Member Services

Some Things Fishy: Representing the Non-Mammalian Animal in Modernism

We are looking for one or two more speakers for the panel listed below! Please contact us at either c.setz@english.bbk.ac.uk (Cathryn Setz) or lacivita@tcd.ie (Alison Lacivita) with an abstract (250) and a short bio by 1 April!


Some Things Fishy: Representing the Non-Mammalian Animal in Modernism

This panel addresses the issue of anthropomorphization of non-human animals in Modernist literature. There are several instances in canonical Modernist texts wherein the writer reveals an anxiety over the inability to accurately represent a being so radically separate from the human consciousness. From Leopold Bloom's attempt to get inside the head of his cat and the pigeons over the River Liffey to T.S. Eliot's Book of Practical Cats and Virginia Woolf's Flush, several literary works of the early decades of the 20th century explore the issue of narratologically representing the animal. Constantly changing definitions and categories of what constitutes "the animal" during this period of course play an important role in the relationship between the animal and the question of its linguistic production.

Scholarship has addressed the space of the animal in modernity in terms of urban change, the ethics of non-human agency in history, and the ways in which theorizations of the animal are at the heart of much post-structural theory, and as such a product of modernism. But what this panel aims to address is in fact the spectacle of the animal in language as a currency of modernist literature. As metaphors pitched furthest from the human—the speaking animal—what does the spectacularization of the non-human offer writers of this period? What and how is the non-human pushed into the center of the human subject?


Speakers:

Alison Lacivita (Trinity College Dublin) – “D.H. Lawrence in a Half-Shell: The Tortoise poems of Birds, Beasts and Flowers"

Cathryn Setz (Birkbeck, University of London) — “This patient insect body”: non-mammalian animals and late modernist aesthetics, from Eluard to Ernst




Conference Location: Las Vegas, USA
Conference Starts: October 18, 2012
Conference Ends: October 21, 2012

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2012

For more information, contact: Alison Lacivita

Back to Main Index