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The body in uncertain times: emancipations, transformations and debarments 
Alexia Liakounakou (Independent researcher)
Natalia Koutsougera (Panteion University)
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Bodies, Affects, Senses, Emotions
Saturday 10 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

This panel explores bodies-in-crisis, and the ramifications of uncertain conditions on gendered bodies, in both their negative and positive manifestations: from oppression, discipline, and dispossession, to creating social mobilisation, transformation, care, and emancipation.

Long Abstract:

We are now embodying a new 'crisis normal'. This is perceived as a new order, where an embodied sense of uncertainty lives inside the subject, becoming a kind of second nature. During tis time, several social transformations have occurred. On the one hand the widespread embracing of feminism and technology have played a significant role in the promotion of bodily emancipations, while, on the other, the control over the body, through new forms of surveillance and biopower, have taken new and alarming dimensions.

We see the body becoming a central stage for the playing out of these new realities. In this panel, we would like to explore how individuals tame, liberate, control or otherwise use the body in situations of rupture, and how precarious situations may impact the sense of gendered self, body image and political subjectivities. From "self-tracking" (Lupton 2014), fitness, fashion, dieting, fasting and health disciplining, to the widespread self-care and "wellness" culture which is becoming 'domesticated' (Cook and Dwyer, 2017), individuals today are increasingly understood to exert great control over their bodies. These practices, which aim at the 'best possible achievement', also offer a sense of stability and security. However, Angela McRobbie (2015) warns against the "invidious illusion of control" (2015:16), and Lauren Berlant (2011) notes how affective states or objects can create unconscious desire. We therefore wish to engage in a wide discussion about how the body transcends and moves through these - often dangerous, and other times exhilarating - new equilibria.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -