[UPDATE] Transatlantic Decadence in Art and Literature: A Symposium

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Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth
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Transatlantic Decadence in Art and Literature: A Symposium
Saturday 24th April 2010, Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth

Professor Regenia Gagnier (University of Exeter)
Professor David Weir (The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York)

In recent years, the definition and impact of nineteenth-century British and continental European Decadence has been the subject of extensive academic debate. Increasingly, it has been discussed as an important transitional phase that marked and contributed more to the advent of modernism than was formerly thought, and one whose reverberations affected (and continue to affect) ideas, art and literature across the Atlantic. As David Weir’s recent book, Decadent Culture in the United States (2008), makes clear, America had its own Decadents, particularly in New York and Boston, that drew on British and European writers such as Baudelaire, Huysmans, Pater and Wilde. Similarly, as Kirsten Macleod’s ‘American Decadence’ website shows, Decadent journals such as the Yellow Book informed American magazine publishing in the United States in the 1890s and beyond. More recently, Regenia Gagnier has extended the parameters of transatlantic exchanges to encompass the global dissemination of British cultural production. This symposium aims to investigate cultural exchanges between British, European and American societies in the late 19th and early 20th century, specifically in relation to art (in the form of painting, sculpture, music, or illustration) and literature. Possible topics include:

• Artifice in British, American and European art and literature
• Art, literature, and commodity culture in British, European and American exchanges
• The degenerate subject in British, European and American art and literature
• Transatlantic infection (genre, style, etc)
• Decadence, Puritanism and Catholicism
• Decadent Bostonians or New Yorkers
• American artists and writers in late 19thC/early 20thC Britain and Europe
• European Decadence and American modernity
• The American reception of British and European Decadent writers and artists
• The Yellow Book and American magazine writing and illustration
• Gender, sexuality and visual culture in transatlantic exchanges

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a brief biographical note listing your affiliation, to: csl-decadence@port.ac.uk
The deadline for submission is 21st February 2010.

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