Centre for Studies in Literature
Transatlantic Decadence in Literature and Art
CSL Conference 2010
Professor Regenia Gagnier (University of Exeter)
Professor David Weir (The Cooper Union for the advancement of Science and Art, New York)
Dr Patricia Pulham and Dr Páraic Finnerty
In recent years, the definition and impact of nineteenth-century British and continental European Decadence has been the subject of extensive academic debate. Increasingly, it has been discussed as an important transitional phase that marked and contributed more to the advent of modernism than was formerly thought, and one whose reverberations affected (and continue to affect) ideas, art and literature across the Atlantic. As David Weir’s recent book, Decadent Culture in the United States (2008), makes clear, America had its own Decadents, particularly in New York and Boston, that drew on British and European writers such as Baudelaire, Huysmans, Pater and Wilde. Similarly, as Kirsten Macleod’s ‘American Decadence’ website shows, Decadent journals such as the Yellow Book informed American magazine publishing in the United States in the 1890s and beyond. More recently, Regenia Gagnier has extended the parameters of transatlantic exchanges to encompass the global dissemination of British cultural production. This symposium aims to investigate cultural exchanges between British, European and American societies in the late 19th and early 20th century, specifically in relation to art (in the form of painting, sculpture, music, or illustration) and literature.
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