The confinement and appropriation of bodies is an issue that transects geopolitical divides. Across these boundaries, physical and allegorical prisons have been erected, calling attention to the question of surveillance and control. In this context, contradictory discourses emerge, which problematize historical notions of the limits, integrity, and inviolability of political and human bodies. Globalization, new technologies, and transnational alliances make frontiers more porous, often resulting in human trafficking, kidnapping, and confinement by both state and non-state actors. Like “Crusade” and “Inquisition” before them, “Abu Ghraib” and “Guantanamo” have become symptomatic catchwords associated with new scientific technologies and with surveillance, physical seclusion, and the removal of bodies from circulation. The story of sequestered, kidnapped, and trafficked bodies is one familiar to scholars in Romance Studies who study narratives and language use, from any epoch or place.
The Crisis of the Confined Body is a graduate student conference that will join five Romance languages (Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), fostering a comparative approach to studies of the body in confinement, isolation and extraction. The conference, which will be held on April 15th and 16th, will offer critical examinations of the body and its contingent relationship to spatial, temporal, cultural and/or linguistic parameters. A theme that lends itself to multiple fields, The Crisis of the Confined Body will promote interdisciplinary collaborations between the humanities, visual arts, and sciences, engaging points of overlap as well as lines of divergence. We encourage presentations that engage a comparative and/or interdisciplinary approach.
General thematic subcategories: (a) violence and discourse; (b) institutions and power; (c) the body and knowledge; and (d) the body and/in space
Examples of critical topics include, but are not limited to:
- The frontiers of the body
- Scientific discourse and the abnormal body
- The identity politics of the body (e.g. the tropologies of the veil)
- The segregation of racialized bodies
- The body and the social semiotics of language, or the social semiotics of the body
- Torture and testimony
- Mysticism and seclusion
- The psychology of confinement
- Technologies of surveillance and control
- The "War on Terror" and terrorist bodies
- Insurgent bodies and the body politic
- The embodiment of urban topographies/landscapes
For the complete description of the colloquium, please visit our website:
Please submit abstracts (maximum of 250 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1, 2010. In your email please include your name, email address, and academic affiliation.
In order to make presentations accessible across departments and disciplines, we request that all papers be in English.
*Keynote Speakers: Paul Colilli, Laurentian University; Anne J. Cruz, Miami University; Marnia Lazreg, CUNY
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