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

Medical Knowledge
(Photo credit: Saulo Bambi - Sistema Museale dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze)

This conference explores ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. The aim is to examine how the body processes, affectively as well as cognitively, horrifying experiences and 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.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Claire Bubb (New York University, USA)    
  • Sean Coughlin (Institute of Philosophy, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter, UK)
  • Lutz Alexander Graumann (University Hospital, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany)
  • Sophia Luise Häberle (Humboldt Universität, Berlin, Germany)
  • Lutz Käppel (Kiel University, Germany)
  • George Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece)
  • Dunstan Lowe (University of Kent, UK)
  • Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)
  • Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy / Committee on Social Thought, Chicago, USA)
  • Michael Puett (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA)   
  • Alessandro Schiesaro (University of Manchester, UK)
  • Rodrigo Sigala (independent researcher, Germany)
  • Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Dimos Spatharas (University of Crete, Rethymno, Greece)
  • Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany)
  • Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College, Clinton, USA)

Date: 18-20 November 2021
Venue: The conference will take place as a hybrid meeting at Kiel University (Room 105, Leibnizstr. 1, 24118 Kiel) + Zoom Videoconference

Link to event and Programme

Download programme here

Download abstracts here


Georgios Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece)
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University)

Find the ZOOM-link to the videoconference here


Fieldwork + Activities


Participating Institutions