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MSA 18: Scenes of Desire: Fantasy and Female Pleasure in Transatlantic Print Media and Silent Cinema

Recent feminist scholarly interventions in the new modernist studies have begun to focus critical attention on women's popular culture and its explorations of fantasy and female pleasure. Bestselling novels, magazines, and other forms of print media created by and for women have an oblique and ambiguous relationship to modernism; yet they form a rich resource for the analysis of gender and sexuality in the transformative contexts of modernity. Likewise, silent cinema presents an invaluable opportunity to explore cultural texts that foreground women's experience, whether as writers, directors, stars, or fans. This panel proposes to explore the representation of fantasy, desire, and pleasure in women's popular cultural texts of the 1920s, with particular attention to fantasy as "not the object of desire, but its setting" (Jean Laplanche and Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, "Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality," 27.) How do media texts of the 1920s foreground the scenic quality of desire in print and visual modes? And how is fantasy connected to a consumer culture oriented around glamour, display, and female pleasure?

Topics might include the print and cinematic works of women writers such as Ethel M. Dell, Elinor Glyn, E. M. Hull, Anita Loos, and Olive Higgins Prouty, among others; the role played by female directors in Hollywood and global silent cinema; women's participation in emergent star discourses and fan cultures; and consumer culture, particularly in the form of tie-ins, marketing, and advertising to women as readers and audience members.

This panel, if accepted, would be linked to the "Dream Factories" special stream at MSA 18.

Please send abstracts of 350-500 words and a brief bio to Lise Shapiro Sanders at lsanders@hampshire.edu by April 10, 2016. (Note: This is not a guaranteed session).


Conference Location: Pasadena, CA, USA
Conference Starts: November 17, 2016
Conference Ends: November 20, 2016

CFP Submission Deadline: April 10, 2016

For more information, contact: Lise Shapiro Sanders

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