(Dis)Connected Forms: Narratives on the Fractured Self

8th and 9th September 2016

An Interdisciplinary Conference at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation

Co-organised by Gul Dag and Sandra Mills

University of Hull

Discourses concerning the concept of (dis)connection are especially prevalent in contemporary society. The relationship between the mind and the body – whether fractured or in flux – feeds into notions of identity, the self, and the ‘other’. Contemporary scholarship focusing upon borders, transformations and creations considers the manifold ways in which the body can be (re)organised and (dis)assembled.

The notion of (dis)connection and the fragility of form is of central focus within a range of studies and genres. From the uncanniness of being in gothic and horror studies to the cerebral and corporeal fragmentation prevalent in science and speculative fictions, narratives on the fractured self continue to raise questions about the fundamentals of the lived experience.

Plenary Speakers

Dr Catherine Spooner, Reader in Literature and Culture at Lancaster University

Asylum Chic, or, What to Wear to the Lunatics’ Ball

 Dr James Aston, Subject Leader for Screen at the University of Hull

“These movies have brought me many problems”: Performance and the Traumatised Self within Hardcore Horror

 Dawn Woolley, Artist and Lecturer in Photography at Anglia Ruskin University

 The Selfie: Still Life or Nature Morte?

This conference aims to engage with contemporary academic debate relating to the theme of (Dis)Connected Forms, and will explore how these discourses manifest in narratives on the fractured self.

Possible questions for consideration

  • What does it mean to be (dis)connected, fractured, transformed, metamorphosed?
  • How are identities formed, managed, processed, controlled?
  • Are corporeal boundaries distinct, or fluid and open to alteration?
  • How is the self narrated/categorised?
  • How are beings created, crafted, constructed?
  • When/how can the ‘other’ be achieved?
  • What threat does an ‘other’ pose?
  • Can the human be defined in relation to the cyborg, the lifeless, and the animal?
  • How does/will technology alter the body?

Possible focuses might include (but are not limited to)

  • (Dis)Embodiment
  • Identity
  • Human, cyborg, lifeless, animal
  • Transformation
  • Metamorphosis
  • Crisis of self
  • The ‘other’
  • Borders and boundaries
  • (Re)creations
  • The living and the dead
  • Deviance
  • Disguise
  • Revision/alteration

Deadline for abstract submissions has now passed.

For any enquiries please contact Gul Dag and Sandra Mills at

Generously supported by RCUK Roberts Funding and the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies (CNCS) at the University of Hull.



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