Evil, Women and the Feminine

Despite the attempts of feminists the conjunction between evil and the feminine seems unbroken. Established as secondary, derivative and hence inferior, women have been long suspected of being the source of human (though more often masculine) miseries, always in cahoots with the forces of evil and destruction. Paradoxically, at the same time, some have also been put on the pedestal and lauded as ideals of purity and dedication, yet these paragons only proved the rule that, on average, the feminine/woman equals imperfect and transgressive. Mischievous, beguiling, seductive, lascivious, unruly, carping, vengeful and manipulative « these are only a few of the epithets present in cultures and literatures across the world. In grappling with our understanding of what it is to be and do »evil’, the project aims to explore the possible sources of the fear and hatred of women and the feminine as well as their manifestations and pervasiveness across times, cultures and media.

This interdisciplinary project invites scholars, artists, writers, theologians, sociologists, psychologists, historians, etc. to present papers, reports, work-in-progress, art pieces and workshops on issues related but definitely not limited to the following themes:
~ Evil Women and Feminine Evil: Vices and Sins of Women
~ Representing and Misrepresenting the Female; Evil Women « Talking Back »
~ Motherhood; Monstrous Motherhood; Infertility and its Meaning across Cultures
~ Monstrous Births and Infanticide
~ Matriarchy / Matricide / Spouse Murder
~ Devious Sexuality and Feminine Perversions
~ Women and/as the Abject; Unnatural Women/Femininity
~ Menstruation, Castration
~ Fears and Myths: Feminine Blood, Witchcraft, Vamp(ires)s, Sirens, Harpies, Lamias, etc.
~ Anthropological and Historical Perspectives on Evil Feminine and Femaleness
~ The Evil Woman in Literature, Religion, Medicine, Law across Times and Cultures
~ Psychoanalytic Perspectives: « Vagina Dentata,? « the Wandering Womb,? »Poisonous Look » etc.
~ Sexualizing the Female or Evil Objectification
~ Trans-Cultural Conceptualisations of Femme Fatale vs the Perfect Woman
~ Women and (Misuse of) Power
~ Evil Beauty; the Meaning of Hair and Make-up
~ Evil, Feminine in Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Horror, Thriller
~ Evil, Feminine in Mythologies and Religions across the world
~ Case Studies: Evil Women on the Agenda

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme.

What to Send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 30th November 2012 If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday15th February 2013. 300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: EWF5 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:
Natalia Kaloh Vid: ten.yranilpicsid-retni@vkn