Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Sensualising Deformity: Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment, University of Edinburgh, 15-16 June 2012



I emailed one of the key organisers of the conference, proposing an exhibition of my artwork to compliment the conference papers. She expressed great interest in my visions but had to decline my offer due to limited space and ongoing negotiations. 


She encouraged me to submit an abstract for the conference, which could, potentially, encompass my artistic interests and talents relating to the theme of human deformity.

Untitled, 2011, pencil on paper, 10.5 x 13cm

From freak exhibitions and fairs, medical examinations and discoveries to various portrayals in arts and literature, images of deformity (or monstrosity, used separately or interchangeably depending on context) have captivated us for centuries. The result is a significant body of critical and artistic works where these bodies are dissected, politicized, exhibited, objectified or even beatified. Nonetheless, there remains a gap, an unexplored, unspoken or neglected aspect of this complex field of study which needs further consideration. This two-day interdisciplinary conference aims to bring the senses and the sensuous back to the monstrous or deformed body from the early modern period through to the mid-twentieth century, and seeks to explore its implications in diverse academic fields.

We hope to bring together scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines to engage in a constructive dialogue, network, and exchange ideas and experiences, connecting a community of researchers who share a fascination with deformity, monstrosity, and freakery.

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

● Spectacle/fetishisation of monstrosity and deformity; monstrous sexuality/eroticisation
The monster as a catalyst of progression/ historical perspectives
Monstrous symbolism, prodigality, or beatification
The racialised body; exoticising difference
Monstrosity in medical literature; disability narratives
Monstrous becoming; the ‘sensed’ body
Deformed aesthetics; monstrosity in the visual arts
(De) gendering the deformed body; humanisation vs objectification

Deadline for abstract is 31st January 2012

Scribbled napkin notes and post-it ideas are underway...

1 comment:

  1. go for it! And would be happy to proofread/review, if you were up for it!