Dirty London

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
J. A. McQuail/Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

Abstracts for 15-17 min. papers sought for NeMLA 2022 on the topic of "Dirty London." Even before industrialization, London was a dirty city. The Victorians brought the Sanitary Acts, which improved health conditions, but my use of the word "dirty" applies to not just those aspects of sanitation, but also treatment of sexuality in, for instance, My Secret Life, and other publications explored so well by Steven Marcus in The Other Victorians. The "Sanitary Aesthetic" is obvious in works by such authors as Wilkie Collins, George Gissing, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Neo-Victorian novels in particular tend to explore the "dark underside" of Victorian life not able to be directly addressed in Victorian fiction (with a few exceptions). T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, of course, also presents London as a modernist polluted city. This panel will focus on "Dirty London" -- physical, sexual, spiritual. The panel  seeks papers not just from one literary "period" or even one "national" literature, but is quite open.

NeMLA is a regional, but international, division of the MLA. It's annual (53rd) convention will be in Baltimore, MD, USA March 10-13, 2022.

Abstracts must be submitted by Sept. 30, 2021 at the NeMLA website Northeast Modern Language Association - University at Buffalo (under convention, call for abstracts -- session # 19570).  For any questions (no abstracts may be submitted EXCEPT theough the NeMLA website; e-mail Professor Josie McQuail, Tennessee Technological University, with questions only -- no abstracts -- at  jmcquail@tntech.edu with subject heading "NeMLA panel."