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January 2007, Week 5


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 29 Jan 2007 13:19:29 EST
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The Transforming Body in popular  culture

University of Southampton, UK, 2007

There has  recently been an intensification of interest in the changing body 
in popular  culture, from films and writing focusing on the makeover 
phenomenon or gender  reassignment, to reality TV programmes detailing surgical 
alteration, to  health-, celebrity- and horror-focused narratives presenting 
transformation  sentimentally or monstrously. These contemporary perspectives are 
embedded in a  longer history of transformation stories in 
classical/post-classical cinema,  literature, photography, art and performance. 

In 2007 Southampton  University will be hosting a series of seminars 
considering the unique position  of the transforming body within popular culture in 
the twentieth and  twenty-first centuries. This series will provide a forum at 
which these  sensational spectacles and cultural artefacts can be addressed in 
the context of  a reassessment of established theories of the body, providing 
new ways of  framing and understanding body culture. Possible areas of 
interest might  include:
·        Make-over narratives and  ‘cinderella stories’
·        Gender and  transgender
·        The transforming  celebrity body
·        Medical/surgical  narratives
·        The hybrid or obscene  body
·        Body art, performance art  and fetish culture
·        Monstrosity,  plasticity and body horror 
·        The  body as sick/damaged or whole/perfected

We are open to proposals  focusing on any revealing or provocative cultural 
phenomena and texts, from a  wide range of perspectives and disciplines. Please 
email abstracts of 250 words  to [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] by 
23th February 2007. If your  proposal is accepted, you will be invited to 
present a paper of 30 minutes at  Southampton University, UK, at one of our four 
themed seminars. These are  scheduled for April 25th, May 30th, and in October 
and December (dates tbc).  Travel expenses will be paid for speakers, though we 
cannot cover overnight  accommodation or a fee. We expect to secure a 
publisher for an edited collection  of selected papers from the series.

Travel bursaries for attendees:  A limited number of small travel bursaries 
will be available per event to help  towards the cost of attending for those 
not giving papers. Please contact the  organisers at the email address below if 
you are interested in this. We will  require a 150 word statement outlining 
your research interests and indicating  how participation at the event will 
enhance your research.  

Professor Linda Ruth Williams ([log in to unmask])  & Peri  Bradley 
([log in to unmask])
School of Humanities, University of Southampton,  UK  

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