CFP: Feasting on Hannibal: An Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Melbourne, Australia, 29-30 November 2016


Screen Studies and the School of Culture and Communication, The Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne
November 29-30, 2016

Keynote Speaker: Associate Professor Jane Stadler, The University of Queensland

Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lecter is one of contemporary popular culture’s most prominent and recognisable models of monstrosity. Initially conceived in the 1981-2006 novel series by Thomas Harris, Hannibal exists at the centre of a sprawling franchise that includes the critically acclaimed film, The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991), and most recently Bryan Fuller’s television series Hannibal (2013-2015). The diverse texts that constitute the Hannibal franchise demonstrate the fertile potential of the Hannibal mythology to extend and develop across multiple media, and the complexity of Hannibal himself as a boundary-defying figure of modern monstrosity and the senses. At the centre of Hannibal’s monstrosity is a breakdown of the boundaries between high and low art, the mythic and the everyday, and refinement and savagery. Accordingly, critical interest in the Hannibal franchise has focused on Hannibal’s embodiment of the boundary transgressions central to scholarly understandings of monstrosity.

Critical analyses of the books and films have been both profound and widespread across various disciplines. More recently, Fuller’s Hannibal has not only redefined what came before, but has inspired, extended and renewed interest in this seminal figure. The “Feasting on Hannibal” conference aims to push the boundaries of previous conceptualizations of the Hannibal series, while reflecting on how the television show has reframed the culture of Hannibal. This conference looks to the future of the franchise as a continually developing and mutating mythology, welcoming papers that examine Hannibal across any of his multiple incarnations, but especially considering how Hannibal mythology has been reformulated and extended since Fuller’s television series.

Screen Studies and the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne invite you to submit abstract proposals for an interdisciplinary conference feast that turns the tables on Hannibal Lecter, offering Hannibal up for a meal of multiple courses and scholarly cuisines.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

Hannibal’s influence on screen culture
Hannibal as embodiment of contemporary monstrosity
Hannibal and the sensorium
Hannibal as mythology
Aesthetics and affect in Hannibal
Hannibal as a franchise property
Hannibal, seriality and transmedia storytelling
Self-reflexivity and intertextuality
Hannibal and adaptation
Hannibal and genre
High-concept television
High art and elite tastes
The aesthetics of violence
Hannibal and fandom
The culture of food in Hannibal
Cannibalism, food and body horror
Representations of animality and the post human in Hannibal
Criminal monstrosity and moral panic
Depictions of psychology and emotions
The development of gender and sexuality in the Hannibal mythology
The music of Hannibal and Hannibal’s music

Submit queries and abstracts of no more than 300 words length, as well as a short bio, before 15th of May to

Organised by: Dr Jessica Balanzategui, Naja Later, and Tara Lomax, The University of Melbourne


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