12 September 2015
The University of Western Australia

Public Lecture by Professor Anthony Bale (Birkbeck, London) will precede the conference on the evening of 11 September 2015.

The ‘material turn’ has increasingly drawn the attention of scholars interested in the art, history, literatures, and cultures of pre-modern Europe. This one-day conference will explore aspects of embodiment and corporeality in medieval and early modern worlds, both within Europe and between European and non-European cultures. The conference will  focus on analysing the interactions, meanings, and symbolism of three key bodily substances: blood, sweat, and tears. Existing scholarship has laid the foundation for work on bodies and disciplines, gendered bodies, medieval and early modern anatomy, the bodies of saints, and the body of Christ, but fruitful new lines of enquiry still wait to be investigated. Papers that probe the boundaries and intersections between the cultural history of violence, medical humanities, and theories and practices of affectivity are especially welcome.

The convenors of the UWA Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies & Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group 21st Annual Conference invite proposals for twenty-minute papers or ninety-minute panels on the following themes:

  • cultural exchanges and conflict, particularly their material dimensions and repercussions as meetings and mixings of bodies and bloods;
  • social, theological, ethnic, and physiological definitions of bodies and bloods;
  • the formation of metaphorical bodies through affective discourses and discourses of violence;
  • boundaries, bodily integrity, dismemberment, and contagion;
  • somatic expressions of emotion (the force of tears, sweat and blood as tangible emotion);
  • intersections between medical theories and practices relating to humours and effluvia.

The Call for Papers has now closed.

Register to attend the conference here.

For general enquiries, please email Joanne McEwan [email]


The Perth Medieval and Renaissance Group is able to offer a limited number of bursaries (up to AUS$500) to Honours students, postgraduate students and unwaged Early Career Researchers who would like to present papers at the “Blood, Tears, Sweat: Corporeality in Medieval and Early Modern Worlds” conference. These bursaries are intended partially to reimburse costs associated with attending the conference.

The call for bursary applications has now closed.