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Victorians and Death
Pittsburgh, April 1999

Call for Papers 1999 Northeast Modern Language Association Convention Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 16-17 April 1999 Victorians and Death
As with so much of Victorian culture, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest places its gloved finger on the pulse of the Victorian fascination with death. Lady Bracknell's impatience with Bunbury's ill-health, her fascination with Lady Harbury's recovery after the death of her husband, and her ready advice that "Health is the primary duty of life" all, in typically Wildean fashion, remind us of how much, in fact, ill-health, widowhood, and death engaged the literary and cultural imaginary of the Victorians. Possible subjects: --the melodrama of death and dying --the sickroom mise-en-scene --Tennyson's symphonic grieving in "In Memoriam" --other monumental treatments of death (e.g., "Death of Gerontius," "The Wreck of the Deutschland") --George Gilbert Scott's Memorial to the Prince Consort, or other funerary art --the conspicuous presence (or absence) of the mourning Queen Victoria herself --painterly depictions of graveyards, coffins and corpses by Arthur Hughes, Henry Wallis, Edwin Landseer, John Everett Millais, and others --the compelling figure of the dead that refuses to remain so, Count Dracula --the metaphorics of consumption --mourning rituals --parlor songs and other forms of popular culture I am especially interested in cross-disciplinary inquiries, as well as work that considers the problematics of theology, gender, and social class. 1-2 page abstracts for 15-20 minute presentations should be postmarked by 15 September. You need not be a member of NEMLA in order to propose a paper; however, should your paper be accepted, you need to join the organization by 1 November. Inquiries are most welcome. Before 20 August, please write or e-mail. Paul M. Puccio Department of English University of Central Florida Orlando, FL 32816 USA After 20 August, write, e-mail, phone, or fax. Phone: +1-407/823-2255 Fax: +1-407/823-6582