Fear and Loathing: Phobia in Literature and Culture
Centre for Gender, Sexuality and Writing, School of English, University of Kent,
9th-10th May 2014
Focusing on the literary and historical representation of irrational emotions or phobias, Fear and Loathing seeks papers on topics and authors from any period, which aim to demonstrate the extent to which literary-historical study offers us unique insight into the cultural politics of emotions. Given the growth of both affect studies and historical enquiry into emotions over the past decade, Humanities scholarship has generated a rich and varied body of work on the representations and histories of emotions, sentiments, feelings and affects. This two-day international conference seeks to build upon this research and to reflect upon the relationship between the Humanities and the study of emotions more generally. Some key questions that we envisage animating the discussion at this conference include the following: (1) how might we define phobia/fear/loathing within the context of the Humanities? (2) How have literary works been complicit with and/or reactive to dominant social phobias? (3) Can the archive be deployed to historicise feeling? (4) What role do the Humanities have in challenging contemporary phobias?
We welcome proposals for individual papers and panels that address any of these core questions. Moreover, possible research topics for submission can include, but are by no means limited to:
• Phobia & Academia
• Archival Objects
• Bodies and Minds
• Trans & Homophobia
• Letters and Diaries
• Human and Nonhuman Animals
• The Monstrous
• Borders and Territories
• Science and Technologies
Please send title and abstracts (300 words) for proposed papers and panels, along with a short biographical note (100 words) to Dr Declan Kavanagh. Deadline for submissions is 31st January 2014. Conference organising committee: Dr Declan Kavanagh, Dr Monica Mattfeld and Dr Sarah Horgan.