De-Periodizing Urban Spaces (NeMLA 2017, March 23-26, Baltimore)
48th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association
March 23-26, 2017
Victorian-Modernism. An unlikely match that many might consider intrinsically oxymoronic. In this panel, we invite Victorian and Modernist literary scholars to a productive conversation with a dual purpose. First, to trouble the boundaries between these two periods through papers that treat Victorian and Modernist literary texts as companions rather than as strictly periodized texts in opposition. Second, to examine representations of the city as a key site that initiates this dialogue.
This panel seeks to forge new critical ties between literary Victorianism and Modernism through an examination of what we consider one of the primary cultural and social links between the two: the city. Urban centers like London, Paris, New York, and Chicago are a major interest of both Late Victorian and early Modernist writers as sites of vast industrial, demographic, political, cultural, and social heterogeneity and transformation. In this panel, we seek papers that are invested in blurring critical boundaries between these two literary movements through an examination of themes including, but not limited to: urban aesthetics, industrialization, consumerism, depictions of the working class, and the city as a gendered and/or racialized space. Ever since Modernists sought to distance themselves from the social rigidity of the Victorian era, these two literary movements have been at odds with one another. While the period boundary between Victorian and Modernist literature is less concrete today than it once was, the division proves surprisingly durable in the field of literary studies. We welcome papers that perform hybrid analyses of literature typically categorized as either Victorian or Modernist, as a way to problematize the sustainability of these very periodizations. Ultimately, through interrogating the representation of the city, we intend to initiate a dialogue between Victorian and Modernist literary works and scholars alike.
Deadline for abstracts: September 30, 2016
Interested scholars should submit 300 word abstracts to Courtney Pina Miller and/or Paige Eggebrecht through the NeMLA website using the link below.