Organization: University of Jyväskylä
International seminar 18.-20.3.2020
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
We often recoil at the thought of mold gathering at the dishes used for eating, of bad breath on a person we do not specifically like, or of a spider walking across our body. Disgust, exemplified in these classic illustrations, is probably the most visceral of basic human emotions, with a function for an organism’s preservation, and some argue that it engages in particular the so called lower senses: taste, smell and touch. It is also one of the recognized ”moral emotions,” functioning symbolically on social and cultural scales and serving, for example, as an instrument of political discourses. This can be traced in different examples, such as the discrimination of sexual minorities or the populist rhetorics related to the recent refugee crisis.
In a more deconstructive vein, disgust has also facilitated the criticism and resistance of prevailing norms and hierarchical constitutions often reiterated in its moral uses. In countercultural movements, such as artistic avantgarde or punk, or in children’s culture, disgust, disgustingness and varied kinds of disgust-objects from slime toys to disgust-evoking sweets serve also as sources of pleasure. In art and popular culture, instead, disgust has proven to be a welcome enhancement to spectacle-seeking entertainment. Disgust, manifested not only in our instinctive recoiling from danger and decay, but also in these varied kinds of symbolic discourses and cultural products aiming to provoke, agitate or bring about enjoyment, is thus more than the biological mechanism seeking to protect animals from particular kinds of dangers, or a negative emotion negatively felt.
We now invite researchers from a variety of fields ranging from sociology, cultural studies and philosophy to biology and other natural sciences to reflect on the different varieties and functions of disgust in a three-day seminar at the University of Jyväskylä 18-20 March 2020.
Themes addressed may vary, including yet not restricted to:
- conceptualizations of disgust
- disgust’s relationship to other emotions and affects
- disgust’s moral, social and/or biological aspects and uses
- disgust, decay and biological, cognitive, socio-cultural or symbolic dangers
- disgust and it’s uses as low or high culture
- disgust and disgust-objects as humour or art
- disgust and disgust-objects as pleasure and entertainment, for instance in popular cultural phenomena, transgressive art, extreme cuisine or children’s culture
- disgust’s and disgust-objects’s relationship to cultural change, for instance in political discourses, hate speech and their rhetorics
countercultural disgust and its potential for change
- disgust, ethnic minorities and refugee crisis
- disgust, gender, sexuality and LGBTQI
- disgust and death
- disgust and climate change
- disgust, foodways, food identities and food economies
- disgust, social class and social hierarchies
- disgust and identity
The proposals for a presentation (no more than 300-500 words) and additional information (such as contact details, affiliation and a short biography), should be sent by using our abstract system by December 11th, 2019. Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 20th, 2019. The language of the 20 minute presentations will be English. You may access the abstract system through our web-pages starting November 1st: https://www.jyu.fi/hytk/fi/ tutkimus/tutkimusverkostot/ disgust/tracing-disgust-18-20- 3.2020/call-for-papers
The conference is organised by the Disgust Network and the Department of Music, Art and Culture Studies, University of Jyväskylä. If you have any inquiries, you may contact us through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to spread the CFP through your own networks.
The Disgust Network