Archive of Past Events

2012: Bodies in Movement Seminar Series

The BiM organisers are extremely pleased to announce a follow-up to the 2011 BiM conference with a new series of three half-day seminars which continue the general theoretical theme of the conference over the Spring-Summer period of 2012.

Research that explores the interstices of the humanities, materiality and the sciences is rapidly expanding but is also relatively recent. The BiM Seminar Series is devoted to full participatory discussion of such research which involves scholars leading and developing new ideas which address materiality in the intersection of the arts and the sciences, early-career academics and current students.

Each seminar in the Bodies in Movement Seminar Series will spotlight the work of an established scholar who will present material related to pre-selected pieces of their published writing. This will be followed by three 15 minute responses, after which we will open the floor to more detailed discussion of the various issues raised with all participants. Participants are asked to prepare in advance for these seminars by reading key material chosen by our invited presenters.

Attendance is free but places are limited. If you would like to attend any of the seminars, please contact one of the organisers. Further information will be sent to participants via email.

Lena Wånggren (
Karin Sellberg (
Kamillea Aghtan (


25 May 2012: Scott Wilson (Media and Communication, Kingston University) will discuss his work on schizophrenia, neoliberalism and cinema.

Wilson's texts discussed in this seminar:
  • "Making Numbers Speak: John F Nash Jr. And the Madness of Neoliberalism." Culture/Clinic 1.1 (forthcoming): 1-17.
  • "The Braindance of the Hikikomori: Towards a Return to Speculative Psychoanalysis." Paragraph 33.3 (2010): 392-409.
  • "Neuracinema." David Lynch in Theory. Ed. François-Xavier Gleyzon. Prague: Literaria Pragensia Press, 2010. 70-86.
  • Extract from Chapter 6, "Surprised by Joy" in The Order of Joy: Beyond the Cultural Politics of Enjoyment. New York: SUNY, 2008. 117-129.
Held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 2 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh EH8 9NW.

View the Scott Wilson Seminar programme here.

14 June 2012: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson (Women's Studies, Emory University) will open a discussion on her current work in the field of disability studies and feminist theory, in "Disability, Gender, Bodies".

  • "Integrating Disability, Transforming Feminist Theory." NSWA Journal 14.3 (2002): 1-32.
  • "Misfits: A Feminist Materialist Disability Concept." Hypatia 26.3 (2011): 591-609.
Held at the University of Edinburgh, 19 George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LD.

View the Rosemarie Garland-Thomson Seminar programme here.

2 July 2012: Stuart Elden (Geography, Durham University) will tease out the intertwined geographical and material intricacies of Shakespeare's Coriolanus (and its recent 2011 cinematic counterpart starring Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler) with "Bellies, Wounds, Infections, Animals, Territories: The Political Bodies of Coriolanus".

  • "Land, Terrain, Territory." Progress in Human Geography 34.6: 799-817.
  • "The Geopolitics of King Lear: Territory, Land, Earth." Law and Literature 25 (forthcoming).

Held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 2 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh EH8 9NW.

View the Stuart Elden Seminar programme here.

Seminar Timetable
  • 2:00-2:15pm Introduction
  • 2:15-3:15pm Key Speaker
  • 3:15-3:45pm Tea and Coffee
  • 3:45-4:45pm Responses
  • 4:45-6:00pm Open Discussion

    Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities
19 George Square


2011: Bodies in Movement Conference

Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square,
Seminar Rooms 1+2, 3 and 4
University of Edinburgh, 28-29 May 2011


09.00-09.30 Registration ~ 30min

09.30-09.45 Opening Remarks ~ 15min

09.45-11.00 Keynote Lecture by Johanna Oksala
‘Neoliberal Bodies and Feminist Subjects’, with response by Lena Wånggren ~ 75min

11.00-11.30 Morning Tea ~ 30min

11.30-13.00 Panel Bracket 1A, 1B & 1C ~ 90min

1A. Flesh Things ~ Chaired by Lena Wånggren
Xavier Aldana Reyes, Lancaster University, UK
‘Snuff’ is Enough: Corporeal Liminality in Contemporary Horror
Jasie Stokes, London Consortium, UK
Like Socks to be Mended: The Broken War-body as Thing in Post-World War One Art and
Faruk Kokoglu, Mugla University, Turkey
Tessism or the Masochistic Body without Organs and Contract in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles

1B. Fleshing out Theory ~ Chaired by Karin Sellberg
Peta Hinton, University of New South Wales, Australia
The Quantum Dance and the World’s ‘Extraordinary Liveliness’: Refiguring Corporeal Ethics in Karan Barad’s Agential Realism
Angus McBlane, Cardiff University, UK
Posthuman Corporeality: From Organic Bodies to Inorganic Life
Sue Hawksley, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
Bodytext: Speech, Script, (Re)action, Iteration. An Enactive Inquiry into Embodiment and Language

1C. Performative Geographies ~ Chaired by Maria Parsons
Tolulope Onabolu, Independent Researcher and Architect, Nigeria
The Stage/Ch
ōra: Proscenium, Procession and Pleasure
Hannah Lammin, University of Greenwich, UK
Community and Ecstatic Embodiment in Underground Dance Music Culture
Fiona Hanley, Tami Gadir & Irene Noy, University of Edinburgh, UK
Stepping Out and Into Rhythms: Moving Corporeal Inquiries from Music, Art History and Cultural Studies

13.00-14.00 Lunch ~ 60min

14.00-15.15 Keynote Lecture by Patricia MacCormack
‘Encounters with Inhuman Ecstasy: Movement without Time’, with response by Maria Parsons ~ 75min

15.15-15.45 Afternoon Tea ~ 30min

15.45-17.45 Panel Bracket 2A, 2B & 2C ~ 120min

2A. Biopolitical Orderings ~ Chaired by Carole Jones
Jemima Repo, University of Helsinki, Finland
The Life Function: The Biopolitics of Sexuality Revisited
John Paul Narkunas, City University of New York, USA
‘Completed’ Subjectivity through Death: Organ Harvesting, Kazuo Ishigiro’s Never Let Me Go, and Global Biopolitical Regulation
Eve Katsouraki, University of East London, UK
Spectres of Enchantment – Embodied Manifestations
Rachel Harkness & Caroline Gatt, University of Edinburgh IASH, UK / University of Aberdeen, UK
Movements: Exploring Work Spaces and Processes in the Light of Environmental Action

2B. Skin Schematics ~ Chaired by Alison N. Crockford
Michael R. Stewart, University of British Columbia, Canada
Excess and Re(dress): Mobilizing Scarlett in Gone with the Wind
Rosemary Deller, Central European University, Hungary
Getting to the Meat(iness) of the Matter: The Dynamic Decay of Jana Sterbak’s Flesh Dress of an Albino Anorexic (1987)
Anne Graefer, Newcastle University, UK
Queering Skin: Re-reading Sexuality through the Skin of Online Representations in
Norman Cherry, University of Lincoln, UK
Living Art - Angiogenetic Body Adornment

2C. Mapping Affect and Agency ~ Chaired by Kamillea Aghtan
Sarah Cefai, University of Sydney, Australia
Critical Feelings as Agencies of Movement
Zoe Roth, King’s College London, UK
Embodied and Creative Processes: Beyond the Body as a Theme in Literature
Kirsty Martin, University of Oxford, UK
Motion, Emotion and Sympathy between Bodies in the Work of D. H. Lawrence
John Golden, Florida Atlantic University, USA
Embodying Absence: Motions of Affect in In Memoriam

18.00-21.00 Wine Reception at Surgeons’ Hall


09.45-11.00 Keynote Lecture by Olga Taxidou
‘The Bacchae and the Theatricality of Cruelty’, with response by Karin Sellberg ~ 75min

11.00-11.30 Morning Tea ~ 30min

11.30-13.00 Panel Bracket 3A, 3B & 3C ~ 90min

3A. Virtual Ontologies ~ Chaired by Kamillea Aghtan
Shih-Mei Lee, University of Edinburgh, UK
Bodily Metaphors in Digital Spaces
Sebastian Schmidt-Tomczak, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Cyberpunk Bodies on the Move: Tracing Corporeality in Japanese Animation
Gavin MacDonald, Manchester School of Art, UK
On Lines and Lives: Mobile Bodies and the Mapped Trace in Visual Art

3B. In-between Stasis and Motion ~ Chaired by Maria Parsons
J. Joris van Gastel, Leiden University, Netherlands
Beholding Bernini: Sculpture and the Movement in Seeing
Juliet Macdonald, University of Huddersfield, UK
Lines of Movement, Points of Stillness: Drawing and the Figuration of Bodies
Johanna Hällsten, Loughborough University, UK
Sonic Movements - Spatial Reflexivity

3C. Rethinking Victorian Embodiment ~ Chaired by Lena Wånggren
Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Thermodynamic Bodies in Movement in Dicken’s Hard Times
Erika Kvistad, University of York, UK
Love and Stabbing in Jane Eyre
Douglas Iain Clark, University of Strathclyde, UK
‘Existence - in itself’: Emily Dickinson and the Movement to Absence in the Poetic Body

13.00-14.00 Lunch ~ 60min

14.00-15.15 Keynote Lecture by Michael O’Rourke
‘The Divivacities of Cixous and Derrida’, with response by Kamillea Aghtan ~ 75min

15.15-15.45 Afternoon Tea ~ 30min

15.45-17.45 Panel Bracket 4A, 4B & 4C ~ 120min

4A. Figural Images ~ Chaired by Karin Sellberg
Anna Chromik, University of Silesia, Poland
Pulsating Motility: Corporeal Tropes in the Constructions of Pre-subjectivity
Rebecca Coleman, Lancaster University, UK
Transforming Images: Materialisation, the Future and the Virtual
Anna Gibbs, University of Western Sydney, Australia
Mimesis as a Mode of Knowing: Seeing Beyond Vision in the Aesthetic Practice of Jean Painleve

4B. The Minutiae of Movement ~ Chaired by Rachel Harkness
Peter Arnds, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Bodies in Transgression: Hunchbacks and the Sieg Heil Salute in Literature and the Visual Arts
Mark Perlman, Western Oregon University, USA
Musical Communication through Movement: A Philosophical and Semiotic Examination of the Conductor’s Gestures
Kathleen Coessens & Anne Douglas, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium / Robert Gordon University, UK
Movement and Moment: In-between Discreteness and Continuity
Ana Zimmermann, University of São Paulo, Brazil
The Secret Ciphers of Human Movement

4C. Transforming Bodies and Minds ~ Chaired by Maja Milatovic
Alison N. Crockford, University of Edinburgh, UK
Sex in Stasis, Bodies in Becoming: The Monstrous Body and the Eroticisation of the Scientific Gaze
Megan Coyer, University of Glasgow, UK
Phrenological Transformations and Murderous Confessions
Samantha Walton, University of Edinburgh, UK
The ‘Self’ at the Mercy of Mind and Body in Interwar Crime Fiction
17.45-18.00 Closing Remarks ~ 15min

2010: Bodies in Movement Conference Call for Papers

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Dr. Patricia MacCormack (Anglia Ruskin University)
Dr. Luciana Parisi (Goldsmiths, University of London)
Dr. Johanna Oksala (University of Dundee)

The last two decades have witnessed a turn both to materiality and movement in critical, social and feminist theory. However, theorists of politics and movement often ignore the materiality of the body that moves – and theorists of embodiment and material life sometimes forget the fluidity of physical existence. Bodies are always already in movement: embodied processes are subject to both the numerous biological and chemical functions of materiality, as well as the theoretical and social mechanisms of material subjectivity. Recent feminist and critical theorists have attempted to unite these analogous although separate spheres by interchangeably engaging with philosophical theories of embodiment and movement and scientific disciplines such as neuroscience, quantum physics and biotechnology. This two-day interdisciplinary conference positions itself in this shift: it aims to investigate the theoretical/scientific/political/social/cultural/literary/virtual spaces where embodied processes occur.

The organisers warmly welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations or 90-minute panels from established scholars, postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students from any backgrounds in the Humanities, for example literature, media and art studies as well as philosophy, history of science, and critical and cultural theory. Interdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

Possible topics may include (but are by no way limited to):
  • Biopower, biotechnology and subjectivity
  • Biotechnical /corporeal cartography
  • Corporeality vs non-corporeality
  • Specific turns to corporeality in literature, media and the arts
  • Body as object / object- and thing-theory
  • Transpositioning / transformation / movement
  • Movement, gender and sexuality
  • Virtual embodiment and movement
  • Positioning and movement
Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted to by 31st January 2011. The abstract should also include a 50-word biographical note and AV requests.

General enquiries should be directed to the conference organisers: Dr. Karin Sellberg (University of Edinburgh), Lena Wånggren (University of Edinburgh), Kamillea Aghtan and Dr. Maria Parsons (Institute of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland).

Conference Blog:

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