Race, Sex, Class, and Bawdy-House Life in 19th Century America NeMLA Harrisburg, PA April 3-6, 2014

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45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) , Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
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Race, Sex, Class, and Bawdy-House Life in 19th Century America

In the 19th century, population growth led by immigration and westward expansion created rapid development of cities in the East and the West. With this influx came a surge in building construction as well as rooming-house living. Further, additional inducements for the new city dwellers included easier access to drugs, prostitution, gambling, and other temptations, including a concomitant increase in other crimes.

This panel examines bawdy-house life and customs during an era of increased anxiety over race, sex, class, immigration, expansion, urbanization, and industrialization throughout the 19th century as reflected in literary texts (short stories, novels, and essays), illustrated magazines, plays, and photography.

Topics and/or critical paradigms can include, but are certainly not limited to: miscegenation, class, disease, education, immigration, displacement, crime, urbanization, drug use, industrialization, politics, alcoholism, temperance, manners, conduct, prostitution, gambling, tenement living, westward expansion, race, gender, abolitionism, feminism, religion, sporting life, critical race/queer theory and reader-response. This panel is significant in that it seeks a fresh exploration of so-called 'bawdy' life through an analysis of print culture that can be read as directly responding to 19th century anxieties.

Send 1-page abstract and brief bio as Word attachment to Rebecca Williams, rebelwill7@gmail.com, with 'NeMLA 2014' in subject line.