The Meridian Critic academic journal of literary and cultural studies (http://meridiancritic.usv.ro) invites contributions covering specific aspects of the theme Body as/and Text.
The past decades have seen a growing interest in the body, in its literary representation as well as its historical, social, and philosophical construction. This certifies the fact that corporeality is no longer viewed as a Cartesian entity. The Cartesian epistemology, with its huge impact on the classical aesthetic ideology, praised the mind while devaluing the body. The usurpation of the body – equated with miscalculation and hesitation – reverberated through modernity and put its decisive imprint on the philosophical description of subjectivity and on its representation through discourse. Yet, not even the skeptical Montaigne, who protested against the unnatural divorce of body and mind as early as the 16th century, could have anticipated the postmodernist vision of the body as dissociated from both the mind and experiential reality.
What is the significance of the body from our cultural perspective? The term still denotes an entity properly delimited yet liquefied, universal yet autonomous, vital in defining tradition yet unsealed by history. What is still natural about the human body? Contemporary anthropology prefers talking about body multiple, whereas cultural studies deal with body culture instead. Body modification and reformation through fashion, tattoos, piercing, plastic surgery, sports, yoga, diets or due to illness, aging, physical and mental degradation and death are topics of great interest in contemporary debates. The body is the place for the inscription of socio-cultural practices. The body is therefore a text: it may be read, interpreted, translated, transposed, presupposed, and deposed. Similarly, the text is a body that can be reshaped, mutilated or cosmeticized through translation, critical interpretation, cinematographic adaptation, etc.
Article proposals on these questions or any other aspect of the subject matter are invited. Possible topics could include, but are not limited to the discussion of the following aspects:
- Cultural transformations, literary and philosophical representations of the body;
- Body and embodiment – various modes of representation throughout the ages;
- Representing the body in contemporary media, arts and architecture;
- Reproductive bodies/texts - Reproducing bodies/texts;
- The fragmented body/text, made up of disparate pieces (body-in-pieces);
- Corporeality, race, class, and ethnic identity;
- Sex, gender and the body;
- Post-human bodies: technology, science, and the body;
- The cultural politics of body/text modification: bodily deformation and textual deviation;
- The anatomy of body politics: entrails and organs;
- Body and text mutilation, modification, multiplication;
- Naked bodies/adorned bodies: nudity, obscenity, fashion;
- The monstrous body and the transgressive text;
- Written bodies: plastic surgery, tattoos, piercing;
- Broken bodies: illness, disability, old-age, and death;
- Body/text posterity: organ donation and intertextuality.
Deadline for submissions: June, 15, 2013. We welcome papers in English, German, French, and Romanian. Abstracts (c. 200 words) and full papers (up to c. 7,000 words), together with a brief biographical sketch (c. 400 words), are to be sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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