"Locating Positive Affects in American Modernism." Proposed Panel for ALA 2014, May 22-25, 2014, Washington D.C.

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Tim DeJong
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Much of the recent work done in affect theory has focused on dark and problematic affective states such as alienation, melancholia, and despair. These negative affects have also been linked to literary modernism, which is often represented as a historical period of both creative richness and social disillusionment. This proposed panel will consider whether affect theory can be brought to bear on American modernism in new and thought-provoking ways. How might critical assessments of feeling in the American modernist period move beyond such well-trod signifiers as ennui, doubt, and pessimism? What relation, if any, can be inscribed between American modernist literature and one or more "positive" or remedial affects? Abstracts of 250-300 words to tdejong@slu.edu by December 20, 2013.