17th Annual Conference

Loyola University, Chicago
April 22-24, 2022

Conference Theme: Mapping Bodies

Download the conference program >>

The global pandemic highlights already existing disparities in U.S. health care—especially racial, social, economic, and age inequities—seen, for example, in inadequate elderly care, vaccine access, and diverging health outcomes. These problems raise questions about the value of human existence in a social system where a zip code may very well determine one’s bodily and mental well-being. How are bodies defined by such factors as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, and the like? The body also plays an important role in religion, such as in the “resurrection of the body,” reincarnation, and “the body of Christ.” What are possible connections between the body and mind or spirit? Phrases like the “body politic” further emphasize the extent to which our conceptualizing in a variety of fields involves images of the body.

While challenges concerning human bodies require further investigation, so too do questions regarding the health of the planet itself—considered, perhaps, as a macro-body—such as the negative impact of climate change on biodiversity. Thinking of lakes and ponds as “bodies of water” is an example of how we attempt to anthropomorphize nature in an effort to exhibit understanding, mastery, and control. What is the moral or conceptual status of bodies of water, such as Lakes Mead and Powell, affected as they are by severe drought? Should we give priority to animal and plant species on the verge of extinction? These and other questions call for serious reflection on the significance of bodies during these troubling times.

This interdisciplinary conference will explore these and related questions. We invite papers from any discipline that deals with the theme of this conference. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Health care disparities
  • Decolonizing the body
  • Intersectionality
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Aging 
  • Death and dying
  • Disability Studies
  • Mind-body dualism
  • Embodiment
  • The body politic
  • Bodies of water
  • Biocentrism
  • Mother Earth
  • Planetary bodies
  • Animal bodies
  • Plant bodies
  • Resurrection of the body
  • Reincarnation
  • The body of Christ
  • Artificial bodies

Please send your abstract as a Word or PDF attachment (300 word limit) by February 15, 2022, to Jason Hayob-Matzke or Jodie Hayob-Matzke

Looking ahead: The 18th Annual Conference will be held in 2023 at Pforzheim University; dates and theme to be announced at a future date.

Past conferences >>

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