Conference: Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis, University of Warwick, Saturday 25 February 2023

Registration is now open for this BCLA-sponsored conference. Please also consult the terms and conditions, including cancellation policy before booking.

Territorial Bodies: World Culture in Crisis will be a one-day interdisciplinary conference, bringing together scholars from across the humanities. We aim to rethink dominant notions of crisis, using the framework of “territorial bodies” to generate new modes of understanding crisis in neoliberal culture. Our hope is that the conference will lead to an edited collection via the Warwick Series in the Humanities, Routledge.

Keynote addresses:
Dr. Lauren Wilcox, University of Cambridge
Prof. Kathryn Yusoff, Queen Mary University London

In his discussion of the socio-ecological crisis of capitalism, Jason Moore dismisses the theoretical tendency to describe ‘twin’ social and environmental crises, arguing that ‘these are in fact a singular process of transformation that today we call a crisis’ (2011: 136). In order to interrogate the singular socio-ecological crisis further, this conference proposes ‘territorial bodies’ as a critical framework for readings of contemporary world culture, synthesising interdisciplinary approaches to embodiment and violence studies. It considers how the ‘territorial body’ offers an analytical tool for addressing urgent social, ecological, and political challenges, from ecological breakdown to the rise of statelessness, to violence against women and racial exploitation. Key questions include:

  • How is the intersection between bodies and territories registered in world culture today?
  • How do cultural registrations work to locate the body as a distinct site of socio-ecological crisis?
  • What happens to our conception of a ‘culture in crisis’ when explored through the lens of ‘territorial bodies’?

The concept of ‘territorial bodies’ takes inspiration from the Latin American feminist transnational concept of ‘body-territory’, which has been used as a ‘strategic’ tool to engender new forms of global solidarity, linking multi-form violence at various scales (Gago, 2020: 95). More broadly, ‘body-territory’ becomes a lens through which to critique overlapping forms of violence in an era of socio-ecological crisis. The expanded notion of ‘territorial bodies’ offers a new methodology to explore and critique the registration of socio-ecological crisis in contemporary world culture.

Conference organisers can be contacted via this email:

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