CFP: Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century. One-day conference at Aston University

Call for Papers: Anxious Forms 2018

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century

Friday 27th July 2018, Aston University, Birmingham

Speakers:

Professor Talia Schaffer, CUNY

Dr Kate Lister, Leeds Trinity University

‘The power of blood is so difficult to decipher because it is at once the foundational social metaphor and the most basic necessity for life.’

(Priscilla Wald, foreword of The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900)

After the success of Anxious Forms: Bodies in Crisis (2014) and Anxious Forms: Masculinities in Crisis (2016), we are pleased to announce a third one-day conference which considers the construction of bodily fluids—both metaphorical and material, both abject and desirable—in the long nineteenth century. The period in question witnessed the first blood transfusion, the first English medical text on menstruation and menopause, anxieties around spermatorrhea and hysteria, the rise of vampire and werewolf fiction, and massive infrastructure reform around sewage and water to combat infectious diseases. This interdisciplinary event will explore the advancements, crises, contradictions, and understandings of bodily fluids in the long nineteenth century across a range of media, including fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, photography, visual arts, material culture, and medical and scientific texts. The event will also explore the challenges of critical discussions of topics traditionally considered taboo or hampered by the dynamics of disgust. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Blood

Bloodlines, lineage, and primogeniture

Diseases and treatments

Wounds and trauma

Blood as metaphor

Vampirism, and lycanthropy

Puberty, menstruation, and menopause

  • Sweat

Work and exertion

Sports and Christian masculinity

Fever and illness

 

  • Tears

Discourses of emotion

  • Digestion

Bile and vomit

Excrement

Sewage, wells, and communicable diseases

  • The Eucharist and Transubstantiation
  • Sexual Fluids
  • The Humours
  • Ectoplasm and the Supernatural

 

We welcome proposals for individual 20 minute papers or panels from PGRs and ECRs as well as more established academics. Please send 300-word abstracts with an academic CV and a 50-word biography to Abby Boucher and Daniel Jenkin-Smith at anxiousforms2018@gmail.com by 1st May. Successful applicants will be notified by 15th May.

We are able to award a number of postgraduate travel bursaries. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please include a 200-word explanation about how the conference relates to your research, along with a breakdown of your expenses.

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Machines made out of words: John Gardner’s Inaugural lecture. May 31st 2018

Unit member Professor John Gardner will be delivering his inaugural lecture on Thursday May 31st. Do come along. More information is available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/machines-made-out-of-words-tickets-43589226550

 

Work in Progress seminars

Our Work in Progress seminars will resume on Thursday October 5th when PhD student Sophie Phelps will discuss her current work on Dickens. This will take place between 4.30-6 in Helmore 105.

Our second work in Progress seminar will take place on Thursday Oct 19th between 4.30-6 in Helmore 105. In this, Paul Pattison will discuss his work on Middlemarch and Abderrezzaq Ghafsi will talk about his research on Dickens and Algeria.

On Thursday 26th October, unit member and PhD student Edwin Marr will deliver a preliminary version of his conference paper on Branwell Bronte. This will take place between 4-5pm in Helmore 114 and will be followed by the second session of our reading group on Shirley. 

 

Reading Group Schedule: Semester 1

I’m pleased to announce that the novel that received the most votes was Shirley. All are welcome to come to our reading group where we will discuss the novel in parts. The group will meet on Thursdays 5-6pm in Semester 1 in Hel 112. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided.

WEEK 3: 12th Oct: Chapters 1-6 (led by Lizzie Ludlow)

WEEK 5: 26th Oct: Chapters 7-12 (led by Edwin Marr)

NB. This session will follow Edwin’s first run-through of his paper, ‘Unwept Deaths–Inglorious War’ Battlefield Deaths and Masculine Grief in Branwell Brontë’s War Poetry, which he will be delivering at the Branwell Symposium in Leeds in November. This will run from 4-5pm and all are welcome.

WEEK 7: 9th November: Chapters 13-18 (led by Kathy Rees)

WEEK 9: 23rd November: Chapters 19-25 (led by Chris Lyon)

WEEK 11: 7th December: Chapters 26-30 (led by Marie Moxon)

21st Dec: Chapters 31-37 (led by Anne-Louise Russell)

 

 

 

 

Jane Austen: An Afternoon Symposium

Austen_Symposium_BG

We are very excited to announce our next event: an afternoon Jane Austen symposium, taking place on Wednesday 26 April 2017 between 1 and 4pm, in LAB 027 (Cambridge).

Speakers will include Sophie Gilmartin from Royal Holloway, University of London, Mary Joannou (Professor Emerita from Anglia Ruskin University) and unit member Kirsty J. Harris. Come and join us celebrating Austen and her work!

This event is free, but please register if you would like to attend – the registration page is here.

Poster background image: Watercolour of Jane Austen by her sister, Cassandra, 1804, c/o Wikimedia Commons.