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VENUE CHANGE: Please note this event will now take place in Macmillan Hall, Senate House - click here to view a map

This one day conference will focus on the visceral body and its historical understanding across disciplines. In particular, we will be addressing how historical and cultural perspectives, scientific investigations and representations in arts have motivated key questions about the role that the visceral body plays in the quest to understand human condition. This interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspective is motivated by a renewed focus on the viscera and emotions across humanities, a surge of scientific interest across psychological sciences and neurosciences on interoception (i.e. the perception of internal visceral signals) and on the long-standing importance of the body and its passions in arts.

Film Screening: The event will conclude with the screening of the short film “A Hunger Artist”, (2017, HD film, 16 minutes) by artist and academic Prof Daria Martin followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Dr Noga Arikha,  between the artist and Dr Katerina Fotopoulou (UCL) and Dr Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary). A Hunger Artist, (2017) adapts Franz Kafka’s 1922 modernist short story of the same name: a strange allegory about spectacle, spectators, power and narcissism. 

Organizers :Prof Manos Tsakiris (The Warburg Institute & Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Fay Bound Alberti

Speakers: Speakers: Dr  Fay Bound Alberti (UK), Dr Helena de Preester (University of Ghent), Dr Jack Hartnell, (University of East Anglia), Prof Sally Shuttleworth (Oxford University), Prof Jane Macnaughton (Durham University),  Prof Sarah Garfinkel  (University of Sussex), Prof Manos Tsakiris (The Warburg Institute)

Panelists: Prof Daria Martin (Oxford), Dr Katerina Fotopoulou (UCL), Dr Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary)






Helena De Preester (University of Ghent) :  Phenomenology of the body after interoception


11.00- 11.45  

Fay Bound Alberti (University of York)Gendering Interoception: Scientific Knowledge and the Heart of Harriet Martineau


11.45- 12.30  

Manos Tsakiris (The Warburg Institute) : The heartfelt self : interoception and (hi)stories of the self 



Lunch break


13.30- 14.45

Screening of ‘Hunger Artist’ by Daria Martin followed by Panel Discussion:  (Panel Chair : Noga Arikha, Panelists : Daria Martin (Oxford), Katerina Fotopoulou (UCL), Jenny Chamarette (Queen Mary)

14.45- 15.15

Coffee/Tea break



Jane Macnaughton (Durham University):  Sensation and the symptom: understanding the feeling of breathlessness


16.00- 16.45

Sarah Garfinkel (University of Sussex): Hearts and Minds: Interoception and mental health



Jack Hartnell (University of East Anglia) : Embodied Viscera in Medieval France

17.30 -18.15


Sally Shuttleworth(Oxford University)Bodily Climates: Health Resorts and the Invalid Body, 1850-1900

Photo credit: 19th-century anatomical model from the collection of George Loudon. 

Photo by Rosamond Purcell.