Conference: “Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity”

Nov 18, 2021 to Nov 20, 2021

Hybrid: Kiel University, Room 105, Leibnizstr. 1, 24118 Kiel + Zoom Videoconference

Conference: “Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity”

This conference explores ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. The aim is to examine how the body is processing, affectively as well as cognitively, horrifying experiences as well as how it can turn itself into a source of horror, e.g. in contexts of sickness and death.
 While we are firmly aware of the fact that ‘horror’ as a largely post-Romantic concept is not unproblematic when applied to Greek and Latin texts, we will try to show that its classical antecedents and roots must be considered as they might shed light on the ways in which the horrific, as a category that shapes our encounter with various forms of art but also with life itself, is understood today.

Programme:

18 November 2021

10:40 - 11:00 Coffee/Registration
11:00 - 11:20  Welcome/Introductory Remarks / Chiara Thumiger and Georgios Kazantzidis

Thinking about beginnings
11:20-12:00 A Terrible History of Classical Horror / Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)

Epic
12:00-12:40 Hot and Cold Blood in Lucan’s Civil War / Dunstan Lowe (University of Kent, UK)

13:00-15:00 Lunch

Tragedy
15:00-15:40 The Horrific Body in Sophocles / Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy / Committee on Social Thought, Chicago,USA)
15:40-16:20 Heracles’ Automatic Body: Madness, Horror and Laughter in Euripides’ Hercules Furens / Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter, UK)
16:20-17:00 The Visceral Thrills of Tragedy: Flesh, Blood and Guts Off and On the Tragic Stage / Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

18:00 Dinner

19 November 2021 

10:20-10:40 Coffee

Horror between disgust and the sublime
10:40-11:20 Enargeia, Disgust and Visceral Abhorrence / Dimos Spatharas (University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece)
11:20-12:00 Fearful Laughter: Bodily Horror in Roman Sexual Humor / Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College, Clinton, USA)
12:00-12:40 Apocalypse: Horror and Divine Pleasure / Alessandro Schiesaro (University of Manchester, UK)

13:00-14:30 Lunch

Horror and the natural world
14:30-15:10 Roots of Horror: Environment, Bodies, Societies / Lutz Käppel (Kiel University, Germany)
15:10-15:50 Horror and the Body in Early Greek Paradoxography / George Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece)

Horror, demons, and (real) monsters
15:50-16:30 Naming the Monster: A Practice of Forensic Horror in Cicero’s Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino / Sophia Luise Häberle (Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany)
16:30-17:10 Demon Hordes and the Coming Apocalypse: The Limits of the Human in Chinese Late Antiquity / Michael Puett (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)    

20 November 2021

10:40-11:00 Coffee

Horror and modern medical science
11:00-11:40 The Thrilling Forces Behind Horrific Experiences: A Neuroscientific Approach / Rodrigo Sigala (independent researcher, Germany)
11:40-12:20 Overcoming Horror: Faintness and Medical Agents. Some Tentative Thoughts on Antiquity and Today / Lutz Alexander Graumann (University Hospital, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany)

Horror, ancient medicine, magic
12:20-13:00  Recipes for Horrors / Sean Coughlin (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic)
13:00-13:40 At the Borders of Horror and Science: The Social Contexts of Roman Dissection / Claire Bubb (New York University, USA)    
13:40-14:00 Concluding Remarks / Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany)

14:00 Lunch

Date: 18-20 November 2021
Venue: The conference will take place as a hybrid meeting in Kiel (venue tba) and on zoom.

Link to webpage

Download programme here

Download abstracts here

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Contact:
Georgios Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece) kazanbile@gmail.com
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University) c.thumiger@roots.uni-kiel.de

If interested, a link to the videoconference can be requested at cthumiger@roots.uni-kiel.de

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