In Extremis 2020
In Extremis: The Limits of Life, Death and Consciousness in the Long Nineteenth Century University College Dublin, 10-11 January 2020
Keynote Speaker: Professor Angela Wright

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to explore the ways in which the fundamental understanding of embodied human life and consciousness was challenged by developments in science and medicine in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Spurred on by public experiments and mass casualties resulting from war, famine, disease, poverty and oppression, natural philosophers, poets and novelists, spiritualists and enthusiasts interrogated the limits of death and life. Social and intellectual cross-currents between imaginative and scientific discourses produced a flourishing culture of enquiry in which old certainties and taboos no longer defined the parameters of human existence. However, the body, rather than being tamed and comprehended by advancements in science, seemed more alien than human, a thing apart from consciousness yet intimately tied to mental processes. From the grotesque and mutilated female bodies of William Hunter’s The Anatomy of the Human Gravid Uterus (1774) to the distorted figures of Henry Fuseli’s nightmarish paintings and on to Stevenson’s metamorphic identities in The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), eighteenth- and nineteenth-century intellectual life reimagined the boundaries of sex, disease and deformity in many ways.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers and/or 3-paper panels relating to bodies and minds in extremes, in transformation and in distress in the culture of the two centuries.

Proposals of no more than 300 words should be emailed no later than Friday November 15TH to Lucy Cogan and Michelle O’Connell at


Conference Registration

Conference Fee: €30 / €20 student & unwaged
Click on the link for web payment.


During the online payment process please ensure to enter your name in the field titled REFERENCE.


Travel Information:

Dublin is well served by airlines from all over Europe, and by ferry.
Information about travelling to Dublin is available at Visit

Transport from the airport: The Aircoach is the fastest, and most comfortable way to the city centre. It leaves from outside Terminal 1 and stops at Terminal 2, and goes directly to O'Connell Street and then Trinity College and beyond.  If you are going straight to your hotel, the staff selling tickets will advise you of which bus to take. Aircoach is a 24 hour service.

Dublin bus offers a cheaper alternative to the city centre, Airlink. Dublin Bus Airport Services
The 747 also links the city to the airport. This route takes longer, as it’s on a regular bus route. Dublin Bus Timetables

Public transport: The 39A bus passes through the city centre, and its terminus is UCD Campus, so it's generally the best bet (and not overcrowded).  Other routes pass by UCD main gates: 145 (toward Kilmacanogue), 46A (toward Dun Laoghaire).  Dublin Bus accepts coins only, and does not give change.

Things to do:
Literary Dublin:
Dublin City of Literature
Visit Dublin

The National Library of Ireland
The Natural History Museum 
National Gallery of Ireland 
The Hugh Lane Gallery 
Christ Church Cathedral 
Marsh’s Library 
Kilmainham Gaol 
Irish Museum of Modern Art 
Trinity College Dublin (including the Book of Kells)
Dublin Science Gallery  
Dublin Castle 
Chester Beatty Library 



There are a number of options in terms of accommodation within a short distance of UCD. Alongside many listings on Airbnb nearby hotels from 3 to 5 stars include:

Donnybrook Hall

The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan

The Herbert Park Hotel, Ballsbridge

The Clayton Hotel Ballbridge

The Radisson Stillorgan


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