116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cultural History I: Politics & Aesthetics in Literature, Fashion, and Music

Session Chair: 
Andrew Howe, La Sierra University
Session 1: Friday 1:30 pm – 3 pm
Miller Hall 239
Topic Area: 


  1. Aimee Fountain, University of California, Davis
    Wordiness in Dickens’ writing is seen as mere Victorian foible, rather than formal necessity. I argue that Dickens’ wordiness is a formal response to efficiency-obsessed industrialization: he asserts his, his characters’ and his readers’ humanity by refusing to internalize the demands of the workplace—efficiency in energy expenditure—, suggesting that those who do are unnatural and unsympathetic.
  2. Eun Shim, Sogang University (South Korea)
    This paper analyzes Keziah Daum's Qipao prom dress to argue that Daum's cultural cross-dressing reinforces the power inequality between whites and nonwhites. Informed by Bradley Deane’s analysis of late Victorian cultural cross-dressing and Sara Ahmed's discussion of otherness, this paper argues that Daum's cultural cross-dressing objectifies non-white bodies and puts the white body in the position of the subject.
  3. Tim Galow, Carroll University
    I propose to explore how recent debates around the Nobel Prize have employed conflicting cultural histories in a struggle over literary periodization.
  4. Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey, Washington State University Tri-Cities
    David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, employs symbols and language associated with the ars moriendi, or early modern texts outlining the “art of dying.” By using these traditions, Bowie not only crafts a meaningful death for himself, but also offers his fans a chance to witness and engage with his death.
Session Cancelled: