[UPDATE] NEMLA, March 15-18, 2012, Rochester, NY: "Evil" Children in Film, Literature, and Popular Culture

full name / name of organization: 
Karen J. Renner / Northern Arizona University
contact email: 
karen.j.renner@gmail.com

From the possibly possessed Miles and Flora in _The Turn of the Screw_ to the feral children in _Lord of the Flies_ to the demonic Damien in _The Omen_, evil children take on various forms. Some are corrupted by external influences—violent media, abuse, or Satan himself. Others, as the title of William March’s 1954 novel suggests, are simply “bad seeds,” inheritors of morally deficient genes and rotten to the core from birth. To discuss evil children as a singular trope would thus disregard the variations in their form and function. For this panel, I am seeking papers that address the role that evil children play in literary texts, films, and popular culture. Are they repositories for particular cultural anxieties? Emblems of historical changes to the family unit? Responses to juvenile crime? Markers of evolutions in psychological theories of selfhood? How do evil children reflect shifting views of innocence and depravity, redemption and sin? Are they a product of Freudian thought? If not, do pre-Freudian evil children differ from their post-Freudian counterparts? Papers may address texts from any time period or country, and I am particularly interested in examinations that are situated within a historical or cultural context.

Please send a 250-500-word abstract and a one-page CV (as well as any questions) to Dr. Karen J. Renner (Northern Arizona University) at karen.j.renner@gmail.com. Materials should be submitted as attachments by September 30, 2011, with your subject line as “2012 NeMLA Abstract” and should include the following information: name, affiliation, email address, postal address, telephone number, and A/V requirements (if any; note A/V has $10 handling fee to be paid with registration).

Information for the convention can be found at http://www.nemla.org/convention/.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
film_and_television
popular_culture