The Body’s Transformations

The Body’s Transformations
The Body Transformations Project

When: Saturday 1st August – Monday 3rd August 2015
Where: Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom
Deadline for submissions: 01.05.2015
Call for Presentations:
The Body. Friend, ally yet also betrayer and foe. From the cradle to the grave it is our constant companion on the journey through life. What happens to it, happens to us. What happens within it, happens within us.

It seems we are our bodies and our bodies are ourselves. We grow, evolve and transform as it grows, evolves and transforms. And yet, the symmetry is not exact. It can betray, break, mutate; it can be damaged, amputated and disabled. It can leave us feeling like a prisoner, a hostage a victim. And it can fail, wither, die and dissolve. At the same time, entire industries, philosophies and lifestyles are built on the premise of re-asserting agency and control over the body’s natural processes.

Throughout our lives we have an unavoidable relationship with the ‘stuff’ that is our body. We cannot run away from it. We cannot hide from it. We cannot hope to escape it. This project seeks to explore the long and ever changing relationship we have with our bodies. We seek to discover the influence of social and cultural influences on the body and on us. Additionally, this project also covers examples of taking agency over the body by transforming it into something else, resisting the natural trajectory of decay.

The 4th Global Conference – The Body’s Transformations welcomes participants from all disciplines and fields – theoreticians, skilled professionals, tradespeople, the voluntary sector, practitioners, artists, media, and anyone with interest in this vast field that wishes to explore this dynamic theme from all possible angles.

We want to explore the whole array of bodily functions, stations, failures, alterations, concepts, abilities and disabilities, and experiences (including internal and external awareness) .

We welcome a variety of presentation formats:
~ papers, panels, workshops, reports
~ case studies
~ performance pieces; dramatic readings; poetic renditions; short stories; creative writings
~ works of art; works of music; short films

One of our goals is to encourage discussion and interaction in this very interdisciplinary field far beyond the conference itself. By creating this accessible space we hope to encourage a dialogue that will be able to further the understanding of the body in all its incarnations, forms, states, and implications and its importance to global understanding of ourselves and others. Through engaging with the multitude of manifestations, uses, and dynamics of the body we also hope to gain a deeper understanding of our selves and others.

We are particularly interested in presentations that explore the physicality of existence in terms that include but are not limited to:

-Change, such as growing up, growing old; shape-shifting, reconstructive surgery, transplants, hybridity, death and dying, genetic manipulation, amputations, tattoos, pregnancy, piercings, abilities and disabilities, and growth, mutants (and perhaps even superheroes)
-Bodies and medicine; health, illness and disease; drugs and medicines; pharma research on human and non-human bodies; implants; prosthetics; extending the body and the bodies abilities
-Bodies and sport; training; exercise; fitness; physical contact; extending limits; the context of adapting the body to meet challenges required in specific sports
-Race, sex, and gender, including issues of bio-identity, transgender identity, virginity, desire, pleasure, and asexuality
-Embodiment and disembodiment, including animate and inanimate bodies, avatars, the metaphysical, spirit and the body, liminality, solitude and companionship
-Body horror, including parasites, wounds and injury, infection and contagion, the politics of bio-power, pain, abjection, and violence
-Factors that cause individuals to undertake or resist body transformation
-Relationship between body transformations and cultural norms
-Connection between the body and mental or emotional states
-Ethical questions surrounding body transformations
-Experiences of body transformation
-Religious and spiritual influences on body transformations
-Cross-cultural perspectives on body transformation
-Body transformation and spiritualism
-Body transformation and the law
-Economics/business of body transformation

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 1st May 2015. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 19th June 2015. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both 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 proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: BT4 Abstract 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:
Nadine Farghaly: Nadine.Farghaly@gmx.net
Rob Fisher: bt4@inter-disciplinary.net

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