Call for proposals for the Comparative Languages and Literatures panel "The Literature of Boredom" at the Northeast MLA (NeMLA)in Harrisburg, PA, April 3-6, 2014
Schopenhauer calls boredom the ‘malady of the modern age.’ From medieval "acedia" to Baudelaire’s "ennui" to postmodern novels such as David Foster Wallace’s _Pale King_, boredom has been variously seen as capable of destroying the psyche of its victim or as a pathway to bliss. Can we connect the literature of boredom to changing historical or economic conditions, as Patricia Meyer Spacks does? To what extent is it generated by oppressive social structures? Papers that consider boredom as a context for literary creation or as a theme are equally welcome. Please send 250 word abstracts on any time period or national literary tradition to email@example.com.
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