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

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Some Conference Particulars

As the conference is less than a week away, we just wanted to post a few points for those blog readers who may be planning to attend but who have not yet registered. You will be able to register in person on 15 June; however, we will not have equipment for card payments. This means that you will need to ensure you have the registration fee in cash with you. There are cash points nearby, if you need them.

If you have any specific dietary requirements, we advise you to register as soon as possible in advance. Catering is all vegetarian with vegan options, but if you have any allergies (including gluten intolerance) and you do not register in advance, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to meet your requirements (note: all dietary needs outlined by those who have already registered have been taken into account).

A reminder again that due to the University's Open Day on 15 June, we will have a different venue each day of the conference. On Friday 15 June we will be located at the Old College on South Bridge, with registration to be found in the atrium outside of Lecture Theatre 175, and on Saturday 16 June we will move to the nearby 7 Bristo Square; registration will be set up in the main lobby for those who have arranged for a one-day booking on that day. A map with both venues marked has been provided on our Fees and Information page, which also lists some nearby restaurants, pubs, and places of interest.

Finally, we hope that as many of our blog readers are able to come as possible, since we would very much like to meet all of you, and we cannot express how excited we are to see so many of you within the week!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Jessica Harrison: Carving, cutting, breaking, shaping, tracing, folding, skinning.

Jessica Harrison's artwork has been the object of adoration for at least one of the conference organisers for going on two years now, ever since first laying eyes on 'Broken', a series of small ceramic figurines that have been, in Harrison's words, 'modified, revealed and reshaped to show a soft and fleshy interior underneath the brittle and fragile skin.' But the grotesque beauty of Sophia, Emily, or Caroline is just one example of Harrison's sensuous engagement with the monstrosity of 'the body in space, the space within the body and the space in-between the two.'
Caroline, 2010;

Harrison describes her work as an attempt to 'examine how we can go beyond the traditional idea of the interior and exterior with some skin in-between, to explore a complex chiasm of surfaces and sensations that relate to and transgress one another. Rather than being a stable entity, the body emerges as one that is in constant flux, shifting, stretching, snapping, softening.' This exploration is is embodied in the titles bestowed upon her different series; in addition to 'Broken', Harrison lists 'Holding', 'Slicing', 'Splitting', and 'Looking' amongst her collections. The series 'Holding' is a particularly interesting exploration of sensuality and materiality of objects; Harrison explains on her Facebook page that 'the objects explore the shape of the felt, rather than the visual body.' Constructing intricate miniatures of household furniture based on casts of her own hands, the images connect and elide the objects with the body that gives them form.

Examples of each collection can be found on Harrison's website, where prints of the different series can be ordered; more extensive albums are available on her Facebook page. Images of Harrison's work is featured in the Spring, 2012 edition of Creative Quarterly alongside an interview, and she has upcoming exhibitions in London, Leicester, and Malta; if you are nearby, they would be well worth a visit.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson Seminar in Edinburgh

Way back in April (how the time has flown!) we posted about the fantastic Bodies in Movement seminar series taking place here in Edinburgh this spring/summer. We can now confirm that the first of those three seminars, featuring a talk by Scott Wilson and subsequent discussion, was truly brilliant. We would also like to draw your attention to the second seminar in the series, which is taking place on 14 June. This seminar will feature our own keynote speaker, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, delivering a paper and leading discussion on 'Disability, Gender, Bodies.'

The seminar series comprises a full afternoon of academic conversation, which offers the opportunity for an intensity of discussion that is not typically realised at conferences or symposia. With three respondents offering unique perspectives on the keynote paper, and a good span of time allotted for questions, we can highly recommend the seminar series to anyone local to the Edinburgh area or who may be flying in a day or two in advance of the conference.

Registration is free, but you must book in advance. For details or to register, visit the Bodies in Movement website. We hope to see some of you there!