Queer Deviation: Complicating Heteronormative Endings in Early Modern Literature / NeMLA / Hartford, March 17-20, 2016

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Northeastern Modern Language Association

Critical inquiry into early modern English literature over the last few decades has attended to a proliferation of heteronormative endings in literary texts. These appear, for example, in the form of dramas that end in socially acceptable marriages, such as Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, or sonnet sequences like Sidney's Astrophil & Stella, in which a male protagonist is denied a happy ending because his interest lies with a woman who is already engaged or married to another man.

Although scholarship has, for years, expounded and debated the insistent heteronormative quality of these endings, this seminar will take a different approach, fixating instead on the smaller details of these narratives that resist texts' otherwise heteronormative conclusions and prevent clean, perfect endings. Investigating the moments of exception that emerge in early modern texts, papers in this seminar will consider how heteronormative endings are problematized by queer details that pervade these narratives, with an eye toward contemplating the larger cultural and theoretical implications of these small instances of queer resistance.

Deadline for abstracts: September 30, 2015. Abstracts should be under 300 words. Please submit online at http://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15982