Proposals for panels and papers are invited for a conference entitled "Captivity Writing Unbound," to be hosted by the University of South Alabama's Department of English and held at its Baldwin County campus, which is set in the heart of the quaint artist community of Fairhope, overlooking scenic Mobile Bay. As conference organizers, we envision a relatively concentrated event in which select scholars working in various disciplines and historical periods will present new ideas about the general area of writing and captivity. We are particularly interested in papers that explore and extend the traditional boundaries of the study of captivity writing, whether these are conceived generically, geographically, historically, or in disciplinary terms.
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.
There has been a historic tide of scholarship arguing the merits of Victorian poetry written by women. From Aurora Leigh to "Goblin Market," nineteenth-century female poets created a canon of verse that questioned gender categories and troubled the status quo. While scholars from Oliphant to W.M. Rossetti added valuable interpretations that legitimized the genre, contemporary critics such as Armstrong, Tucker, and Prins have used modern lenses to probe the subtleties inherent in the work of a "poetess." This roundtable will discuss the ways gender is mapped onto and inherent in nineteenth-century female poetics.
How does nature operate in nineteenth-century poetry? From Arnold's "Scholar-Gypsy" to Leopardi's "La Ginestra," nineteenth-century poets privileged the nature motif in their verse. While literary critics have queried these poetic projects by focusing on Empire, religion, gender, and form, few scholars have explored eco-critical approaches to this global canon. This panel will consider poems where science interrogates landscape, faith interacts with nature, and industrialization pocks the pastoral. We will begin by exploring how the systematic and organized study of nature—and the advent of the natural sciences—impacted verse forms.
Modernism and the Environment
In the past two decades, there has been a surge of literary and critical environmental works. Although ecocriticism has been a flourishing field of inquiry for some years now, literary critics are just beginning to explore literature and the environment from postcolonial perspectives. Postcolonial eco-/environmental criticism, albeit belatedly, has become a burgeoning field in the past few years. However, most eco-/environmental critics are heavily focused on contemporary environmental texts, so little or no attention has been paid to the aspects of nature in British or in Anglo-phone modern literature. Nature or the environment is rarely considered a part of the imperial colonial process in analyzing modern literary works.
NEW DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS--June 29, 2012
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Dr. Russell Berman (Stanford University)
How do various systems of authority (e.g. literary, political, sexual, cultural, economic, linguistic) seek to control individuals, groups, or cultural movements? How do individuals, groups, or cultural movements engage in resistance to subjection?
York University 2012 English Graduate Students' Association Colloquium:
November 9-10, 2012
Prophecies of a 2012 end of days; Black Friday at Wal-Mart; Howard Beale in Network inciting viewers to scream "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" From mass hysteria to individual neuroses, the elusive nature of frenzy lends itself to dramatically different conceptualizations across the disciplines.
Habitually characterised as a late-appearing variant upon the Victorian Quest Romance, Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Lost World" (1912) in fact marked the beginning of the author's prolonged investigation of science, ideology and belief under the inhibiting constraints of early twentieth-century modernity. The narratives span from 1912 to 1929 and this new collection will be dedicated to re-evaluating the narratives, their author, the wider culture that he inhabited and the legacy of his work for the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We are interested in work that treats the texts either directly or tangentially through other aspects of Conan Doyle's life and thought.