full name / name of organization: 
Todd Comer
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2014 Midwest Popular Culture Association Conference
October 3-5, 2014
Indianapolis, IN, at the JW Marriott Indianapolis
Deadline: April 30, 2014

Papers and panel proposals focused around the cultural framing or representation (in comics, film, literature, religious and medical practices, etc.) of birth or the birthing process are welcome. I welcome any theoretical or critical approaches that address birth (understood broadly). Having said that, here is a particular issue of interest:

Jean Luc Nancy writes of how birth is in "excess of representation." Knowledge and the subject which is concomitant with it, he explains, cannot know its birth. He writes, "[a]lready Hegel grasps essential knowledge—which will engender absolute knowledge--as this movement of arising and negating any representation given with this rising, as well as any representation of this rising." At the moment of the presence of knowledge, the subject immediately loses knowledge of that which made its presence present.

How do we at this particular neo-liberal moment approach birth? Does culture, to follow Nancy, simply negate birth or does it release us to confront birth in all of its hybrid, contingent glory? What are the political, aesthetic, ontological, or ethical consequences of the negation, or unveiling of birth?

Please upload 250 word abstract proposals on any aspect of Birth Studies to the Birth Studies area at the following web page:

Any questions? Please email Todd Comer at

More information about the conference can be found at

Please note the availability of graduate student travel grants: