CFP: Body Modification and the Female Body

The University of York, UK is organising an interdisciplinary one day conference entitled Body Modification and the Female Body, to be held on 9th March 2013. They invite abstracts for 20 minute papers, and also encourage people to submit ideas for relevant performances or art work.

Body modification is a controversial topic within feminism. The debate centres on issues of agency, pleasure, oppression, and false consciousness, and often pitches different understandings of women, and ‘second’ and ‘third’ waves of feminism, in opposition. The organisers’ definition of body modification is broad, from shaved legs to buttock implants; from the honed ‘fit’ body to ‘fat-reducing’ surgery; from self-tanning to pro-ana; from piercings to gender reassignment, and much more. Areas of interest to readers of Worn Through could include the use of clothes to modify body shape.


This conference seeks to create a space where differences of perspective, of cultural understanding and of theoretical viewpoint can be tackled through debating issues of body modification. The aim is to expand understandings of various forms of body modification as well as develop feminist understandings across multiple disciplines.


Areas for discussion are listed below:


  • Aesthetics, idealism and body modification
  • Agency, ownership and oppression
  • Embodied experiences
  • Body image
  • Body as object
  • Gendered experience
  • Discourses of modification
  • Mind/body duality and the individual
  • Medicalisation
  • Popular feminism and popular culture
  • Commercialism
  • Individualism and neo-liberalism
  • Sexuality
  • Femininity and masculinity
  • The racialised body
  • Eating disorders
  • Fatness/thinness
  • Technology
  • Transgender
  • The aging body.


Please send abstracts of 250-300 words to by the 10th December 2012. Those who have submitted abstracts will be notified of acceptance by the 1st January 2013.

More information is available on the conference blog:

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