New Temporalities of Old Age, MLA 5-8 January 2012
This guaranteed session sponsored by the MLA Age Studies Discussion Group investigates narratives of aging in the light of recent and emerging theories of temporality. Is there an "epistemology of old age" that might stand outside conventional articulations of temporality? How are narratives of aging illuminated by recent work on national, postcolonial, or global temporalities? How do literary and cultural conceptions of old age look different when read against the idealization of the child and focus on the future that Lee Edelman calls "reproductive futurism"? In what ways can cognitive approaches to temporality inform our understanding of narratives of old age? How might the acceleration of time traditionally associated with the aging process inform critical models of aging? Has the "compression" of space and time through technological advances affected how we might tell the story of later life? Do avenues of communication made possible through new media and social networking change our understanding of age and time? Any approach to the question of temporality and any narrative(s) of older age will be considered.