Transnational poetics; Aestheticism and Decadence at the fin de siècle

deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
NYU/University of Exeter/University of London
contact email: 

Transnational poetics; Aestheticism and Decadence at the fin de siècle

A One-Day Symposium at New York University

Monday May 14th 2018


Keynote Speaker: Prof Regenia Gagnier (Exeter):

‘Transnational Poiesis and the Making of Community’


Organizers: Prof Marion Thain (NYU), Dr Kate Hext (Exeter), Dr Jane Desmarais (London)



Call for participants


This symposium is designed to address the dynamic transnational poetics of the fin de siècle in the context of wide-reaching discussions about the future of the field of Aestheticism and Decadence studies. It hopes to gather together fin-de-siècle scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to make this into a focused, lively and germinal forum for ideas and debates central to poetics and the shape of the broader field.

As such, we intend that this symposium have the elasticity to address a wide range of issues on Aestheticism, Decadence, and fin-de-siècle poetics pertinent to the attendees. The issues it addresses may include, but will not be limited to, the politics of transnational poetics, the migration of queer forms, cultural appropriation and translation, and international influences on poetic composition, traversing both canonical and non-canonical figures.

The discussions of fin-de-siècle poetics will be interlaced with, and informed by, discussion of our own transnational collaboration and the evolving shape of the scholarly community of Aestheticism and Decadence studies. Drawing on the momentum of these vibrant twin-fields in the past decade, we would like to think about its future direction, including the challenges posed by the institutionalized boundaries between the nineteenth- and twentieth- centuries and the opportunities posed by emerging methodological approaches, particularly in poetics. With the recent founding in the U.K. of the International Society of Fin-de-Siècle Studies and the British Association of Decadent Studies, as well as NAVSA’s Aestheticism and Decadence Caucus, how, we ask, can we promote closer collaboration between the US and the UK and beyond? 


 We expect the day to consist of the following events:-       

- A select number of position papers presenting theoretical/historical/geographical frames for thinking about transnational poetics in aestheticism and decadence at the fin de siècle

- Roundtable discussion

- Planning meeting for international collaboration within, and visibility of, fin-de-siècle studies


Please save the date (May 14th) in your calendars and email us by 1st March to

-- register as a symposium participant (please email as soon as possible to register as places will be limited)

-- and, if you choose, to offer a proposal for a brief position paper: 200-300 words outlining the theoretical/historical/geographical frame for thinking about transnational poetics in aestheticism and decadence at the fin de siècle that you can present to the group in no more than 10 minutes, giving a rationale for its relevance to current thinking and how it can transform, develop or reorient our study of the field.


These discussions will be the genesis of a journal special issue and other potential medium-term projects and collaborations.


This event is generously sponsored by NYU and the University of Exeter and there will be no registration fee