"The Art of Losing": Loss in Literature and Film (NeMLA Panel, Niagara Falls, March 2023)
“The Art of Losing”: Loss in Literature and Film
Panel Session, NeMLA’s 54th Annual Convention in Niagara Falls, March 23-26
In her iconic poem “One Art,” Elizabeth Bishop writes of “the art of losing.” The poem’s speaker first recounts the loss of small things such as “lost door keys” and “an hour badly spent”; then, the losses grow in import: “my mother’s watch,” “three loved houses,” “two cities,” “two rivers, a continent,” and finally, “even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love).”
Loss, from the inconvenient and forgettable to the devastating and permanent, is an inevitable constant in life and, therefore, in literature. This panel will explore the effects, degrees, and responses to loss in literature and film.
Papers may reflect on the concept of loss in the following suggested ideas:
Community, sense of self, identity
Dreams, ambitions, goals
Money, home, economic stability (personal and/or societal)
Innocence, dignity, reputation
People (to death, to distance, to dissolution of relationship)
“Getting lost” in an activity, or “getting lost” in terms of location, identity, purpose
Denial of loss
Formations or gains that occur in the space left by the lost person, idea, contest, or object
Papers exploring literature, film, cultural studies, or other media are invited.
Abstracts are accepted from June 7 through September 30, 2022. Please submit a 300-word abstract by September 30 to NeMLA’s online portal: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/CFP
The session number is #19893.
For information on NeMLA’s guidelines for abstracts: http://www.buffalo.edu/nemla/convention/callforpapers.html
Questions can be emailed to LoNewco1@wsc.edu