From Aristotle to Foucault, the body has been widely regarded (and no less widely denied) as the essential crossroads between self and society. Next year’s Anglo-American Conference will be devoted to the history of the body in all its multifarious aspects and multiple meanings: as corporeal and disembodied, mind-body-soul, the body politic; as diet, eating, nutrition and malnutrition; as skin and bones, head and heart, flesh and blood, sanity and madness; as childhood, youth, maturity and old age; as men and women, black and white, civilised and barbarian, saved and damned; as regulation, discipline, coercion, punishment, defilement and torture; as health, hygiene, medicine, anatomy, treatment and cleanliness; as dress, undress, dance, theatre, sport, performance and recreation; as morals and manners, behaviour and politeness, beauty and purity; as fasting, piercing, tattooing and self-mutilation; as photographs, portraits, effigies, death masks and other forms of representation; as birth (and birth control), copulation, incest, death, funerary rituals and commemoration.
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