Saturday, 21 January 2012

CFP: Forbidden Fruits, Forbidden Histories

Postgraduate students and their supervisors may be interested in this call for papers:

Forbidden Fruits, Forbidden Histories. 
A postgraduate conference exploring LGBT in the Arts and Humanities.
11th July 2012.
Cardiff School of European Studies, Cardiff University, UK.

Call for Papers.

“I always find it sad not to pluck the delicious flower that we shall soon be unable to pluck. For then it would be fruit…and forbidden.”
Marcel Proust to Jacques Bizet. Lycée Condorcet, 1888.

Writing a hurried response to his friend in a classroom of the Lycée Condorcet in 1888, Marcel Proust recognised that his desire for those of the same sex was a forbidden one that went against social, moral and political convention. Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu (1913 – 27) has been widely recognised as a founding text by and for Queer Studies: whether it be the flamboyant characterisation of the Baron de Charlus or more subtle nuances visible in the narrator’s own curiosity, Proust’s explicit writings on homosexuality paved the way for a more open literary treatment of it. The beginning of the twentieth century witnessed experimentations in subject matter and slowly but surely, representations and portrayals of LGBT became more visible in European Literature and the Arts. At the same time as French authors such as Proust, Gide and Cocteau were transforming the literary canon, so too were their European neighbours, such as Thomas Mann with Tod in Venedig (1912) or Anna Elisabet Weirauch with her Der Skorpion trilogy (1919 – 31); or in Spain, Federico García Lorca with Oda a Salvador Dali (1926) and Luis Cernuda in La realidad y el deseo (1936), creating a much-needed cultural space for LGBT concerns. With the new millennium well underway, LGBT has continued to benefit from equality and diversity legislation together with an increasing and continued social acceptance.

Hosted by the Languages, Cultures and Ideologies Research Unit at Cardiff School of European Studies, the Forbidden Fruits, Forbidden Histories conference aims to highlight continuities and change within LGBT themes and motifs across a wide range of European cultural and social practices, seeking to highlight current academic research in, and facilitate discussions on the cultural presence of LGBT in Arts and Humanities research. The conference organisers warmly welcome abstracts for twenty-minute papers. Papers may focus on, but are not restricted to, Literature, Poetry, Visual Arts, Queer Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Topics may include histories of closeting; disguise and revelation; desire and consumption; metaphors of sexuality; sexuality legislation and the arts.

If you feel your research would complement the aims of this conference, please get in touch. An abstract of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Matt Berry ( no later than February 14th 2012 for consideration by the conference’s steering committee.

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