Forthcoming academic conferences

…Here’s some interesting academic conferences that may be of interest to some of you…Firstly, 

Being Non/Human: Bodily Borders (CfP, Conference, Queen Mary London, 15 June 2015

 Being Non/Human is organising a conference for 2015 on the topic of ‘bodily borders’ and we invite any postgraduate or early career researcher interested in this theme to submit an abstract or propose a panel. Being Non/Human is an interdisciplinary group that engages with research on interactions between the human and nonhuman, providing a forum for graduate students and early career researchers to present current research. We hope this conference will offer a similar opportunity.

Transforming human skin into fur or scale; combining living tissue with metal; breaking through membrane into disembodied existence. Factual and fictional narratives of bodily metamorphosis are common. But what does it mean to exist in the middle – in the moment between pre- and post-transformation? What does it entail when we speak of change, adaptation and mutation? We are looking for papers and panels which explore this suspension between the non/human and open it up to analyse the borderlands of non/humanity, examining how such borders are defined, transgressed or denied altogether.

This is an interdisciplinary conference and as such we welcome papers and panels from a range of backgrounds. We are looking for examinations of bodily borders within literature and popular culture, the limits of the human in medicine, the impact of technological developments on how we define the borders of the ‘human’, the place of the non/human in ethics, anthropological approaches to how the human body may have changed over time, the concept of liminal embodiment in theology, discussions of the boundary between human and animal, and so forth.

How human is the cyborg’s touch? What does it mean to cross species’ boundaries or create chimeras? What is the experience of shifting beyond an animal body into vegetal or ecological vibrancy – to become cold as ice, turn into stone, be reduced to ash or mud? Is the transformation between the non/human merely physical?
Possible focuses might include:

  • Posthuman embodiment
  • The hybrid, mutated or mutilated form
  • The animalistic or inorganic body
  • Subhuman, superhuman or sublime existence
  • The lifeless body
  • The disembodied

Please send abstracts (250 words) for twenty minute papers or panel proposals to: The deadline for abstracts is Monday 2nd February 2015.

The Being Non/Human conference will take place on Wednesday 17th June 2015 at Queen Mary, University of London. It is organised by Sophia Wilson (King’s College London) and Lydia Zeldenrust (Queen Mary, University of London).


Secondly, an acquaintance of mine, Dr Marko Stamenkovic is presenting research that will appeal to the philosophers:

Zagrebi! Festival 2014 
Death – The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning
Friday, 31 October 2014 / 5pm 
KIC, Preradoviceva 5, Zagreb, Croatia

Marko Stamenkovic


The topic of death has traditionally kept a privileged status in philosophy. However, its position has been altered in the contemporary (“biopolitical”) context and disturbed by the domination of life-centered discourses: capitalism supposedly prefers “life”, not “death”. Given such a domination, philosophy has distanced itself from one of its most significant tasks: contemplating the essence of human condition. In other words, by abandoning the question of death (which is at the very roots of the philosophical discipline itself) or through its deliberate erosion, it risks losing the fundamental bond with what makes its nature specifically philosophical. If we assume that the withdrawal of “death” from Western philosophy is a result of the prevailing “universal rationality” of the so-called developed world, we can also account for the following: a contemporary philosopher has willy-nilly found him/herself alienated from the essence of his/her discipline. What does this mean in the onthological sense? It means that philosophy has self-excluded itself by giving up the central reason of its own existence. Thus, philosophy committed a kind of suicide. As a result, if philosophy has indeed committed “suicide” it has not distanced but rather brought itself, once again, closer to “death”.

Attempting to shed light on some geopolitical implications of this paradox, the lecture in Zagreb aims to repoliticize “death” from a decolonial (necropolitical and thanatological) perspective. Unlike the conceptual question (WHAT is death?), which refers to the meaning and continuos problem with the definition of the term, something else is hereby asumed. The discursive space in the West – to have this question posed at all – has undergone the process of strategic reduction. Among other reasons, this process is steadily motivated by the tacit instrumentalization of human mortality on behalf of the sovereign power for the sake of expanding its worldwide domination. In response to such a “politics of death”, the problem of the place is put forward (WHERE is death?). Hence, what takes center stage in this lecture is the philosophical place of “death”: where is it in the context of global necrocapitalism and what kind of philosophy, instead of Western thanatology, illuminates the dark (depoliticized) side of the road towards this place?

Malin Ståhl, Death Waiting [Dusk], 2013. Photo - Elisabet Rydell-Janson



Malin Stahl | Death Waiting (Dusk)  | 2013 | performance |55min | photo: Elisabet Rydell-Janson |

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New film: ‘DYING GREEN: Natural Burial and Land Conservation’

I really want to see this film; if only they’d put it on YouTube or Vimeo rather than only making it available for purchase! …Does anyone have a copy they’d like to lend me?

DYING GREEN: Natural Burial and Land Conservation

Dying Green preview clip




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Emotion, Embodiment and Death

This  symposium promises to be a fascinating and thought-provoking event for those of you who can attend!

Emotion, Embodiment and Death

(Symposium, Queen Mary, University of London, 2-3 June 2014)

Emotion, Embodiment and Death Symposium
2-3 June 2014
Centre for the History of the Emotions: Queen Mary University of London

The symposium is free to attend, but space is limited, so please register by e-mailing, specifying whether you wish to attend Day One, Day Two, or both.

Organizer: Elena Carrera

Day One – 2 June 2014

Mourning Spaces, Sources and Sounds Past and Present
11:30-11:45     Welcome – Elena Carrera (History of Emotions and Hispanic Studies, QMUL)
11:45-12:30     Thomas Dixon (History, QMUL) Natalie Steed (Audio producer) and Clare Whistler (Artist in Residence, QMUL) – ‘One Single Tear’ – podcast, film, and discussion of the ‘Novo’ Sephardi cemetery, tears, and George Herbert

12:30-13:30   LUNCH

13:30-14:30     Hilary Pomeroy (Hebrew and Jewish Studies, UCL) – ‘Role, Ritual and the Sephardi Romancero’
14:30-15:30     Andrea Brady (English, QMUL) – ‘Morbid Geographies: Death and/in Space’

15:30-16:00   COFFEE

16:00-17:00     James Amelang (History, UAM) – ‘The Sources of Mourning: Early Modern Paradoxes’
17:00-18:00     Round Table Discussion
18:00-19:00     Refreshments (including kosher)
19:00-20:00     Recital – Shire Tze’akah (Songs of Wailing) – An exploration of traditions of music in mourning in the Portuguese-Jewish rite

Day Two – 3 June 2014

Emotion, Embodiment and Death in 15th-Century Spanish, Music and Poetry
11:30-12:30      Şizen Yiacoup (Hispanic Studies, University of Liverpool) – ‘Grief, guilt and the strategic uses of pathos in the Castilian frontier ballads’

12:30-13:30       LUNCH

13:30-14:00     Guitar recital: Roger Wright (Hispanic Studies, University of Liverpool) performing Spanish Ballads in translation
14:00-15:00      Dorothy Severin (Hispanic Studies, University of Liverpool) – ‘Love and Death in Diego de San Pedro’

15:00-15:30       COFFEE

15:30-16:30     Manuel Moreno (Hispanic Studies, University of Liverpool) – ‘Lágrimas y penas: lecturas de un muerto’
16:30-17:30     Soterraña Aguirre (Musicology, Universidad de Valladolid) – ‘”Nunca fue pena mayor”: éxito y emoción’
17:30-18:00     Roundtable discussion: Setting the agenda

18:00-19:00     DRINKS RECEPTION

All the sessions will take place in the Arts One Lecture Theatre, on the ground floor of Arts One, except for the refreshments and recital on 2 June, 6-8pm.


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Death Online Research Symposium

Here’s a very interesting conference I would like to plug with my academic hat on:

Death Online Research

– An International Research Network –
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