Literally, taste is one of the five senses and is connected with gustatory pleasure and the consumption of food. Figuratively it has its place not only in the philosophy of aesthetics, but also in the everyday discourse of design, fashion, social manners and class politics. As such, taste in its many forms is a central preoccupation of early twentieth century British fiction. Whether it is Conrad’s hippopotamus meat, Woolf’s boeuf en daube, Joyce’s potted meat, or Beckett’s lobster, British modernism is concerned with issues of taste on multiple levels—gustatory, aesthetic, social, and etc.
Indeed, the bringing inside of gustatory taste heavily echoes the bringing inside of modernist formal experiments with aesthetics: modernist literature rejects (or upsets) that which is distant and involves perspective (e.g. third person omniscient narrators; teleologically driven, resolved endings; firm meanings situated inside master-narratives). Instead, through formal experimentation modernism embraces the subjective, the close, the intimate (e.g. stream of consciousness, an attempt to record the subjective experience of reality).
Exploring British modernism’s preoccupation with taste(s) this panel asks: How might modernist eating scenes be contextualized against the project to create new art? Perform new formal experimentation? Advocate for a new aesthetic? How might a wider critical approach to taste—attention to literal and figurative—inform our understanding of British modernism?
Please send 300-500 word abstracts and a brief bio to Michael D. Becker, firstname.lastname@example.org with “NeMLA 2013” as the subject. Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)
Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2012
The 2013 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. The 44th annual event will be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts, a city known for its national and maritime history, academic facilities and collections, vibrant art, theatre, and food scenes, and blend of architecture. The Convention, located centrally near Boston Commons and the Theatre District at the Hyatt Regency, will include keynote and guest speakers, literary readings, film screenings, tours and workshops.
Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable. http://www.nemla.org/convention/2013/cfp.html