new modes of understanding crisis in neoliberal culture. Our hope is that the conference will lead to an edited collection via the Warwick Series in the Humanities, Routledge. 


We invite abstracts of 250-300 words and a short biographical note to be sent to territorialbodies@gmail.com by 30thSeptember 2022.


Conference organisers can be contacted via this email: territorialbodies@gmail.com.

Follow on Twitter for updates: @TerritorialBod