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    Staging American Bodies

    For this seventh International Symposium on Staging America, we invite scholars to explore the various ways in which American bodies have been staged and represented throughout history and through various media. From P.T. Barnum’s freak shows to modern-day tattoo conventions, from Carson McCullers’ and Flannery O’Connor’s grotesque characters to twenty-first century sideshows, bodies have always been a source of both attraction and repulsion. The fascination triggered by deformities – whether natural or self-inflicted – reveals as much about Americans’ conceptions of normality, hence of identity, as it does about the nature of the body itself.

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