Kiel University announces the international conference “Medical Knowledge and its ‘Sitz im Leben’: Body and Horror in Antiquity” which will take place in Kiel (18-20.11.2021).

This conference explores ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. The aim is to examine how the body processes, affectively as well as cognitively, horrifying experiences and how it can turn itself into a source of horror, e.g. in contexts of sickness and death. While we are firmly aware of the fact that ‘horror’ as a largely post-Romantic concept is not unproblematic when applied to Greek and Latin texts, we will try to show that its classical antecedents and roots must be considered as they might shed light on the ways in which the horrific, as a category that shapes our encounter with various forms of art but also with life itself, is understood today.

The event, sponsored by the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, will be hosted by the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, and will be both in person and on Zoom. For practical details and updates, please contact the organisers:

Chiara Thumiger (ROOTS, Kiel University, [email protected]) / George Kazantzidis (University of Patras, [email protected])

As well as keep an eye here:

List of speakers

Claire Bubb (New York University) At the Borders of Horror and Science: The Social Contexts of Roman Dissection

Sean Coughlin (Institute of Philosophy | Czech Academy of Sciences) Recipes for Horror

Maria Gerolemou (University of Exeter, UK) Heracles’ Automatic Body: Madness, Horror and Laughter in Euripides’ Hercules Furens

Lutz Alexander Graumann (University Hospital, Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Germany) Overcoming Horror: Faintness and Medical Agents. Some Tentative Thoughts on Antiquity and Today
Sophia Luise Häberle (Humboldt Universität, Berlin) Naming the Monster: A Practice of Forensic Horror in Cicero’s Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino

Lutz Käppel (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany) Roots of Horror: Environment, Bodies, Societies
George Kazantzidis (University of Patras, Greece) Horror and the Body in Early Greek Paradoxography

Dunstan Lowe (Kent University, UK) Hot and Cold Blood in Lucan’s Civil War
Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)  A Terrible History of Classical Horror
Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Italy / Chicago, USA) The Horrific Body in Sophocles
Michael Puett (Harvard University) Demon Hordes and the Coming Apocalypse: The Limits of the Human in Chinese Late Antiquity

Alessandro Schiesaro (University of Manchester, UK) Apocalypse: Horror and Divine Pleasure
Rodrigo Sigala (independent, Germany) The Thrilling Forces Behind Horrific Experiences: A Neuroscientific Approach
Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) The Visceral Thrills of Tragedy: Flesh, Blood and Guts Off and On the Tragic Stage
Dimos Spatharas (University of Crete, Greece) Enargeia, Disgust and Visceral Abhorrence
Chiara Thumiger (Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, Kiel University, Germany)

Jesse Weiner (Hamilton College) Fearful Laughter: Bodily Horror in Roman Sexual Humour