[SydPhil] Workshop Announcement: Monsters and Practices of Dehumanization during the Ancient and Early Modern Period

Anik Waldow anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au
Fri Nov 17 16:33:20 AEDT 2023

The Natural and the Normative:
Monsters and Practices of Dehumanization during the Ancient and Early Modern Period

6th-7th December 2023
Venue: University of Sydney, Main Quadrangle Building, N494
Organisers: Julia Kindt and Anik Waldow

In this informal workshop we aim to delve into the connection between ideas of monstrosity and different forms and methods of dehumanization in Western thought and literature. A particular focus will be on conceptions of the monstrous in ancient times and the (early) modern period. Through in-depth discussions of philosophical texts, medical writings, literary works, and historical treatises we aim to uncover what is at stake in conceptions of the monstrous as well as the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in how they are put to work. This get together is very much meant to share different perspectives around concepts of monstrosity and dehumanization in the ultimate intent to help us identify a set of core themes, questions, and problems that shape scholarly conversations in this interdisciplinary area of study.

Wednesday, 6th December 2023

9.15 Welcome: Julia Kindt and Anik Waldow

Human Nature

9.30          Julia Kindt (Sydney): “Framing the Homeric Cyclops and his Modern Afterlife”

10.10      Alastair Blanshard (UQ): “Some Moments in the History of Sympathetic Monsters”

10.50     Coffee Break (Philosophy Common Room)

11.10     Laura Kotevska (Sydney): “The Vice of Curiosity in a Monstrous World: Port-Royalists on Nature and Curiosity”

11.50     Sandra Field (Monash): “Nature Never Fails or Sins: The Impossibility of Monstrosity in Spinoza’s Metaphysics”


1.40       Deborah Brown (UQ): tba

2.20       Gabriel Watts (Sydney): “The Case against Hume's Principle of Humanity”

Coffee Break

(Cognitive) Diversity

2.30       Dan Hutto (Wollongong): “Monsters, Then and Now: On Violating Nature and Norms”

3.10       Glenda Satne (Wollongong): tba

Thursday, 7th December 2023

(Cognitive) Diversity

9.00     Margaret Cameron (Melbourne): “’I am a Perverse Creature’: Monsters and Crime in

     Early Modernity”

9.40       Anik Waldow (Sydney): “The Monster Inside: “’Madness’ as a Failure of Self-Relation”

10.20     Vili Lähteenmäki (Oulou): “Natural and Normal in Locke’s Conduct”

              Coffee Break

Gendered Standards of Normality

11.20     Emily Hulme (Sydney): “Feminine Artifice and Natural Normativity: The (Ancient) Cynic Perspective”

12.00   Kitty Smith (Sydney): “Malodorous Harpies: The Role of Odour in Creating a Monster”


1.30          Claire Monagle (Macquarie): “The Virgin as Anti-Monster: Medieval Marian Theology

      and the Making of Female Monstrosity”

2.10          Dalia Nassar (Sydney): “Walking Contradictions? Women, Philosophy, and the

      ‘Human Vocation’”

No registration required, all welcome!

ANIK WALDOW | Professor of Philosophy | FAHA
Department of Philosophy | School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
S404, Quadrangle Building A14 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006 | Australia
T +61 2 9114 1245<tel:+61291141245> | F +61 2 9351 3918<tel:+61293513918>
E anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au<mailto:anik.waldow at sydney.edu.au>

Experience Embodied: Early Modern Accounts of the Human Place in Nature, OUP, 2020

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