MMLA 2013 Special Session (Proposed): Irony and Authenticity in Contemporary Artistic Production (Milwaukee; Nov. 7-10, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Janessa Toro/ University of Missouri/ Deadline: May 25
contact email: 

Is there room for earnestness and authenticity in contemporary media? In accordance with the 2013 Midwest Modern Language Association conference theme of "Art & Artifice", This panel explores the intersection of authenticity and irony in literature, film, music, and other media. While stable irony depends upon fixed meanings intended to elicit specific interpretations from an audience, contemporary theories of language, identity, and community emphasize the ultimate contingency and instability of meaning. Thus, the possibility for irony is thrown into question; is irony impossible, or is irony all-pervasive? Likewise, is any form of authenticity or earnestness possible in artistic production? What happens when an earnest art form is treated ironically? How can we interpret irony or authenticity as such?

Papers that explore at least two different media will be particularly useful for this discussion, though single-media discussions are also welcome.

Submission Deadline: May 15. Please send a 300-word abstract and brief vitae to panel organizer Janessa Toro ( Conference registration deadline: June 17.