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Transient Bodies Show image information

Transient Bodies

Photo: Hanlim Yee

Transient Bodies in Anglophone Literature and Culture

A cooperation between the University of Paderborn and the University of Koblenz-Landau

The papers to be presented at this conference address the transience of the human body – a body located at the intersections of significant phases of life – as represented in Anglophone literature and culture. Throughout history, the human body has always been a controversial and much debated topic and constantly had to negotiate its place between glorification and vilification. Whereas the beauty and strength of people’s physical structure was praised and positively emphasised, the body’s diseases, flaws and frailties functioned as a constant reminder of human imperfection and the inevitability of natural decay. Against the background of declining fertility rates and ageing populations in Western societies as well as in the context of new paradigms in interdisciplinary research, such as the medical humanities, intersectionality and ageing studies, the high complexity of cultural attitudes towards the body and its metaphorical relevance are currently gaining more public awareness and challenge us to ask new questions. How are bodily rites-de-passage, such as birth, death, disease and decay represented in Anglophone literature, culture and media? Which narrative, aesthetic and medial strategies are employed to represent and document bodily transitions from one stage of life to another? The one-day symposium aims at discussing these questions and related topics in the context of English and American Studies and includes papers addressing the transience of the human body as represented in Anglophone literature and culture from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.

The conference is free of charge and takes place in Koblenz. Everyone who is interested is kindly invited to join us in Koblenz!

9. June 2017, 9:00 – 18:00

Campus Koblenz, Room F 314

Dr. Sara Strauß, Paderborn



Dr. Sarah Schäfer-Althaus, University of Koblenz-Landau

Funded by:

The University for the Information Society