CFP: Sentimentality and the 20th-Century Novel (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/07-3/4/07)

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Call for Papers
38th Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 1-4, 2007
Baltimore, Maryland
Panel: Ladies, I Address You Privately: Sentimentality and the
20th-Century Novel

The sentimental was viewed during most of the 20th century as incompatible
with the vision of the serious (male) writer. Female authors had to be
particularly careful to stay away from romance novels--and, more
generally, from writing for a specifically female and/or mass audience--if
they wanted to be considered writers of literature. If they were not
cautious enough, or if they did not respect this practical prohibition,
they were regularly dismissed as reifying deliverers of a cheap
sentimentality for a mass audience. Male writers were much less frequently
accused of having written 'sentimental novels,' but were all the same
obliged to keep their
aesthetics distant and slightly chilled.

This panel welcomes papers that look in different ways at the foreclosed
sentimental in texts by both male and female writers of the 20th century,
and also invites theoretical explications of sentimentality and related
terms and concepts: emotionality, empathy, sympathy, affect, romance, and
others. How can we--or can we--further develop Suzanne Clark's notion,
following Jane Tompkins, of the sentimental as potentially subversive and
inherently political? What does it mean to dissociate sentimentality from
the anti-intellectual connotations it has historically acquired? Must the
sentimental, indeed, as it sometimes seems (still today) produce bad(ly
written) novels? What would be at stake in recovering, de-gendering or
politicizing the sentimental novel? Who has the right to be sentimental,
and does the sentimental's continued attraction (even for academics) speak
to anything more than its role as an ideological prop for global

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and brief biographical statements
(please include panel title in the subject and all attachments in Word) by
September 15th, 2006 to Alexa Weik,

Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any)

For the complete Call for Papers for the 2007 Convention, please
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one
NeMLA panel; however panelists can only present one paper.
Convention participants may present at a paper session panel and
also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. Thank
you for your interest in this panel and conference!

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Received on Mon Jun 26 2006 - 18:27:45 EDT