Call for Papers | The History of the Body: Approaches and Directions | May 16, 2015, London

One day Colloquium: May 16th 2015, Institute of Historical Research, London

Fay Bound Alberti, keynote speaker.
Fay Bound Alberti, keynote speaker.

Many historians have pointed out that “the body” is a worryingly broad historical theme, covering topics as diverse as medicine, dancing, gesture, clothing, sexuality, gender, childhood, animals, ageing, class, death, food, race, sport, and spirituality. This one day colloquium asks if any broader approaches and directions hold these themes together. Following on from the colloquium ‘What is the History of the Body?’, held at the Institute of Historical Research in March 2014, we invite proposals for papers on any aspect of the history of the body. Has the history of the body run its course, or are there topics that remain under-explored? How have the sources historians turn to changed, and how have their theoretical motivations evolved? Does ‘experience’ still matter, or are discourses the central concern? What relationship does the history of the body have to other recent historiographical trends, such as the history of emotions and the history of the senses? What different shapes has the historiography of the body taken in different parts of the world? Is there value to a ‘post-human’ turn in the history of the body, and in what senses do monsters, animals, supernatural beings, or machines belong to the history of the body? These questions point to a fundamental problem: is there, or should there be, a history of the body?

Plenary speaker: Dr. Fay Bound Alberti (Queen Mary)

Papers should consist of case studies with wider implications for how historians do history about bodies. We particularly invite postgraduate and early career researchers to submit proposals, and welcome papers on a variety of geographical areas and periods.

Proposals of up to 300 words for 20 minute papers should be sent to Kate Imy (Rutgers) and Will Pooley (University of Oxford) at by December 1st, 2014.

Supported by the Institute of Historical Research and the Society for the Social History of Medicine.

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