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Tagung/Conference: Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity

Avatar of Philipp Weiss Philipp Weiss - 13. Februar 2020 - Aktuelles

International Conference
University of Kiel, Germany, 22-23 May 2020

Medical Knowledge and its 'Sitz im Leben': Body and Horror in Antiquity

The conference will explore ancient and modern concepts of horror with reference to the human body. Our aim is to examine how the body is processing, affectively as well as cognitively, a horrifying experience but also 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/roots are definitely worthy of close consideration and help to 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.

List of speakers/titles:

  • Noёl Carroll (The Graduate Center, CUNY): “Philosophy, horror, and popular culture”
  • Giulia Maria Chesi (U. of Humboldt, Berlin): “Horror in the Odyssey: Polyphemus and Odysseus in comparison”
  • Debbie Felton (UMass, Amherst): “The ancient emotion of horror”
  • Maria Gerolemou (U. of Exeter): “Heracles’ automatic body: Madness, horror and laughter in Euripides’ HF
  • Lutz Alexander Graumann (Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, University Hospital): “Overcoming horror: faintness and medical agents. Some tentative thoughts on antiquity and today”
  • Lutz Käppel (U. of Kiel): “Roots of horror: Environment, bodies, societies”
  • George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras): “Horror and the body in early Greek paradoxography”
  • Dunstan Lowe (U. of Kent): “Hot and cold blood in Lucan’s Civil War
  • Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway, U. of London): “A terrible history of classica horror”
  • Glenn Most (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa/U. of Chicago): “The horrific body in Sophocles”
  • Alessandro Schiesaro (U. of Manchester): “Apocalypse: Horror and divine pleasure”
  • Rodrigo Sigala (U. of Tübingen; independent scholar): “The thrilling forces behind horrific experiences: A neuroscientific approach”
  • Evina Sistakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki): “The visceral thrills of tragedy: Flesh, blood and guts off and on the tragic stage”
  • Dimos Spatharas (U. of Crete): “Enargeia, the lower senses and the abhorrent”
  • Chiara Thumiger (U. of Kiel): “Having guts”

Abstracts of papers and the finalized program will be uploaded soon in our website at:

For those who wish to attend: there is no registration fee, but please send an e mail to

Chiara Thumiger and

George Kazantzidis

Organizers: George Kazantzidis (U. of Patras) / Chiara Thumiger (U. of Kiel)

The conference is generously funded by the Exzellenzcluster ROOTS

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