Reframing Outcomes of Violent Emotions

full name / name of organization: 
Daniela D’Eugenio - Department of Comparative Literature (Italian Specialization) - CUNY Graduate Center
contact email: 

130th MLA Annual Convention
Vancouver, 8–11 January 2015
Deadline: March 15, 2014

This panel aims to explore the field of emotions in the Classics and in the Early Modern Period with particular attention to violent and negative reactions, relying on both contemporary theories and more modern approaches. The panel seeks to analyze how violence may be delightful and how reactions or emotions, traditionally perceived as negative, play a role as positive social and literary catalysts.
Some of the questions this panel seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:

- When can an emotion be defined as violent?
- How and why do we react to a stimulus? Which typology of stimulus trigger an emotional reaction?
- What literary and affect theories teach us about the representation of hate, anger, grief, and rage?
- Are negative or violent emotions a rational, appropriated reaction, or an involuntary expression of internal feelings?
- What are the social as well as the literary implications of negative and violent reactions?
- What are the aim and the results of a violent reaction in a literary context?
- What purpose do sarcasm, irony, or derision aim to achieve?
- When a positive reaction as laughter become violent? And when does a violent laughter lead to a positive outcome?
- What reaction does the "victim" of a violent reaction experience? When does he experience pleasure?
- How and when is violence perceived as a tool to move the narration and trigger events or changes?
Please, submit a 300-word abstract to Daniela D'Eugenio, Graduate Center (CUNY) at by March 15, 2014.