Festivity and its Malcontents

full name / name of organization: 
Drago Momcilovic
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This special session at the 2011 M/MLA in St. Louis invites papers that explore the multitude of functions, forms, enactments, and critiques of festivity and the festive spirit in 20th- and 21st-century world literature, the arts, mass media and new media. Topics of particular interest include festivity in relation to hospitality, cosmopolitanism, and community; the appropriation of holidays, observances and practices of the ancient and medieval worlds by contemporary writers; festive forms and modes, including the carnival, procession, life cycle ritual, banquet, spectacle, tribute, impersonation, ethnography, satire, commemoration, tourist attraction, and epic song; festivity and cultural identity; festivity and performative or narrative innovation in modernist, post-modern and digital aesthetics; incarnations and transgressions of individual, political and social bodies and orders by the festive; the ethics of festivity in the shadows of disaster; and the consumption of festivity in relation to modes of textual engagement, taste, pleasure, escape, addiction, excess, delusion, intoxication, and illness. Send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Drago Momcilovic at dmomcilo@wisc.edu by April 30, 2011.