Phobia: The Phenomenology of Cultural Fear, 1789-Present

An international conference hosted by the University of
Glamorgan Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science
Friday 8th to Saturday 9th May 2009, ATRiuM, Cardiff

Sponsored by the Wellcome Trust and the Society
for the Social History of Medicine


Friday May 8th

9.45-10.30: Registration and Coffee

10.30: Welcome (Professor Jeff Wallace)

10.45-12.00: Plenary Lecture
Professor Laura Otis
‘Terrifying Readers: The Scariest Moments in 19th-Century Literature’

12.00-12.45: Lunch

12.45-2.15: Panels A & B
Panel A
Fear of Illness and the Medical Encounter
1. Neil Pemberton and Michael Worboys (Manchester): “Hydrophobia: The
First Phobia”
2. Keir Waddington (Cardiff): “‘Wurst than the other sausages’: Fear,
Nation and Sausages in Victorian and Edwardian Britain”
3. Joanne Winning (Birkbeck College): “Fear in the Medical Encounter”

Panel B
Gothic Fears
1. Aishah Al-Shatti (Kuwait University): “‘The bravest mind is capable
of fear’: Fear and Masculinity in Joanna Baillie’s The Dream”
2. Amy Billone (University of Tennessee): “Phobia, Longing and the
Gothic from 1789 to the Present”
3. Anthony Mandal (Cardiff): “Bibliophobia: Fear, Loathing and
Textuality in Contemporary Gothic Fiction”

2.15-2.45: Tea

2.45-3.45: Panels C & D
Panel C
Claustrophobia and Closed Spaces 1
1. Catherine Cox (UWIC): “‘We are all haunted houses’: Spatial Phobia
and the Threat to Textual Integrity in Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of
Leaves (2000)”
2. Jo Croft (Liverpool John Moores), “”At Home She was in a Torture
Chamber”: The Claustrophobic Dynamics of Adolescent Domestic Space”

Panel D
Anxiety and xanax Creativity
1. Michael Rand Hoare (Royal Holloway): “Georg Büchner’s Lenz: A
Landmark in the Literature of Psychosis”
2. Michaela Niculescu (University of Bucharest): “‘Doomed to Remain a
Performer’: The Dynamic Aesthetics of Musical Experience and the Phobia
of Disintegration at the Fin de Siècle”

Phobia Workshop
Restoring Human Anxiety to its Central Role in Social Intelligence
1. Jeremy Coplan (SUNY –Downstate Medical Centre)
2. Jacob Sperber (Nassau University Medical Centre)
3. Markus Schwaninger (St. Gallen)

5.15-6.00: Research Centre for Literature, Arts and Science Wine Reception

6.00-7.30: Organised Trip to Cardiff Bay

7.30: Dinner at Waterside Restaurant

Saturday May 9th

9.00-10.30: Panels E & F

Panel E
Fear, Excess and Destruction
1. Anna Maria Jones (University of Central Florida): “‘What should make
thee inaccessible to my fury?’: Theorizing Fantasies and Phobias of
Revenge in Caleb Williams”
2. Julia Skelly (Queen’s University, Canada): “Addictaphobia: Fear,
Closets and Visual Culture “
3. Matthew Taunton (Open University): “Anarchophobia: The Structure of
G. K. Chesterton’s Conservatism”

Panel F
Claustrophobia and Closed Spaces 2
1. Andrew Mangham (Reading): “‘My Fancy Grew Charnel’: Phobia, Live
Burial and the Victorian Gothic”
2. Minna Vouhelainen (Edge Hill University): “‘Cribb’d, cabined, and
confined’: Claustrophobia in Richard Marsh’s Urban Gothic Fiction”

10.30-11.00: Coffee

11.00-12.15: Plenary Lecture
Professor Andrew Thacker
‘Modern Spaces, Modern Phobias’

12.15-1.00: Lunch

1.00-2.30: Panels G & H
Panel G
Modernism, Urbanity and Spatial Phobias
1. Matthew Beaumont (UCL): “Ford Maddox Ford and the Aesthetics of
2. Ulrika Maude (Durham): “‘Spaces of Inky Darkness’: Platzangst in
Elizabeth Bowen’s Fiction of the 1930s”
3. Laurence Scott (King’s College London): “The Petrified Sphinx: Female
Deities and Gothic Villains in the Modernist Crisis of Woolf and Breton”

Panel H
Fear, Technology and Control Society
1. Hannah Abelbeck (Penn State University): “Imaginary Lasers, Control
Mechanisms, and the Subjectivity of Movers across Thresholds”
2. Neal Alexander (Nottingham): “‘everyone eyes everyone’: Surveillance,
Paranoia, and Irony in Ciaran Carson’s Poetry”
3. Silvia Rodeschini (University of Bologna): “Bringing Hobbes up to
Date: The Idea of Governing Fear through Fear”

2.30-3.00: Tea

3.00-4.30: Panels I & J
Panel I
Phobias and Fears on Film and TV
1. Susan Cahill (UCD): “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Fairy Tale?:
Contemporary Fairy Tale Film”
2. Jim LeBlanc (Cornell): “The Acrophobe and the Funambulist: An
Existential Phenomenological Look at Fear, Anxiety, and Postmodern Panic”
3. Emma Victoria Mason (Hull): “Fear and Slaying: An Apocalyptic Battle”

Panel J
Twentieth-Century War, Conflicts and Anxieties
1. Dennis Lensing (Austin): “Mind Fear: The Threat of Thought in Cold
War America”
2. John O’Neill (UCD): “Changing Anxieties in the Novels of J. G. Ballard”

4.30: Thanks (Professor Andy Smith)

To book one of the final places at this conference
e-mail Martin Willis on [email protected].

Visit the Conference website for further details at: