1.Corpses, Burials and Infection: 4 December 2015 – 5 December 2015 (Call for papers)
CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge
It has become a truism to state that in times of epidemic infection, the bodies of the dead become morally, ontologically, and infrastructurally problematic…Historically, burials and the treatment of human corpses in the time of epidemics have become sites of obvious and apparent contestation. Examples include issues of profanity during the “Plague of Athens” (430BC); allegations of the catapulting of infected corpses in the Middle Ages; Defoe’s descriptions of the breakdown of burial norms during the London Plague of 1665; colonial concerns over “body dumping” in the streets of fin de siècle Hong Kong, and the Pasteurian problematisation of Malagasy reburial rites as a mode of spreading plague in modern Madagascar. Furthermore, burial grounds and plague pits serve not only as condensed spaces of cultural heritage, but are increasingly approached as biological archives (aDNA). This conference will expand the discursive space that such narratives have created, by asking; how can we problematize the perception and treatment of corpses in situations of infectious disease outbreaks? How can we denaturalize burial as an obvious space of political and ethical contestation?
2.CfP: Aesthetics, Ethics and Biopolitics of the Posthuman: 10 – 11 December 2015, Aarhus University, Denmark.
The idea of the posthuman has emerged as a term that describes various ideas (and realities) of possible radical changes in human existence. Technological advances have made nature increasingly malleable, and the boundaries between humans, animals and machines are challenged and destabilised in various ways. The conference wishes to address aesthetic, ethical and biopolitical aspects of the posthuman condition. The use of new technologies are often discussed at the inter-section of philosophy and medicine, but this ignores how large a role aesthetics play in human existence and how it guides desires and choices ranging from bodily changes to visions of life narratives. The conference welcomes proposals that reflect upon such issues from various disciplines.
3. Archival afterlives: Life, death and knowledge-making in early modern British scientific and medical archives. (Registration open): 9:15 am — 6:30 pm on Tuesday 02 June 2015, The Royal Society, London
This international conference explores the posthumous fortunes of scientific and medical archives in early modern Britain. If early modern natural philosophers claimed all knowledge as their province, theirs was a paper empire. This conference explores how did these (often) disorderly collections of paper come to be ‘the archives of the Scientific Revolution.’