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American Conference on Romanticism 1998 Conference Program

American Conference on Romanticism
Annual Meetings, 1994-1998

Note: The formatting of the following program follows the original. We have made only minor changes throughout, correcting obvious errors and making some listings more uniform to facilitate electronic searching.





"Cross-Currents in Romanticism"

University of California, Santa Barbara

Friday Oct. 16 - Sunday, Oct. 18


Conference Committee:

Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, English
Didier Maleuvre, French and Itlian

Gerhart Hoffmeister, Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic:
Committee Chair


Conference Program

Friday Oct. 16


Registration: 10:00-5:00

11:00 a.m.: ACR Advisory Board Meeting

12:00 p.m.: Prism(s) Periodical Board Meeting

Section: 

NASSR '94

NASSR Annual Conventions, 1993-1999

Note: The formatting of the following program follows the original. We have made only minor changes throughout, correcting obvious errors and making some listings more uniform to facilitate electronic searching.




The Political and Aesthetic Education of Romanticism

2nd Annual Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism

10-13 November 1994

Section: 

Patriarchal Fantasy and the Fecal Child in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and its Adaptations

This essay tries to account for the power that gives Mary Shelley's Frankenstein its unusual place in literary and cultural history. The central thesis is that the fantasy of male creation, a fantasy the novel straightforwardly connects to Paradise Lost and Genesis, refers consistently to the infantile sexual theory of birth by defecation. The power of Mary Shelley's novel has much to do with its exposure of this reference. The novel associates the infantile yet authoritative fantasy of male birth with a pre-Oedipal economy of gift-giving and womb envy that is desperately at odds, in the text, with the Oedipal economy of castration and exchange. The result is that Shelley's novel denaturalizes patriarchal authority and radically subverts its Western mythic or religious foundation. But at the same time the novel recuperates and conceals its own anti-patriarchal critical power by ultimately forcing Frankenstein and his creature to submit to an Oedipal rivalry based on the creature's desire to enter the sex/gender system ideally represented to him by the De Lacey family. The early stage adaptations and the later cinematic tradition even more emphatically recuperate patriarchal authority by making castration and rivalry into the plot's dominant motifs.
July 2003

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