Call for Papers

CFP: Books of Blood

blood 2

If our bodies are books of blood, then they can be read; we invite such readings and contributions where blood is the signifier.

We are also interested in analyses and representation of the literal presence of blood in our culture, the importance of the actual material substance of life itself. This is the first stage of a funding bid and collaborative project on blood for the Wellcome Trust.

Submissions will be chosen to contribute to an exhibition, a series of public talks, and an illustrated book.

Initial contributions will be drawn from any of the following fields: science. technology, medicine, forensics, history of science, history of ideas, philosophy, theology, anthropology, myth, legend, folklore, literature, creative writing, painting, sculpture, performance, conceptual art film, TV, video games, song lyrics, popular culture.

Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

  • changing scientific notions of blood in their context
  • Harvey and the circulation of the blood
  • blood lust: vampirism, bloodsucking
  • consuming blood and its virtues
  • Landsteiner and blood groups
  • bloodlines: pure blood, blue blood, bad blood identity; race, genealogy, degeneration
  • haemophilia; blood libels and racial purity
  • blood letting, medical practices
  • blood economy: circulation, exchange; wealth as vampirism
  • vital fluids: the four humours, creative juices; blood and metonymy with other bodily fluids; blood and semen
  • true blood, synthetic blood, fake blood
  • the blood of Christ; the Eucharist and the meaning of transubstantiation
  • the blood is the life: taboos and rituals; menstrual blood, churching; blood letting, kosher and halal
  • blood, religion, and sexuality
  • the bleeding boughs of Virgil and Dante
  • blood crimes and punishments: retribution; forensics
  • coughing up blood: consumption and Romantic sensibility
  • the blood of the body politic
  • medical practices: blood letting, leeching
  • blood lust: the appeal of blood; vampirism, bloodsucking; splatter movies, the current vampire vogue
  • blood disorders: blood poisoning, infection, contagion; tuberculosis, AIDS, CJD
  • blood money: the economy of blood: circulation/exchange/transfusion; blood tanks/ blood reserves
  • blood as gift: martyrdom, sacrifice; blood pacts, blood brother ritual; blood donation; the ethics of transfusion and exchange

Please send abstracts of 1,000 words describing how your current research/practice fits the remit of the project and what you would offer in relation to the various outcomes (i.e. exhibition, talks, and book). Submissions should be sent by 1 January 2016 as an email attachment in MS Word document format to the following:

Dr Sam George,;

Dr John Rimmer,

You should also include a 250-word biographical statement.

Please use your surname as the document title. The abstract should be sent in the following format: (1) Title (2) Presenter(s) (3) Institutional affiliation (4) Email (5) Abstract (6) Biog.