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

Programme (UK Time)

Day One (30th July)

9.15-9.30 – WELCOME

9.30-10.30 – KEYNOTE

From Perfection to Protection: Reframing Relationships between Anorexia and Bodies, Anna Lavis, University of Birmingham

(Chair: Niamh Colbrook)

10.30-10.50 – COFFEE BREAK 

10.50-12.10 – PANEL 1

Waiting Bodies as Objects and Symbols: A Study of Luxury Restaurant Waiters in Late-Victorian and Early-Edwardian London, Carina Mansey, City, University of London

‘Before you break my heart’: Health Education, Thatcherite Values and the Armchair Nation, Peder Clark, University of Strathclyde

Riots Not Diets: The Body Positive Movement on Instagram, Sarah Merton, London South Bank University

(Chair: Lucy Havard)

12.10-13.00 – LUNCH BREAK

13.00-14.20 – PANEL 2 

The Medicalisation of the Early Modern Menopausal Body, Anna Graham, Queen’s University Belfast

The ‘Pad’, the ‘Belly’ and the Politics of Female Appetite in the Late Eighteenth Century, Charlotte Goodge, University of Kent (from September 2020)

Women’s Bodies and Public Drinking: How the Past Continues to Shape the Perceptions of Today, Claire Markham, Nottingham Trent University

(Chair: Meg Roberts)

14.20-14.40 – COFFEE BREAK

14.40-16.00 – PANEL 3

From Ideal Health to Ideal Recovery: Perceptions of Perfect Health in the Orthorexia Narrative, Kaila Tova Prins, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Representing Embodied Expertise: Anorexia and the Celebrity Athlete’s Lifestyle Advice, Jon Verriet, Radboud University Nijmegen

Healthy Bodies or Healthist Bodies? Biopolitics and Moralizations in Produce Prescription Programs, Alanna K. Higgins, West Virginia University 

(Chair: Niamh Colbrook)

16.00-16.20 – COFFEE BREAK

16.20-17.40 – PANEL 4

Eugenics and Exercise in Interwar Ireland, Conor Heffernan, University of Texas, at Austin 

Hello, Dad Bod: How Gender, Power & Media Shape Twenty-First Century Body Ideals, Emily J.H. Contois, The University of Tulsa

‘A Step Ahead of Death’: The Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise and the Changing Expectations of Aging with Disease in America, 1972-1985, Travis A. Weisse, Marist College 

(Chair: Lucy Havard)


Day Two (31st July)

9.30-9.40 – WELCOME

9.40-11.00 – PANEL 5

An Orthodox Body and Soul: The Sacred Ideal, Lesa Scholl, University of Adelaide

Expectation vs Reality: Eating Disorders, Bodily Experience, and Commensality in Contemporary Christianity, Christabelle Thwaites, University of Exeter

Clean Eating and the Pursuit of the Ideal Body in Twenty-First Century Britain, Louise Morgan, University of Warwick

(Chair: Niamh Colbrook)

11.00-11.20 – COFFEE BREAK

11.20-12.40 – PANEL 6

Hearts of Soil in Early Eighteenth-Century Germany, Mark Seow, University of Cambridge

Body Knowledge: Self-Experiment in the Eighteenth Century, Rosalind Powell, University of Bristol

‘For girls that are crooked or inclined to be so’: Correcting Postural Deformities in Georgian Children, Helen Esfandiary, King’s College London

(Chair: Meg Roberts)

12.40-13.30 – LUNCH BREAK

13.30-14.30 – PANEL 7

Precarious Body: The ‘Crooked Carpenter’ of Innsbruck, Sara Frier, Yale University/National Gallery of Art (CASVA)

Embodying Infection: How Young Women Experience Chronic Yeast Infections, Victoria Ford, University of Cambridge 

(Chair: Lucy Havard)

14.30-15.15 – COFFEE BREAK

15.15-16.15 – KEYNOTE

Consumptive Chic: A History of Beauty, Fashion, and Disease, Carolyn Day, Furman University

(Chair: Meg Roberts)

16.15-16.30 – CLOSING REMARKS