Writing in 1899, Frederick Dolman argued in an article titled "Four-Footed Actors: About Some Well-Known Animals that Appear in the London and Provincial Stage" that the "growth of variety theatres and the decay of comic songs" had developed in "several kinds of diversion, not the least of which is furnished by the art of the animal-trainer" (The English Illustrated Magazine, Sep. 1899, 192, p. 521). Dolman was describing the large-scale entertainments starring animals that had taken over traditional spectator recreations for the last century in a manner not unlike the success of music-halls and professional sport.
2ND CALL FOR PROPOSALS
24th International Conference on Medievalism
THEME: Medievalism(s) & Diversity
Hosted by Kent State University Regional Campuses
October 18-20, 2012
ON-CAMPUS LOCATION: Kent State University Stark
ONLINE LOCATION: A portion of this year's conference will be hosted online (October 15 to November 15) in a password-protected location.
PUBLICATION OPPORTUNITIES: Select papers may be published in THE YEAR'S WORK IN MEDIEVALISM, as well as be considered for publication in MEDIEVALLY SPEAKING and STUDIES IN MEDIEVALISM.
VIDEO GAME POSTER SESSION & WORKSHOP: Co-sponsored by Medieval Electronic Multimedia Organization.
'Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.'
Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (1963. London: Routledge, 2002), 66.
'Arts research needs to change direction, to look outwards, and investigate the audience not the texts. It needs to link up with sociology and psychology and public health, and create a body of knowledge about what the arts actually do to people. Until that happens, we cannot even pretend that we are taking the arts seriously.'
John Carey, What Good Are the Arts? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 167.
"Place is a space which has historical meanings, where some things have happened that are now remembered and which provide continuity and identity across the generations. Place is a space in which important words have been spoken which have established identity, defined vocation and envisioned destiny...Place is indeed a protest against an uncompromising pursuit of space. It is a declaration that our humanness cannot be found in escape, detachment, absence of commitment, and undefined freedom... Whereas pursuit of space may be a flight from history, a yearning for place is a decision to enter history with an identifiable people in an identifiable pilgrimage." Walter Brueggeman
Most literary works take place within the context of some sort of constructed space, e.g. a house, an office, a transit node, a place of worship, a place of performance. The constraints and opportunities of such a setting often contribute to our understanding of characters, actions and ideas. Architecture also provides a rich system of tropes by which readers and writers can define important elements of text either literally or figuratively.
Claudio Magris' 1999 work, Utopia e disincanto, begins with his observation that the present moment pleasures in apocalyptic pessimism. This pessimism is tied to the death of the myth of the Revolution, confirmed by the fall of communism. If there is a question of irrelevance, it is that of utopias. Current conversations in literary theory deal with finding definitive criteria for "dystopias" or "counter-utopias," ideas which are very much in vogue in the science fiction genre. Apocalyptic narratives, or post-apocalyptic narratives, have been invading bookstores as well as movie screens – as seen most recently with Lars von Trier's latest film, Melancholia. One could say that this is symptomatic of the state of contemporary art.
Popular Indian cinema has witnessed a steady rise in the production of movies related to terrorism and threat to national security since 2001. While critically and aesthetically examining the perpetual threats that India lives under, these movies have successfully captured the jingoistic fervor and pride that have repeatedly trumped such adversity. In addition, Bollywood's focus has interestingly shifted from cross-border terrorism to the global terrorism revolving around America and her allies, their insurgencies in the Middle East and the subsequent tremors felt everywhere, especially by Indian expatriates.
Rethinking Eighteenth-Century Aesthetics
Book Reviews: The Pennsylvania Literary Journal is looking for academics with tenure-track appointments to write book reviews of recent titles that have been released in their field of interest. Several academic publishers, including Harvard UP, Pearson, Random House, Penguin, Cambridge UP, Duke UP, and SUNY, have agreed to send free books to writers in exchange for the reviews. Unlike with other journals - it is up to you to find the book you want to read and that is helpful for your current research and to send a specific request to PLJ that will be forwarded to the publisher (if the author is qualified to write about the topic).
That the American West is a highly classed and politicized space is no critical revelation. Scholars such as Stephen Tatum, Reginald Dyck, and Renny Chistopher have drawn attention to the complex interface of class, labor, space, and place in the context of the region's tumultuous cultural and literary history. In light of this history and the conference's primary theme "Western Crossroads: Literature, Social Justice, Environment," this panel seeks to uncover the intersections made at the junction of class, labor, politics, social justice, and the environment in the West. We are accepting presentation abstracts of 250 words for consideration. Possible subtopics include but are not limited to: