Doing the Body in the 21st Century (Conference)

The time has come to reconsider what it means to study the body and corporality. Academic thinking about the body and corporality is largely a product of the 1990s, heavily influenced by the canonical work of theorists Judith Butler and Michel Foucault. But exciting lenses for studying bodies and corporality have been developed since then. In particular, affect studies, transgender studies, technology studies, disability studies, and queer studies have all produced new approaches that have not been put into direct dialogue with each other and that open the door for a substantive rethinking of what it means to study human bodies today. Our goal, then, is to assemble scholars who work in these areas and collectively and collaboratively engage with the question of what it means to study the body and embodiment in light of recent developments in these key areas and thus to consider an essential element of the human (we all have bodies, after all).

Of particular interest for this conference is to establish interdisciplinary connections not only between specific approaches (e.g. what does affect studies “do” to technology studies?), but also between the Humanities and the Social Sciences and Professional Schools. For instance, what does a data-driven approach to bodies do to a discourse-centered approach? If affect is taken in humanistic inquiry as ineffable and hard to grasp, then how can social scientists take account of it?

This event is also sponsored by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program and the Humanities Center. For more details, visit the conference website here, or contact Todd Reeser at


Thursday, March 31, 2016 to Saturday, April 2, 2016