Proposals for a seminar on Aestheticism and Decadence in Comparative Contexts at the ACLA Annual Meeting,

This seminar solicits papers on Aestheticism, Decadence, and L’Art pour L’Art in a variety of comparative contexts. We are especially interested in papers with strong critical, philosophical, and theoretical dimensions. Although we anticipate that most papers in the seminar will discuss nineteenth-century versions of Aestheticism and Decadence, submitted topics need not limit themselves to the nineteenth century. We will also consider papers on Aestheticism’s and Decadence’s incarnations in the twentieth century and beyond. Nor will we limit our focus to British and Continental European contexts. We encourage submissions on Aestheticism and Decadence in a variety of transnational, cosmopolitan, transatlantic, and global contexts.

We especially seek papers that examine individual works or series of works, authors and artists, and/or literary and artistic movements in critical, philosophical, ethical, and political terms, particularly within a broadly conceived set of comparative contexts. Possible areas of interest for the seminar include aesthetic criticism; aestheticist and decadent texts or artworks as forms of criticism; contemporary Victorian and present-day critical responses to Decadence and Aestheticism; Aestheticism and Decadence as forms of aesthetic philosophy; aestheticist and decadent conceptions of art and aesthetics; philosophical and ethical approaches to Aestheticism and Decadence; the political dimensions of Aestheticism and Decadence; the depictions of political events or ideas in aestheticist and decadent texts or artworks; the ethical dimensions of art and aesthetic experience as conceived in decadent and aestheticist texts; transnational and global forms and contexts of aestheticism and decadence; transnational and global literary movements and relationships; decadent and aestheticist forms of cosmopolitanism; and cosmopolitan themes in aestheticist and decadent texts or artworks.