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EVENT Mar 05
ABSTRACT Sep 30
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Tacky/Wacky: The Corny as an Aesthetic Category (NeMLA2020)

Boston, MA, USA
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
Event: NeMLA2020
Categories: Postcolonial, Digital Humanities, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, French, British, Lingustics, German, Genre & Form, Popular Culture, Literary Theory, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Adventure & Travel Writing, Children's Literature, Comics & Graphic Novels, Drama, Narratology, Poetry, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2020-03-05 Abstract Due: 2019-09-30 Submit Abstract

“What I liked were: absurd paintings, pictures over doorways, stage sets, carnival backdrops, billboards, bright-colored prints, old-fashioned literature, church Latin, erotic books full of misspellings, the kind of novels our grandmothers read, fairy tales, little children’s books, old operas, silly old songs, the naïve rhythms of country rimes,” Arthur Rimbaud, The Alchemy of the Word (1873).

 

Often rejected as silly, ridiculous, or unsubtle, corny expressions are still important cultural references.  For a long time, tacky expressions, performances and objects have served as counter-models of what “good taste” should be. However, they also inspired poets, like Rimbaud and the surrealists. In the 20th century, they even became a poetics and aesthetics: after having been mocked and ridiculed, the “kitsch” became “cool.” But how does the notion of kitsch vary from one culture to another? Is there a ‘corny-cool’ and a ‘corny-lame’? When does the tackiness become “in” and when does it get boring? What does actually make puns funny (or not)? How are they used in poetry, novels, illustrations, and films? This panel welcomes serious amateurs of tackiness and puns, which are, in Victor Hugo’s terms, the “droppings of the flying wit,” to examine the notions of passé, outmoded, the corny and the kitsch, in various languages and cultures from the 19th century to the present day.

Selected presentations will be invited to submit an article-length version to be considered for an edited volume.

Please submit a 150-200 word abstract and short bio before September 30th to the NeMLA submission page below.

https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/User/SubmitAbstract/18008

For further questions or inquiries on this panel, please contact Mathieu Perrot (chair) at perrotm@lafayette.edu.

 

 

perrotm@lafayette.edu

Mathieu Perrot