Notes from Prague: the conference continues

rainRain fell on Prague today–a lot. But at the palace, the international ID.Net ( conference continues. Today was another fascinating group of papers (four panels in all), each providing further explorations of our shares experiences of pain. We began the day with an eye-opening look at love and danger:

May 10, 2013

Session 3: Love and Pain: Erotics, Desire, and Damage

Absent Pain: Exploring the Nexus of Pain, Pleasure and Representation in Sadomasochistic Fiction
Amalia Ziv
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

BDSM: Ars Erotica Between Pain and Pleasure
Nicoletta Landi
University of Bologna, Italy

A Book of Love and Pain: The Monster’s Desire for Human Relations in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
Shun-liang Chao
National Chengchi University, Taiwan

Our fourth session took a look at sexual politics and sexual pain–as well as 19th century conceptions of race and distortions of the torture debate.

Session 4: Sexual Politics, Sexual Pain

Savage and Civilized Pains: Race, Class, and the Pain of Childbirth in Nineteenth-Century Medical Literature
Miriam Shoshanna Rich
Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, USA

Making Sense of the Pain of Sexual Intercourse: Personal Accounts of Hong Kong Chinese Married Women Who have Experienced Difficulty in Vaginal Penetrative Sex
Anna Ng Hoi Nga
Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong

Distortions of the Torture Debate: Pain and Suffering
Thomas W. Simon
Johns Hopkins University, USA

You will notice, I think, that our group is highly diverse; these presenters come from many disciplines, many countries, and many cultures. By sharing the perspectives of law, literature, medicine, social work, performance, and more, we have been able to make fascinating connections between materials. (And, of course, the space between is something many of us focus on as inter-disciplinary scholars.) Our fifth session dealt even more specifically with the way we communicate pain:

Session 5: Reading, Writing, and Speaking Pain

The Effects of Pain on Communication
Didem Ozsenler
Faculty of Communication, Ege University, Turkey

Case Studies in Therapeutic Writing
Roy Fox
University of Missouri, USA

Talking about Pain: Occurrences, Abstractions, and Frustrations
James Moir
University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland

Finally, session six for today dealt with performance and pain, but also with the ritual aspects of grieving (and even of rage).

Session 6: Visible Suffering: Performance and Pain

Extremely Up-in-the-Air: Flesh Hook Suspension and Performance
Julie Rada
School of Theatre and Film at Arizona State University, USA

Funeral Rites in the 21st Century Dress in England: Pain in Bereavement
Jules Findley
Royal College of Art, United Kingdom

The ‘Presence’ of Suffering within the Photographic Representation of both Victim and Soldier
Paul Tebbs
University of Arts, London, United Kingdom

I hope you will tune in for more of the fascinating work being done here–and please do follow the hashtag on Twitter! #IDnetP

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