Call for Papers

***Please note the Call for Papers has now closed***

Call for Papers:

We encounter references to both cruelty and compassion on a daily basis: in current affairs, literature, film, art, historical accounts and even in our day-to-day lives. How we address evidence of cruelty and compassion is dependent upon the individual and on the accepted norms within society. Our views on cruelty and compassion centre on how we define both concepts, the context in which they appear and the cultural, psychological or social impact they may have.


Scene depicting the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons from the sarcophagus of a deceased couple c. AD 240 (Vatican Museum). Achilles and Queen Penthesileia fall in love at the precise moment that he mortally wounds her. Achilles and Penthesileia refer to the married couple for whom the sarcophagus was intended. The comparison disregards the narrative context to emphasise the love between the couple.

This year, we would also like to take the opportunity to invite delegates, if applicable for their area of research, to offer performance pieces instead of ‘traditional’ papers.

Papers or performances may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Slavery, trafficking and exploitation
  • Conflict and its impact
  • Humanitarian crises
  • Empathy, mindfulness, and psychological well-being
  • Philosophical and ethical considerations
  • Displays of emotion
  • The treatment of ‘the Other’
  • Visualising cruelty and compassion
  • Charity
  • Discrimination and prejudice
  • Cruelty and compassion in private, domestic, institutional, corporate, political, and national contexts
  • Trauma and treatment

The conference aims at an Interdisciplinary approach, allowing for conversation across departmental and institutional lines. As such, we request that speakers ensure their papers are accessible to a non-specialist audience, and, if applicable, provide any foreign language texts with a corresponding English translation.

Postgraduate scholars from all disciplines are invited to send an abstract of 250 words to by 18th April 2017.

Presentations will be 20 minutes long, followed by a short discussion.

Keynote Speakers:

– Dr. Marta Cobb, University of Leeds: ‘A Special Connection to the Afterlife?: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in the Visions of Medieval Female Mystics’.

– Dr. Bev Back, University of Leeds: Feminist Pedagogy (title TBC).