Aestheticism and Decadence in the Age of Modernism: 1895-1945 (International)

Deadline: November 30, 2014

Dates: April 17-18, 2015

Location: Senate House, London

CFP Link

This interdisciplinary conference intends to open discussions about the meaning and significance of Aestheticism and Decadence as these movements evolved between 1895 and the mid-twentieth century. Aestheticism and Decadence were not vanquished with Wilde’s imprisonment but, rather, continued as vital and diverse forms in twentieth century aesthetics and culture. Their influence was in some cases openly acknowledged by the authors in question, but often it was oblique and obscured as many later writers, most famously the High Modernists, eschewed any admissions of such a debt.

This conference considers Aestheticism and Decadence from three main angles:

1) the continuing evolution, diversification and internationalisation of Aestheticist and Decadent ideas and forms;
2) how writers, artists, critics, musicians engaged with the figures and ideas of nineteenth century Aestheticism and Decadence.
3) the production of the ‘Yellow Nineties’ and the posthumous representation of Decadent and Aestheticist writers, particularly Wilde and Pater, in memoir, biography and literary criticism

We encourage proposals that address these Aestheticist and Decadent afterlives in the context of their cultural, political and social moments, and which engage with the problematics of these terms.

Please send Abstracts of 250 words with a short bionote to Dr. Kate Hext & Dr. Alex Murray at by the 30th of November 2014.



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