The Politics of Meat in the Nineteenth Century Novel, NeMLA April 7-11, 2010, Montreal

full name / name of organization: 
Maggie Berg, Seminar Chair, Northeast Modern Language Association
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"Meat is a symbol of patriarchy," declares Carol J. Adams. Her study of the sexual politics of meat shows that carnivorousness is also linked to inequalities in addition to those of gender. While beef was a nineteenth-century symbol of Britishness, Percy Shelley claimed that meat - eating widened the gap between rich and poor. This session will consider the politics of meat in the nineteenth -century novel. We invite papers which explore the ways in which carnivorousness is imbricated in issues of class, race nationhood or gender in literary representations. Is meat- eating linked to social power? Is the killing of animals for food linked to other kinds of violence? Is there a shift in attitudes towards carnivorousness which parallels the shift in attitudes to animals with increasing urbanisation? Is there evidence in the novel of vegetarianism as resistance to the dominant discourses of nationhood and/or power? Put simply, we will consider the social or political implications of who eats meat and who does not in the nineteenth- century novel.

Please submit a 500-word abstract and brief biography by September 30, 2009, to Maggie Berg at