We are a team of academics from Queen Mary University of London, scientists and members of the public interested in discussing the importance of "shit" as metaphor of something that belong to us and yet, we either disregard it or we want to get rid of. We are interested in exploring the value and meaning of physical and metaphorical shit through the lenses of different disciplines and cultures.
Who We Are
Fulvio D'Acquisto is Professor of Immunopharmacology at the William Harvey Research Institute. His current field of research (called Affective Immunology) investigates the cross-talk between emotions and the immune system as a new venue for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders.
Aoife Monks is Reader in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. She is interested in the histories and ideologies of acting, critical approaches to costume and embodiment, virtuosity, Stage Irishness and the material cultures of performance and professional identity at the theatre.
Lois Weaver is Professor of Contemporary Performance, performance artist, writer, director, and activist. My research interests include live art, solo performance, feminist and lesbian theatre, ageing, performance and human rights and the relationships between performance and public engagement.
We met the first time at a round table for the creation of Research Centre in Wellbeing in Contemporary Society. The aim this centre was to set up a hub for academics, scientists and lay public fro all walk of life to discuss the meaning of "wellbeing" in today's life. During this meeting Fulvio launched the idea of using "Life is Shit - Shit is Life" as conceptual starting point to analyse a societal problem through there lenses of different disciplines.
The phrase ‘life is shit’ usually works at a metaphorical level. But an emerging number of recent discoveries in the biomedical field have highlighted how fecal matter has a central role in shaping who we are in terms of personality, or disease susceptibility. According to this new paradigm, shit is actually life. But the ways in which life is shit still continue in the increasing inequalities of global capital and the ways in which migrants and refugees are often conjured as human waste. This event considers the question of excrement from both directions, asking how our lives in London are shaped by shit.