This conference explores how conceptions of the blood—one of the four bodily fluids known as humors in the early modern period—permeate discourses of human difference from 1500 to 1900. "Bloodwork” begins with the assumption that the metaphorical equation of blood with “race” as we understand it today is a distinctly modern, always shifting, and geo-culturally contingent formation. Hence, we believe a conversation among scholars from various periods and fields of inquiry will enhance our understanding of the cultural history of blood. Specifically, we ask how fluid transactions of the body have been used in different eras and different cultures to justify existing social arrangements.

Featuring plenary addresses by:
Jennifer Brody, Department of African and African American Studies, Duke University
Michael Hanchard, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
Ruth Hill, Department of Spanish, Italian & Portuguese, University of Virginia
Mary Floyd-Wilson, Department of English, University of North Carolina

This conference is made possible through the generous support of the Office of the Vice President of Research, the Office of the Dean of Arts & Humanities, and the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies in the Department of English.

This conference is free to the University of Maryland community!

Image Credit: Giulio Bonasone. Series of Anatomical Figures. The Illustrated Bartsch Collection.

Conference Organizers:
Ralph Bauer
Kimberly Coles
Zita Nunes
Carla L. Peterson

For more information contact, Kimberly Coles at the University of Maryland
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