Call for Presentations: 1st Global Conference–Probing the Boundaries of Reproduction | Origins, Bodies, Transitions, Futures | Sunday 12th May – Tuesday 14th May 2013 Prague, Czech Republic
This conference seeks to explore the boundaries of reproduction, not merely as physical birth but more broadly as an agent of change, of bodily, sexual, cultural (and even viral) transitions. From iconic images of the incarnation to depictions of monstrous births, the cultural rituals and mythologies of reproduction continue to fascinate us. Bodies that copulate, bodies that reproduce, bodies that replicate, change, decay—or divide—produce anxiety about the boundaries of self and identity. Reproduction, like evolution, reminds us that we are ever in flux, that change is inevitable. Birth, like death, forces us to acknowledge the limits of our bodies and our ‘selves.’ Additionally, this age of epidemics and viral warfare incites dystopic visions of a future where the effective reproducers are micro-organisms, where humans have been replaced by a replicating other. We seek to explore not only the biological imperative of preserving a species, but also our search for origins, our search for ourselves, our desires, our sexual identities, our gods. We invite perspectives that explore identity, bodies, boundaries, sexuality and futurity. We likewise invite reflections on whether the nature of our origins tells us anything about who and what we are; whether it lays the ground for understanding what we will become and how our future will unfold. What is the nature of our transition from birth through life to death? Is the end present in the beginning, and does this complicate our notions of evolutions and transitions as forward progress? What does it mean to be pregnant? To impregnate? What concerns are raised about a woman’s body historically, culturally, politically, her ability to feed, grow and harbour new life, as well as her control over her own reproductive destiny? What about bodies that replicate without sex? Cloning? Hermaphroditic reproduction? What about non-human reproduction, about invasive species, about viral epidemics?
We encourage scholarly contributions from inter, multi and transdisciplinary perspectives, from practitioners working in all contexts, professionals, ngo’s and those from the voluntary sector. We will entertain submissions drawn from literature, medicine, politics, social history, film, television, graphic novels and manga, from science to science fiction.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
- Historical medical discourses about reproduction
- The monstrosity of birth: monstrous births
- Birth in the dystopic narrative
- Freak(s) – of nature; of technology; accidents of birth
- Religious discourse of reproduction
- Gender and biomedicine
- Queering reproduction
- Technologies of and for the body
- Reproduction and ethical practice
- Managing reproductive bodies: law, health care and medical practice
- The “changing” body: rebirth and metamorphosis
- Invading and possessing bodies
- Eugenics, social biology and inter-racial generation
- Genetic engineering and “nightmare” reproductions
- Science fiction: inter-species reproduction: non-human reproduction
- Viral reproduction and pandemic
What to submit: The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Presentations will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 4th January 2013. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order: a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords. E-mails should be entitled: BR1 Abstract Submission
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).