“Literature and Dance: Interactions and Reactions”
44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Host Institution: Tufts University
Session Description and Submission Information
This panel seeks to investigate social, historical, and theoretical interactions between literature and dance. For example, how do poets, playwrights, and novelists use dance as a utopian metaphor, sexual euphemism, or catalyst for carnivalesque inversions? How might dance radicalize or subvert aspects of embodiment that remain subtle in written texts? Scholars are welcome to draw from literature and dance across all genres and historical periods.
Scholars may consider episodes of dance within texts (e.g., Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), works of literature centered around dance (e.g., Rilke’s “Spanische Tänzerin” and Soyinka’s Bacchae), or the use of dance as a centralizing metaphor (Fugard’s Master Harold and the Boys). Alternatively, scholars might consider how literature is used within a choreography? How might dance adaptations radicalize or subvert aspects of embodiment that remain subtle in written texts (as is arguably the case with works such as Martha Graham’s Clytemnestra)?
Additional questions of interest include:
Why are certain plays, such as Medea and Romeo and Juliet, worked upon by many choreographers? Why are other plays by the same authors ignored?
How do different authors use the same dance to opposing ends in terms of character and/or plot development, connotations of imagery, social commentary, etc.?
How could theories that seem exclusively wed to literary or dance studies shed light upon the other genre?
How does the ekphrastic play between literature and dance strengthen the walls dividing these two genres or makes them more porous?
How can the dancing body in literature be compared to types of corporality that have already been analyzed by theorists (e.g., the comic body or the body without organs)?
Interested scholars are welcome to draw from literature and dance across all genres and historical periods.
Please send inquiries or 250-500 word abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: September 30, 2012
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)
Brandon Shaw, Ph.D.
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies
Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Providence, RI 02912
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