2010 Graduate Student Symposium

23rd Annual Graduate French and Italian Symposium

Forming and De-forming the human body

April 16-17, 2010

Keynote Presentation by
Walton O. Schalick, III, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medical History, Rehabilitation Medicine,
History of Science and Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

23rd Annual Graduate French and Italian Symposium

Forming and De-forming the human body

April 16-17, 2010

Keynote Presentation by
Walton O. Schalick, III, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medical History, Rehabilitation Medicine,
History of Science and Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

2010 Symposium website

 


Keynote Speaker: Walton O. Schalick, III, MD, PhD

We are delighted to have Walton O. Schalick, III, MD, PhD give this year's keynote address,“‘Caveat corpus:’ Disabled Bodies and the Medical Marketplace in Medieval and Nineteenth-century France.

Walt is Assistant Professor of Medical History, Rehabilitation Medicine, History of Science and Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Walt’s research embraces a triptych of: the history of medieval medicine and pharmacology, the history of children with physical disabilities in 19th- and 20th-century Europe and the US, and the practical ethics of pediatric emergency research, some of which has appeared in articles and chapters and the balance of which is pending in two monographs. He is Associate Editor for the five-volume, Encyclopedia of Disability (2005), which won Best Reference Award from the Library Journal and an Outstanding Award from the American Library Association's Booklist Journal.

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Mission statement of the GAFIS symposium

The Graduate Student Symposium of GAFIS, now in its 23rd year, provides a forum for intellectual and scholarly exchange in a positive collegial atmosphere. Interdisciplinary in nature, this national event gives future colleagues the chance to meet each other and to hear about current issues in upcoming research. Excellence and pertinence are assured through an anonymous and peer juried selection process.

Basic criteria for the selection process:

  • Presentations must address the topic of the symposium, respecting all constraints given in the call.
  • Presentations should be innovative, problematizing the chosen issue within a theoretical framework.
  • Presentations should be organized into focused panels that clearly complement each other.

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Call for papers
Abstract deadline February 1, 2010

The body is a big sagacity,
a plurality with one sense,
a war and a peace,
a flock and a shepherd.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

The human body has continued to captivate intellectuals of the arts and sciences throughout history, whether through an aesthetic or physiological study of its structural form and internal mechanisms or in an attempt to comprehend the complexities of the mind that reside within the biological machine. Literature, art, music, film, and storytelling often turn our attention to these ideas of the body, and their inquiries into the physical body and the mind have framed our universal conceptions of health and disease while also giving rise to myriad variations on the notions of bodily normality and abnormality. The body becomes a receptacle for our non-corporeal collective and individual identities, divisions, and prejudices. Sick or well, beautiful or ugly, powerless or powerful, the body is the site of competing visions that structure our perceptions of its physical form and its philosophical and social signification. While we frequently favor the “normal” and thereby reject the “abnormal”, it is the bodily abnormalities that best explore and question our definitions and interpretations of the body. Reflection on these bodily deviations not only elucidates what we consider to be normal and why, but it also destabilizes conventional distinctions between the typical and the atypical, between conformity and deviancy.

The 23rd Annual Symposium of the Graduate Association of French and Italian Students seeks to investigate various representations of the deformed or deviant body in order to explore what constitutes our formulation of health (normality) and disease (abnormality).

We welcome submissions from all applicable disciplines that shed light on the ways in which we can “reform” our general conceptions of the body through the lens of the deviant or otherwise “deformed” body.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

The Sick Body:

  • Physical illnesses, epidemics, disabilities, doctors and medicine
  • Mental illnesses, neuroses, psychoses, the mentally ill as Other, treatment, therapy, the fragmentation of the self
  • Medical or societal definitions of the healthy and unhealthy human body

The Ugly Body:

  • Aesthetic conceptions of the body in artistic, visual, literary and cinematographic forms
  • Physical deformities, monstrosities, the grotesque
  • Fragmentation, bodily manipulation or transformation

The Sexual Body:

  • Queer studies and the queering of the body, sexuality, transsexuality
  • Gender studies, Woman as Other, masculinities and feminities, social or physical gendered roles
  • Eroticism, fetishism, masochism

The Powerless Body:

  • Crimes against the individual, crimes against humanity, genocide, persecution, destruction of the body
  • Politics, authority, regulation of the body
  • Effects of colonialism, occupation, wars on the body

We invite abstracts in English ranging from 200 – 250 words that relate to or expand upon the topics suggested above. Papers will be limited to 20 minutes and must be presented in English. In your abstract, please include name, email address, academic affiliation, and AV requests. Along with your abstract submission, please suggest the category or categories to which you feel your submission is best suited.

Please address inquiries and abstract submissions to Theresa Pesavento and Tina Petraglia at gafissymposium2010@gmail.com . Abstracts must be received no later than February 1, 2010. For further information, please visit our official GAFIS symposium website listed below.

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2010 Schedule

For the full symposium schedule please consult the 2010 GAFIS Symposium Website.

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