Evil, Woman and the Feminine

What: Evil, Women and the Feminine
Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia
When: Wednesday 6th May – Friday 8th May 2015
Deadline for Submissions: 23 January 2015


From Medea and Lady Macbeth, to Mary Tudor and Eva Peron, to Myra Hindley and Dorothea Puente, to human rights activists working to prevent violence targeted at women, the human imagination has been captured by the complex relationship between women and evil. We are fascinated by stories of real and fictional women who perpetrate evil deeds, experience evil as victims, fight against evil and take the blame as scapegoats for evil that exists in the world. These accounts raise a host of questions about the nature of evil itself and why cultural cues encourage us to see the relationship between women and evil in very different terms from the way we understand the relationship between men and evil. What distinguishes evil from something that is simply at odds with gender roles, laws and other means of regulating behaviour?  Why are women vilified as monsters, temptresses, bitches and evil incarnate when they break the rules? Is the emotionally- and ideologically-loaded language of evil is even useful in this context, or is an entirely different framework needed?

The Evil, Women and the Feminine project offers a space for inter-, cross- and multi-disciplinary explorations of these and other questions concerning the dynamics of the relationship between women and evil.


We invite proposals for presentations that take the form of talks, workshops, performances, readings, film screenings, art installations with commentary and other interactive content. Activists, anthropologists, archaeologies, archivists, artists and other creative professionals, civil servants, members of the clergy, clinicians, correctional authorities, historians, journalists, jurists and other legal professionals, military personnel, researchers, writers and others with an interest in the project are encouraged to submit proposals on themes that include but are not limited to:

Theology and Theodicy:
-Women who theorise about evil
-Theological considerations of case studies involving women
-Alternative religious perspectives on the relationship between women and evil
-Female deities and spirits
-Considerations of whether evil committed by women inherently different from evil committed by men
-Explorations of the relevance and usefulness of the language of evil to discuss unlawful or immoral behaviour

Big Evils/Lesser Evils?:
-Women and genocide, genital mutilation, murder, sexual abuse, torture, human trafficking, drug smuggling, etc.
-Women who experience or perpetuate social evils: racism, sexism, homophobia, economic deprivation, corporate exploitation, environment devastation, etc.

Multi-cultural and Historical Perspectives:
-Indigenous/tribal traditions concerning women, femininity and evil
-Folk lore dealing with women, femininity and evil
-Assessments of changing attitudes toward the relationship between women and evil (and the sources of those changes)

Women and the Law:
-Case studies of women whose crimes are considered evil
-Accounts of experiences with women who have either perpetrated or suffered from acts considered evil
-Legal trends in cases that involve women whose conduct has been coded as evil
-Activism on behalf of female perpetrators and victims
-Deviant sexuality

Women and Medicine:
-Clinical perspectives on female perpetrators and victims
-The medical establishment as locus of evil – and the women who must engage with it

Women and Power:
-Considerations of the relationship between power and evil, and whether women can gain and maintain power without doing things that others perceive as evil or monstrous
-Revenge plots
-Personnel management strategies for regulating the workplace
-Self-help and professional development models for gaining/maintaining/managing power in the workplace.


-Monstrous motherhood: mothers who kill/abuse/neglect children
-Evil or monstrous maternal bodies

Women and Evil in the News Media:
-Journalistic case studies, including first-hand accounts of how particular stories were presented for public consumption
-Contemporary, historical, or comparative assessments of language and imagery used in reports about female perpetrators

Women and War:
-Women as warriors and efforts to protect the ‘fairer sex’ from combat
-Women and war crimes
-Holocaust narratives: women as oppressors and victims
-Female jihadists, freedom fighters, terrorists

Representations of any aspect of Monstrous Femininity – women who perpetrate evil, women who fight against evil, women who suffer from evil perpetrated by others and women who are scapegoated as the source of evil in:
-visual arts

The Steering Group welcomes the submission of proposals for short workshops, practitioner-based activities, performances, and pre-formed panels. We particularly welcome short film screenings; photographic essays; installations; interactive talks and alternative presentation styles that encourage engagement.


300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 23rd January 2015. All submissions are at least double blind peer reviewed. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: EWF7 Proposal Submission.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Natalia Kaloh Vid: nkv@inter-disciplinary.net
Rob Fisher: ewf7@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the At the Interface programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook.  Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

For further details of the conference, please visit:

Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.


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