CFP: Bodies, Pleasures, Spaces: 2nd Annual Mid-America Humanities Conference

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Organic foods, Viagra, cosmetic surgery, “obesity,” athletic and exercise regimens – these and other contemporary obsessions reveal our ongoing investment in the body in the 21st century. Such concerns are hardly novel. We use bodily metaphors to describe the nation, medical imagery to conceptualize threats to society, and the language of hygiene to describe things we consider good/clean/healthy and bad/dirty/diseased. As many of these corporeal traits are inflected along the lines of gender, race, class, age, and other ways of thinking about difference, focusing on the body offers a complex way of approaching many pertinent social, political, and cultural issues. Bodies thus inhabit and inflect a variety of spaces in social life.

For the second annual Mid-America Humanities Conference we invite proposals from undergraduate and graduate students engaged in the humanities, social science, and arts disciplines for papers addressing issues relating to the body and the senses in a range of historical and contemporary contexts as well as in literature and theory. Relevant topics for consideration include, but are not limited to:

• The senses in culture, theory, and society
• Body image, self-identity, and the life course
• Bodies in natural or built environments
• Bodies and difference (race, gender, class, age)
• Fat, diet, and self-fashioning
• Intercorporeality and social spaces
• Pain, torture, and trauma
• Exercise, athletics, and bodily performance
• Technology, surgery, and human-machine interfaces

We are very pleased to announce that this year’s keynote address will be delivered by Professor Susan Bordo (University of Kentucky)

Four travel scholarships of up to $250 each will be made available to qualified graduate students residing more than 250 miles from Lawrence, Kansas.

Interested students are invited to submit 250-word proposals by Monday, November 15, 2010 to Christopher Forth (

Christopher E. Forth
Humanities & Western Civilization
308 Bailey Hall, 1440 Jayhawk Blvd
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045-7574
Phone: (785) 864-8036
Fax: (785) 864-3023

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1 Comment

  • EmilyKennedy November 01, 2010 11.54 am

    YES! This one is taking place at my school! Come one come all!


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