‘The Ideal Body’: Perceptions of Perfection from Early Modernity to the Present

Thursday 30th – Friday 31st July 2020, held via Zoom

This virtual conference will bring together academics and professionals working within interdisciplinary fields including history, sociology, medicine and theology. We aim to draw from research being undertaken concerning the body, medicine, nutrition and disability, and to reflect critically on past and present understandings of health and bodily perfection. Our ultimate aim is to enlighten our understanding of current ideals of the ‘perfect’ body by fostering a working dialogue between a range of academic disciplines. 

The conference will include keynotes from Dr Anna Lavis and Dr Carolyn Day.

Dr Lavis is a Lecturer in Medical Sociology and Qualitative Methods in the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham. Her work explores individuals’ and informal caregivers’ experiences and subjectivities of mental illness and distress across a range of social and cultural contexts, both offline and on social media.

Dr Day is Associate Professor in History at Furman University in South Carolina. Her recent work investigates the relationship between fashionable women’s clothing, beauty, and illness in Britain. Her current research focuses on the individual experience of illness in 18th and 19th century Britain.

The programme can be found here.


Please register for the conference using the form below. The conference is free of charge.