The Talking Bodies conference has now drawn to a reluctant close *sob* But luckily, it seems like there is a Talking Bodies 2014 on the horizon. We can't wait!
Final highlights from the last few panels of the event include:
Marjolein Van Bavel (University College London, UK) "Why would it be false if you're ok with it?" The Experiences of Nude Models Since the 1980s and a Historical Perspective on Sexualisation Debates
"The question of women's often difficult relationships with their bodies has been one of the most widely debated issues of recent decades, both in the social sciences and the public sphere, mainly through the language of 'body image'. However the majority of work in this field does not critically address the dominance of the body image paradigm, which can in fact be limiting and counterproductive both to understanding and treating these troubled bodies." This session addressed the limitations of 'body image' as a concept and the possibilities for creating a new vocabulary that would better explain and describe the material and discursive complexity of women's relationships to their bodies, through an exploration of the experiences of female nude models.
Elliot Evans (Kings College London, UK) Décapiter La Philosophie: The Destabilised Philosophical Subject in Beatriz Preciado
This talk considered the 'disembodied voice' of the philosopher or theorist - a voice whose universality can erase individual corporeality and corporeal difference (an issue particularly problematic for theorists considering trans and queer experiences). Elliot asked how we, as theorists, can write about the body as other than object or metaphor and used the work of Beatriz Preciado to try and answer this question. Elliot argued that Preciado sets herself the task of bringing the body back into theory, by making her own body the 'rat de laboratoire' in her book Testo Junkie, which discusses her self-experimentation with testosterone.
Violet Rose (Independent practitioner), My Body For Sale: Sex Worker Representations and Identity
"As other social justice movements gain human and employment rights for marginalised groups, sex workers remain silenced from all sides in the face of increasing legislation, social stigma and media intrusion. Our bodies, still conceptualised as for sale to the highest bidder, represent our performance, art, political ideology and personalities. Our presences within the queer and academic worlds are still othered and our unique perspectives within intersectional feminism mostly ignored." This session discussed the way in which the bodies of sex workers depict their own sexualities, and how their work enriches and/or conflicts with their own personal sexualities. These ideas stemmed from Violet's own personal project exploring asexuality and consent/non-consent within my identity as a queer femme sex worker.
Final thought: THANK YOU to Emma Rees for organising such a brilliant event!
FINAL final thought (!): How can we increase accessibility of Talking Bodies conferences and papers?