CFP: Picturing Women’s Health 1750-1910

A One-Day Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference
University of Warwick, Saturday 22nd January, 2011
Deadline for submissions 5 November 2010

“One hears sometimes of a child being ‘the picture of health;’ now Emma always gives me the idea of being the complete picture of grown-up health. She is loveliness itself, Mr. Knightley, is not she?” (Jane Austen, Emma, chapter 5)

Confirmed plenary speakers:
Professor Hilary Marland (University of Warwick) and Dr Claire Brock (University of Leicester)

The conference Picturing Women’s Health 1750-1910 will explore the interface of diverse discourses that constructed ideas about women’s health in Britain during the Romantic and Victorian periods. In these years, writers and artists documented extraordinary discoveries and advancements in science, anatomy, and medicine. This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference will examine the vicissitudes of attitudes towards women’s ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ bodies over the one-hundred-and-sixty year period. In particular, conference papers will consider representations of the female body in fictional/non-fictional literature, fine arts, and visual media and how they reflected or influenced women’s understandings and experiences of their own health and bodies.

Possible approaches could include: How did different women’s testimonies or documentations of health relate to each other? How accurately or inaccurately did men and women artistically portray the female body in health and illness? How were scientific and artistic ideas about women’s health in dialogue? What is the relationship between the representation of woman’s body and her (in)ability to perform certain familial and social roles? How are contemporary critical debates on Romantic and Victorian public and private spheres complicated by the periods’ representations of women’s health?

Call for Papers (PDF):Picturing Womens Health Poster

For further information and submission guidelines:

Organising committee: Kate Scarth, Fran Scott, Ji Won Chung (Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick)


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