CFP: Devils and Dolls at the University of Bristol

Check out the call for papers for this interesting looking conference at the University of Bristol. and also copied below.

I was sent this by the organiser, who is also presenting at the 10th Global Monsters and the Monstrous’ conference next month. I’ll be presenting my research at this as the ‘Capturing Witches’ conference at the University of Lancaster next week.


DEVILS AND DOLLS: Dichotomous Depictions of ‘the child’

27 March 2013

University of Bristol – Graduate School of Arts and Humanities
An inter-disciplinary conference open to both postgraduates and academics at any stage of their career, seeking to examine the contrasting images and representations of children as angels or devils, innocent or evil, light or dark in fiction and culture and the field of Humanities. The conference aims to raise questions such as; Why are children offered little dimension in representations? What is the significance of representing the child either as innocent or evil – to both the originating discourse and in a wider context? Is such polarization detrimental to our understanding of what it means to be a child and how we respond to real children?

The “humanities” is intended as a fluid term; depictions from any period of history, any social or cultural context, fictional or media representations are encompassed. In light of this, submissions are invited from a range of disciplines and topics may include, but are certainly not limited to, depictions of the child as:

· A devil, demon, monster, wicked/sinful (for instance Heathcliff, Damien from The Omen, the child Sir Gowther)

· As angelic, child-saints or martyrs, innocent (paintings of putti, Romantic child figures, Little Nell)

· Contrasting images of the two in various fields; e.g. philosophical thought, religious doctrine

· The child as “uncanny”

· The child in art (Blake’s illustrations, Millett’s Bubbles, the Virgin and child)

· Televisual, cinematic or dramatic depictions.

· The Freudian child as depicted by psychoanalysts or psychoanalytic readings of figures.

· The child in horror/gothic fiction

· Monstrous births

· Supernatural children; vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies

· Contrasting images as represented in adult fiction and/or children’s literature

· Children in Victorian chapbooks – models of religious virtue?

· The sexualised child – innocent or corrupt?

· The child in myths, fairy and folk tales

· The “foreign”, tribal, refugee or postcolonial child

· Representations of children in the media


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