SHS Events Publication

The Congress For Curious People

Start: Aug 29, 2013 12:00 AM
End: Sep 08, 2013 11:59 PM

A Festival of Spectacular Cultures

Co-organised by Morbid Anatomy, Preserved!, and Strange Attractor.

From Fun Fairs to Freak Shows… Magic Lantern Lectures to Flea Circuses… Cyclopian Artists and Mediumistic Drawings to Severed Heads and Anthropomorphic Taxidermy… Riotous Fireworks and the bright lights of an otherworldly Blackpool to the dark recesses of Old Operating Theatres and Clandestine Archives.

Join us for an excursion into the peculiar, the carnivalesque and the macabre….

Colleagues from UCL History and UCL History of Art are taking part in The Congress for Curious People, a week long festival of spectacular cultures, followed by a two-day symposium, co-organised by Morbid Anatomy, Preserved!, and Strange Attractor.

Founded in 2010 as a scholarly sideshow to the Congress of Curious People – a theatrical celebration of the carnivalesque at the Coney Island Museum in New York – the Congress for Curious People finds itself this year in a series of hidden locales and out-of-the-way venues across the U.K. Presenting talks, screenings, performances and walking tours, the festival will bring together over 40 international contributors specialising in eccentric customs, alternate histories and medical anomalies to explore ideas of spectacle and curiosity in some truly fascinating locales.

A two-day symposium on ‘Reclaiming Spectacle’ will include panels of academics, rogue scholars and artists discussing the intricacies of collecting, the politics of bodily display, non-human oddities, religion and the occult, whilst The Horse Hospital will host ‘Ethel Le Rossignol: A Goodly Company’, an exhibition of stunningly beautiful psychic artworks painted in the 1920s by this previously unknown medium and artist. The Congress will create a forum not only for discussing, but also for experiencing spectacle, combining the niche and the popular, the scholarly and the entertaining.

Find out more at the following websites or contact

•    Curious Congress
•    Morbid Anatomy Blogspot
•    Preserved Project
•    Strange Attractor

Kindly supported by the Wellcome Trust.