UPDATE: Fragments in nineteenth-century British Literature and Culture (4/16/07; M/MLA, 11/8/07-11/11/07)

full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

MMLA Panel on English Literature 1800-1900
The Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Cleveland, Ohio
November 8-11, 2007

UPDATE: deadline for proposals extended until April 16

Fragments in nineteenth-century British literature and culture

In 1813 a reviewer of Byron’s The Giaour, A Fragment of a
Turkish Tale remarked that “The Taste for Fragments… has
become very general, and the greater part of polite readers
would no more think of sitting down to a whole epic than to a
whole Ox.” Fragments were indeed widespread in the early
nineteenth century: recently unearthed fragments of Greek
sculpture were on display in the British Museum, most
Romantic poets entitled works that were unfinished â€" or
apparently complete â€" ‘a fragment,’ and even the Victorian
novel was subjected to the fragmenting effects of the
periodical press. Taking advantage of the term’s
imprecision, this panel seeks to examine the usefulness and
suggestiveness of this literary, aesthetic, archeological

Textual fragments appear in various forms â€" unfinished poems
such as “Kubla Khan,” the serialized or anthologized novel,
or actual manuscript fragments in gothic novels â€" throughout
the nineteenth century. What purposes does incompletion
serve in poetical works? How does the fragment inform the
whole of which it is a part? How does fragmentation in
poetry or prose affect the form of the genre?

Topics might include, but are not limited to, the following:

o fragment poems, unfinished works

o the novel and publication practices: serials, anthologies

o physical fragments in other disciplines:
        ruins in archaeological works
        museum display
        textual fragments in classical or orientalist
o manuscript fragments or architectural ruins in gothic (or
     other) novels

Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words with a
brief cv by April 16, 2007 to

Jeannie Britton, University of Chicago
email: jmb_at_uchicago.edu

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 14:50:35 EST