Alternative Intimacies: Queer Families in Eighteenth-Century Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
ASECS 2017
contact email: 

Tracy Rutler (Penn State) and Jennifer Row (Boston U/ U Wisconsin-Madison) are seeking a few more participants for our roundtable "Alternative Intimacies: Queer Families in Eighteenth-Century Literature" for ASECS that may be of interest to some of you. Please consider sending an abstract and joining us in beautiful Minneapolis March 30-April 2, 2017!
(email and by Sept. 15, 2016)

Eighteenth-century fiction and drama, far from presenting only licentious or scandalous configurations of households (e.g. Sade or Cleland), also depict nontraditional intimacies and kinships that are nourishing (e.g. Defoe or Saint-Pierre). These “queer families,” whether in subtly polyamorous triangulations or in unique cohabitation arrangements attest to the belief that an alternative economy of care may be possible apart from the nuclear family structure. Are such imagined structures of kinship overly optimistic, or philosophically radical? This roundtable seeks brief presentations on literature that eschew the more blatant erotics of libertine literature to examine subtle, tender, and ephemeral pathways of intimacy in queer kinships. How might recent work on new materialism or animal studies (Braidotti, Chen, and Ahmed, among others) help us understand forms of kinship that undermine and/or exceed inter-human relationships? How do the rich and robust affects that thread through such queer kinships challenge or subvert recent work on loneliness and anti-futurity (Edelman, Kahan, Cobb, etc.)? We also invite presentations that consider how recent studies on queerness and disability (Alison Keefer, Robert McRuer, etc.) might help us to understand not only what it means to be human, but also what it means for humans to come together in intimate communities.