Communication and Construction of Monstrous Embodiment
June 15-16, 2012

Conference Programme

Day 1 - Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh

9.00-9.30 Registration/Morning Refreshments ~ Lecture Theatre 175 Atrium

9:30-9:45 Welcome Remarks;
Lecture Theatre 175

9:45-11.00 Keynote: Margrit Shildrick, “On Longing for the Monstrous: Some Precautionary Observations” ~ Old College, Lecture Theatre 175 
With a response by Karin Sellberg

11.00-11:30 Tea/Coffee break

11:30-13:00 Panel Bracket 1

1A. Cross Cultural Constructions ~ Old College L05 (Chair: Keith Hughes)

Sabrina Riche, Mouloud Mammeri University, Algeria
“Of the Monstrification Processes in Kabyle Traditional Culture: Grotesque Male Monsters Vs. Sublime Female Monsters”

Priscilla Maunier-Phillips, Independent Researcher, UK
“The Representation of the Black Female Body in Gisèle Pineau’s Narratives”

Andrea Knezevic, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Rijeka, Croatia and Ivana Maurovic, Humboldt-University, Germany
“The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife: Japanese Tentacle Erotica and the Crisis of the Male Body”

1B. Indigestion ~ Old College L06 (Chair: Karin Sellberg)
Andrew Norris, Institut supérieur de traducteurs et interprètes (HEB), Belgium and Michel Delville, University of Liège, Belgium
“Empathizing with the disembodied”

Kelly Fleming, Boston College, USA
"Thinking from Hand to Mouth”: Monstrous Embodiment  in Virginia Woolf’s The Years"

Susan Small, King’s University College, Canada
“Sex and the Savage Girl: The Exotic Orality of the “Wild Child of Champagne”

1C. Trajectories of Teratology ~ Old College LT 175 (Chair: Ally Crockford)

Phillip K Wilson, Penn State’s College of Medicine, USA

“Maternally Impressed Monstrosities: Medical Classifications of ‘Inherited’ Disease (1750-1950)”

Salim Al-Gailani, University of Cambridge, UK

“Public Morals and Private Science: The Diary of a late-Victorian Teratologist”

Jeni Buckley, University of Southampton, UK

“Defining Maternal Imagination: Mary Toft and her Physicians”

13:00-14:0 Lunch

14:00-15:15 Keynote: Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, “Seeing the Unusual: Thoughts on the Ethics of Showing Disability” ~ Old College LT 175 

With a response by Ally Crockford

15:15-16:45 Tea/Coffee Brea

16:45-17:15 Panel Bracket 2

2A. Static Images ~ Old College L05 (Chair: Carole Jones)

Andrea Zittlau, University of Rostock, Germany

“The Medical Gaze. The Image, Medicine, and Disability in 19th Century America”

Rachael Allen, Independent Artist and Researcher, UK

“Ignorance is Bliss? What Contemporary Artists Want Us to See”

Shelley Wall, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Canada

“Shaping the Intersex Body”

2B: Medieval Monsters ~ Old College L06 (Chair: Sarah Dunnigan)

Elizabeth Elliott, University of Edinburgh, UK

“‘I in love my self and sense have lost’: Sensuality and Monstrosity in William Fowler’s Petrarchan Poetry”

Kamillea Aghtan, Independent Researcher, UK

“Transportative Transcendence of Putrescent Abjection”

SooJung Choe, Seoul National University, The Republic of Korea

“Monstrous Male Body as the Abject in Bisclavret and Sir Gawain and the the Green Knight”

2C. Deformed Pleasures ~ Old College LT 175 (Chair: Lena Wånggren)

            Stevi Costa, University of Washington, USA
“Queering the Siamese Twin: Contemporary Figurations of Longing and Desire Through Shared Bodily Space”

Line Henriksen, Linköping University, Sweden

“On the Secret Pleasures of Ghost-Seers”

Jo Latham, La Trobe University, Australia

“MONSTROUS SEX: Technology, Popular Culture and Trans Male Sexuality”

19.15-22.15 Film Night / Drinks

Day 2 – 7 Bristo Square, Edinburgh

8:45-9:15 – Coffee ~ Lobby

9:15-10:30 Keynote Lecture by Peter Hutchings, “Monstering the 1970s: Deviation, Mutilation and Negotiation in American Horror ~ 7 Bristo Sq, Lecture Theatre 1
With a response by Maja Milatovic

10:30-11.00 Tea/Coffee

11.00-12.30 – Panel Bracket 3

3A: Art-ificiality ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT1 (Chair: Karin Sellberg)
Bettina Papenburg, Utrecht University, Netherlands
“Prosthetic Arts: Semiotic, Sensory and Affective Registers of ‘the Monstrous’ and ‘the Grotesque’”

Elizabeth Stephens, University of Queensland, Australia

“Making Monsters”

Marietta Radomska, Linköping University, Sweden

“On the Monstrosity of the Semi-Living: Embodiment, Subjecthood and Ethics in the Context of Bioart”

3B. (Re)Naissance ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT 4 (Chair: Elizabeth Elliott)
Luminita Florea, Eastern Illinois University, USA “Fabricated Humanoids: Composing and Decomposing Deformity in Musical Modal Theory of the Renaissance”
Marieke Hendriksen, Leiden University, Netherlands
“Perfect Monsters”
Lisa Walters, Ghent University, Belgium
“Monstrous Births and Imaginations: Motherhood, Authorship and Folklore in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream”

3C: Synaesthetic Bodies ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT 5 (Chair: Maja Milatovic)
Gábor Gergely, University of Exeter, UK
“‘Don’t just stand there, you idiot! Come and help me find my nose!’ or The Absent Nose as Marker of Pathology in Mainstream Cinema”

Lucy Lyons, Independent Researcher

“Sensuous Understanding of the Unknown and Unseen”

Karly-Lynne Scott, Northwestern University, USA

"When Eyes Touch: Towards Seeing Strange Bodies"

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch

13.30 – 14.45 - Keynote Lecture by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, “Zombie Aesthetics” ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT1 

With a response by Kamillea Aghtan

14.45 – 15.15 Tea/Coffee break

15.15 – 16.45 Panel Bracket 4

4A. Monstrous Philosophy ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT5 (Chair: Miranda Anderson)
             Michael O’Rourke, Independent Colleges, Dublin, Ireland and Eamonn Dunne,
Colaiste Chraobh Abhann, Ireland

Ian McCormick, Independent Scholar

“Grotesque Enlightenment”

Ania Chromik, University of Silesia, Poland

“Embracing the Grotesque Body”

4B. Cinematic Flesh ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT1 (Chair: Maja Milatovic)
             Gwyneth Peaty, The University of Western Australia, Australia
“That Twisted Lump of Flesh: Desire, Disgust and Deformity in Basket Case”

Lena Wånggren, University of Edinburgh, UK

“Affective Amputation: Sensualising Touch in Tod Browning’s The Unknown (1927)”

Ian Haig, RMIT University, Australia

“Inside Out Bodies”

4C. Spectacle/Freakery ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT4 (Chair: Ally Crockford)
             Susanne Hamscha, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Germany
“Towards an Aesthetics of the Grotesque: Freak Shows and Precarious Monstrosity”

Fran Pheasant-Kelly, University of Wolverhampton, UK

“Spectacular Bodies: Reconfiguring the Freak in Fantasy Film”

Carys Crossen, The University of Manchester, UK

“‘A Mongrel Body and Demon Soul’: The Pig-Faced Woman, the Female Body and the Delights of Hoggishness”

16.45 – 18.00 Round Table Discussion (lead by Karin Sellberg) ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT1

18.00 – 18.10 Concluding remarks ~ 7 Bristo Sq, LT1

18.15 – Dinner / Drinks


  1. What a brilliant variety and range of conference papers! With so many options it will be difficult to select a panel! Well done...

    Are there any plans to record papers as podcasts, or to print them as conference proceedings?

  2. Thanks Ian! I believe we will be considering recording papers, and will be making those decisions closer to the event as we get a better sense of the technical logistics. We aren't planning to publish conference proceedings as such but do hope to develop either a special issue of a journal or an edited collection based on ideas discussed during the conference, especially the round table workshop at the end of day two!

  3. I'll be keeping an eye on the site here for any tidbits from the conference to be published. I didn't even know about it until today -- too late, as always! Although, as I am in the US, it isn't something I could have attended anyway.