Modernist Marriage and Divorce - abstracts due 4/7
From the rise of no-fault divorce to nativist anxiety about exogamy, the shifting structure of marriage is a defining preoccupation of modernist fiction. This panel will examine the cultural innovations that reshaped marriage in the modernist moment. How do representations of marriage relate to teleology/futurity? What formal structures and aesthetic strategies arise to represent the dissolution of the institution that traditionally represents narrative closure? Does divorce signify differently in American and British modernisms? Despite the spike in the divorce rate, is marriage itself resistant to modernization? Is marriage a site of nostalgia, a yardstick of historical change, an antiquated relic? How does sexuality (de)form the foundations of marriage in Britain and America?
We welcome paper proposals no longer than 250 words that engage with questions of marriage and divorce in American and British modernisms.