Fluid Physicalities: day conference, 10th March 2017

Blood; ejaculate; spit & phlegm; tears; mucus & pus; urine; diarrhoea; milk; vomit; sweat. Sometimes the body seems to be a leaky collection of liquids, a porous and productive entity, a body that repeatedly transgresses its own boundaries through seeping and oozing, or even gushing. During 2016, Fluid Physicalities has been running as a seminar series, convened by Anthony Bale and Esther Leslie and hosted by Birkbeck College’s School of Arts.

Our closing conference will be held through the day at Birkbeck, School of Arts, Gordon Square, London, on 10th March 2017, 10am-7pm.

Places are strictly limited to those who have signed up via the Eventbrite booking page.

The draft programme is here:

9:45 – coffee and arrival


10-11:15 – Session 1 a.     Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford), ‘Wet communities, liquid people’

b.     Jose M. Yebra (Zaragoza), ‘Abject fluidities’


11:15-12.45 – Session 2 a.     Amber Jacobs (Birkbeck), ‘Andrea Arnold’s maternal creaturely cinema’

b.     Freddie Mason (RCA), ‘Colloidal Thinking/Colloidal Feeling’

c.     Sophie Sexon and Rachel Sharpe (Glasgow), ‘Mother’s Milk and Bitches’ Blood; The Abject Horror of the Icon of the Female Body’


12:45-1 – Artist session 1


Benjamin Akira Lasker (Sydney), ‘Loo d’aisance’  
1 – 1:30 – lunch [provided]


1:30-3 –Session 3 a.     Naomi Segal (Birkbeck), ‘Spending and starving: the hydraulics of André Gide’

b.     Sophie Jones (Leeds), ‘Depression sweat’

c.     Lisa Mullen (Oxford) ‘Milk as liquid labour in George Orwell’s Animal Farm

3-4:30 – Session 4 a.     Hetta Howes (QMUL), ‘And forthwith came there out blood and water: fluid devotion in late medieval literature’

b.     Jonah Coman (St Andrews University), ‘The gore of the crucifixion in the late medieval imagination’

c.     Stephen Curtis, ‘This Bleeding Piece of Earth,’ Bloody Topography in Early Modern Culture’

4:30- 4:45 – Coffee break


4:45-5 – Artist session 2 Isabel Davis (Birkbeck) & Anna Burel ‘Conceiving histories’  
5-6.30 –Session 5 a.     Edwin Coomasaru (Courtauld), ‘The Politics of Semen and the Northern Irish Peace Process: Dudi Appleton’s The Most Fertile Man in Ireland (1999) and Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008)’

b.     Eleanor Careless (Sussex), ‘Red flags: blood as protest

c.     Claire Horn (Birkbeck), ‘Blood after death’ ,

6.30-7.30 – Wine reception and plenary


Laura Salisbury (Exeter), plenary lecture  
7.30 close  

We have up to 10 travel bursaries for post-grad and early career presenters.These will be allocated once the programme is finalised.


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