RSA: Spenser's Pleasures

deadline for submissions: 
May 25, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Spenser Society

Spenser's Pleasures: We seek papers on pleasure in Spenser's poetry: erotic, aesthetic, voyeuristic, indecorous, unlikely, limited, unruly, healthy and unhealthy.  Possible frameworks may include the Horatian pairing of instruction and delight, the didactic or anti-didactic value of pleasure, the relation of pleasure to action (as in a Ciceronian commitment to moving, for example), the relation of pleasure to questions of value (variously conceived), as well as pleasure's antitheses—disgust, pain, or loathing.  What is the place of pleasure in attacks on early modern poetry?  In poetry's defense?   We are interested in thinking about Spenser's verse in relation to the history of aesthetics but we are also interested in reversing the more familiar aesthetic paradigm: How might we locate scenes or sites not of a reader's pleasure but of a poet's pleasure? Or, to think along another axis: What is the place of pleasure in the practice of literary criticism? 

Please submit the following materials to Colleen Rosenfeld ( by May 25 to be considered for inclusion: paper title; abstract (150-word maximum); 3-5 keywords; and a one-page abbreviated curriculum vitae (300-word maximum). Please note that RSA is very strict about word count: the system will not accept entries that go beyond the maximum limit.