CFP: Beautiful and the Ugly-Body Representations


The Beautiful and the Ugly: Body Representations
First International Symposium of CORPUS – International Group for the Cultural Studies of the Body Lisbon

Date: January 7th & 8th 2010
Location: Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Research Centres building, 26 Av. de Berna, Lisbon, Portugal
Call for Papers Deadline: 11/10/2009

Founded in 2009, CORPUS now includes more than hundred researchers who work in more than twenty countries. Created after a series of seminaries organised between 2001 and 2008 in the Social Sciences High School (Paris) and the Autonomous University of Madrid, CORPUS intends to participate in the construction of a widely open anthropology of body, offering spaces to cross-thinking and dialogues about this fascinating study object.

During this first symposium, organised with the support of the Instituto de Estudos de Literatura Tradicional da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, we will study the theme: “The Beautiful and the Ugly: Body Representations”. For centuries, Beauty has been defined by opposition to Ugliness. A historical relativity is underlying these concepts, which are cultural constructions. For instance, the “whims of nature”, such as hybrids or monsters in which the formal aspects of various species could mingle, were generally regarded as ugly. Ugliness was thus defined as a negation of the different forms of beauty, both as a source of hostile reactions, violent repulsions, fear, horror, even terror. Conversely, Beauty could reassure, seduce, fascinate or obsess. Identifying and analyzing the canons of Beauty and those of Ugliness through the ages, studying their theorization and their associations with daily realities, will allow us to explore, beyond the purely aesthetic dimensions, quests for harmony and profound repulsions which are very revealing traits of civilization. We invite researchers (historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, psychologists, philosophers, literature or art specialists, etc.) interested in the topics of Beauty and Ugliness to speak during this meeting, especially considering one of the following themes:

  • Beauty & Ugliness canons; fashion prescriptions; codes of artistic representation of Beauty & Ugliness.
  • Beauty & Ugliness of the bodies in action (sexuality, sport, dance…)
  • Beauty & Ugliness of suffering bodies or dead ones.
  • Body as art object (body art, performance…)
  • Transformed body: plastic surgeries, bariatric surgeries, cosmetic interventions, invasive technologies…
  • Pictorial and literary representations of beautiful or ugly bodies.

The presentations will be 20 minutes long. The proposals must include an abstract (150-300 words) and an abbreviated CV (5 lines max). All the proposals will be evaluated by an international scientific committee. The number of speakers will be limited to approximately twenty. Communications will be presented in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish.

There will be no registration fee. Transportation costs and accommodation will be the sole responsibility of each participant. For accommodation, the researchers, who wish, may benefit from negotiated packages with hotels located near the faculty (downtown) and with Lisbon Youth Hostel (downtown).

Send proposals to:
Frédéric Duhart

Tomás Sánchez Criado

Carlos Augusto Ribeiro

Yannick Le Pape

Click here for more details.

Contact with questions via Email: Frédéric Duhart, CORPUS General Coordinator

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