January 2, 2013

Ralph Bauer, Kimberly Coles, Zita Nunes, and Carla Peterson, co-editors for a volume of essays that emerged in part from the 2011 symposium, anticipate the volume's publication in January 2015.

Bloodwork: The Politics of the Body, 1500-1900Contributors are: Robert Appelbaum, Larissa Brewer-Garcia, Jennifer Brody, Rachel Burke, James Downs, Eve Keller, Jean Feerick, Ruth Hill, M. Lindsay Kaplan, David Sartorius, and Priscilla Wald.

The conference, held May 6-7, 2011, brought together scholars from various disciplines to explore how conceptions of the blood--one of the four bodily fluids known as humors in the early modern period--permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900.

"Bloodwork” began with the assumption that the metaphorical equation of blood with “race” as we understand it today is a distinctly modern, always shifting, and geo-culturally contingent formation. At the heart of the proceedings was a conversation among scholars from various periods and fields of inquiry that enhanced understanding of the cultural history of blood.

Specifically, speakers considered how fluid transactions of the body had been used in different eras and different cultures to justify existing social arrangements.

The conference was sponsored by the Office of the Vice President of Research, the Office of the Dean of Arts & Humanities, and the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies in the Department of English and was organized by Kimberly Coles, Ralph Bauer, Zita Nunes, and Carla L. Peterson. Complete details regarding its program are available here: