CFP: Architectures of the Flesh: Design(at)ing the Human Body
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
March 6-9, 2008
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
This is a CFP for a pre-constituted panel at next year's SCMS conference (this information is also posted on the SCMS bulletin board). If interested, please email 200-250-word abstracts and a brief bio by August 1st to Sophia Siddique Harvey at [log in to unmask] and Mike Dillon at [log in to unmask]
Summary: In accordance with this year's theme ("Architectures of the Moving Image"), this panel welcomes essays addressing representations of the body as a blueprint, a schematic of pieces and parts where meaning -- whether affective communication or political agitation -- is designated through the body's assembly, repair, and augmentation.
The means by which we manipulate our bodies to prolong life and circumvent death is a topic of simultaneous fascination and dread, and has constituted the tropes of numerous popular narratives for ages. Now, at a time of impassioned debate concerning stem cell research and genetic engineering, that medical advancements and biotechnology allows for unprecedented modifications to a body’s physical appearance, structure, and possibly its very DNA demands an examination of our existing and speculative relationships to our corporeal selves. Furthermore, we must question the role state powers have in shaping the development of human bodies for enhancement or customization, as well as how bodies can be conversely reimagined as sites of resistance to such power dynamics. We hope to gather a group of papers investigating media representations of varying artificial, aesthetic, medicinal, and technological designs that facilitate transformations of that most elemental of vessels -- the
Possible topics may include: cosmetic surgery, prosthetics, cyborgs and robotics, mad scientists, transvestites, transsexuality, bodybuilding, body genres, computer-rendered likenesses, "Intelligent Design," cloning, genetic engineering, and cyber-sexuality.
Sophia Siddique Harvey, PhD
Old Dominion University
University of Southern California
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