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Edited Collection: 20th Century Sentimentalism: From Modernism to Media
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This collection will feature essays that examine how authors of the twentieth and twenty-first century continue the use of sentimental forms and tropes of nineteenth-century literature. Current literary and cultural criticism maintains that American culture engaged in a turn-of-the-century refutation of the sentimental mode; however, the analysis of twentieth- and twenty-first-century narratives contained within these essays reveals ongoing use of sentimental expression that draws upon its ability to instruct and influence readers through emotional identification.
This more recent sentimentalism, however, operates in a supposedly “anti-sentimental” age—one that rejects the sentimental as feminized and embraces what may appear to be more masculine modes of naturalism, realism, and modernism. While these later narratives employ aspects of the sentimental mode, many of them also engage in a critique of the failures of the sentimental, deconstructing nineteenth century perspectives on race, class, and gender and the ways they are promoted by sentimental ideals.
With the turn of the century and the rising influence of naturalism, modernism, and New Criticism, scholars have generally believed that authors no longer respect or employ sentimentalism as a literary method. Recent scholarship has renewed interest in 20th century sentimentalism, examining the close ties between modernism and sentimentalism.
• Given sentimentalism’s highly heteronormative, heavily binaried portrayals of men and women, how do authors utilize sentimentalism to address issues of gender and sexuality in the new century?
The editors invite articles (approximately 6,000 words) that respond to the focus of the volume. Submissions may address topics such as:
General inquires and article abstracts should be submitted by 30 June 2011 to Jenn Williamson at firstname.lastname@example.org, while completed essays must be submitted by 30 September 2011, following MLA formatting guideline