UPenn Graduate Student Conference CFP: Carnival

‘Round and Round We Go: The Endless Carnival
An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the University
of Pennsylvania
Friday, February 25, 2011
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Katrin Sieg, Associate Professor of German at
Georgetown University’s BMW Center for German & European Studies

The feast is a primary, indestructible ingredient of human
civilization; it may become sterile and even degenerate, but it cannot
~Mikhail Bakhtin, Rabelais and His World

The festival of Carnival is perhaps most exciting for its paradoxical
nature. The unallowable is, for a time, allowed; the status quo
tossed aside so that it may endure more stably during the rest of the
year. Yet, perhaps inevitably, Carnival oversteps its temporal
restrictions and becomes timeless. From the disorder central to the
Fastnachtspiele of the 15th and 16th centuries to the subversive
pageantry of present-day drag balls such as those featured in Jennie
Livingstons film Paris is Burning (1990), the topsy-turvy world knows
no chronological or geographic limits.

By putting the -esque in Carnival and asserting that the feast
cannot vanish, Mikhail Bakhtin significantly calls our attention to
the ways in which Carnival slips its leash. His vital -esque
indicates that there are many manners in which the Carnival persists
long after its season is over. Is it more accurate to say that
Carnival is endlessly recurring, or that it never truly ends in the
first place? What are the ways and manners in which Carnival continues?

It is the longevity of the Carnival paradox that is at the heart of
this conference. We are devoted to exploring the enduring ethos of the
topsy-turvy. Possible themes for papers include (but are not limited
to) the concept of the carnivalesque and its:

Ambivalent figures, such as the jester, the holy fool, and the
Possible afterlife and continuation
Closure and/or limitations
Links to religious or antique feasts
Humorous and/or violent expressions
Regional, national, or transnational incarnations
Possible utilization for political and social change
Portrayals across various media (paintings, novels, film, graphic
novels, etc.)
Expression in contemporary LGBTQ culture(s)
Post-Bakhtinian theorization

Deadline for Abstracts: December 22, 2010.

Please send an anonymous abstract (max. 500 words) with a separate
cover sheet indicating the authors name, affiliation, address, and e-
mail address to penncarnival@gmail.com.

Posted in: Calls for Papers and Upcoming Conferences

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *