[ilds] CFP: 'AN INVESTIGATION OF MODERN LOVE', 18-23 May, Greece

James Gifford odos.fanourios at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 00:00:20 PDT 2007

18-23 May 2008
Corfu, Greece

The Durrell School of Corfu will host 'An Investigation of Modern Love', 
an international seminar, at its Library and Study Centre, 18-23 May, 
2008 (Corfu, Greece).

Dr. Shere Hite and Professor Joseph Boone, University of Southern 
California, will act as moderators. We invite submissions on all aspects 
of literature, psychology, cultural history, sexology, gender studies 
and sociology relating to 'Modern Love'. We also hope to receive 
submissions addressing the work of Lawrence Durrell and those who 
influenced him or were influenced by him.

WEBSITE: http://www.durrell-school-corfu.org/
POSTER: http://www.durell-school-corfu.org/cfp2008_ml.pdf


Lawrence Durrell provocatively opened his prefatory note to Balthazar in 
the Alexandria Quartet by stating

"Modern literature offers us no Unities, so I have turned to science and 
am trying to complete a four-decker novel whose form is based on the 
relativity proposition.... The central topic of the book is an 
investigation of modern love"

 From this provocation, the May seminar of the Durrell School of Corfu 
takes its inspiration to discuss 'Modern Love' as a notion debated 
across the Humanities and Social Sciences. What do we mean when we 
consider 'modern' and 'love'? What of Early Modern Love? To make the 
matter more complicated, this prefatory note originally read 'bisexual 
love', and bisexuality is censored from the other epigrams. What then 
does 'love' entail, how does it relate to gender, sexual identity, 
plurality, and what role does science play in discussing the matter?

We aim to draw on expertise in as many areas as possible in order to 
elucidate the multiple ways Love and Gender Relations are experienced, 
described and understood in the 21st century (and in the cultural and 
literary context of key writers and investigators of the past).

'Durrell later came to realise... that 'modern love' was in itself an 
impossibility'. Richard Pine, Lawrence Durrell, The Mindscape


Opening from the issues surrounding Durrell's views on sex, his 
attitudes to love and women, to the gaps between man and woman, and the 
problems of gender and identity, seminar participants are asked to 
discuss any aspect of Modern Love. How representative were Durrell's 
views of his period? This query may be posed equally with regard to any 
author or artist. What is the relationship between art or literature and 
sociocultural attitudes toward sexuality? In what ways have both changed 
over time? Do we truly have 'no unities'?

Moreover, what does science offer in the 21st century, fifty years after 
the publication of Justine, the first volume of The Alexandria Quartet, 
in terms of the investigation of modern love? What has changed since 
Shakespeare (eg, The Sonnets), John Donne, Emily Bronte, Thomas Hardy 
and George Meredith (Modern Love); since Sade, Freud, Jung and D.H. 
Lawrence; since the Kinsey reports or Alex Comfort (a poet and 
correspondent of Durrell's), since Judith Butler, bell hooks, Judith 
Jack Halberstam, and so forth?

What have we learned about monogamy, polygamy, promiscuity, fidelity and 
the varieties of sexual experience in Humans and the Animal Kingdom? 
Since the Durrell School of Corfu reflects the concerns of both Durrell 
brothers, do Zoology or animal studies offer any new insights? What may 
be gleaned from Gerald Durrell's work, and that of other zoologists and 
conservationists, about the sexual life of primates, about breeding in 
captivity, and so forth?

Potential topics might include (but are not limited to):

    * Recent research, psychological, biological, zoological and 
scientific, about the nature of human and animal love, sexual behaviour 
and preferences (male and female), the gap between man and woman;
    * Fictional and poetic investigations and explorations of Love and 
'Modern Love' in all its aspects;
    * Modernism, Post-Modernism and 'Modern Love';
    * Lawrence Durrell, especially The Alexandria Quartet, concepts of 
love, & sexual relations;
    * Papers on ground-breaking writers such as D.H. Lawrence, Henry 
Miller, Anais Nin, Constantine Cavafy, Sade, Olga Broumas, Doris Lessing;
    * Theoretical and scientific investigations of sexuality:
    * 'Preference' versus 'Identity';
    * Eroticism and the Exotic, Intercultural relationships, the 'Female 
Other' as sex object/femme fatale; Postcolonial approaches; 
Masculinities Studies; Female/feminist perspectives on Love (and 
Lawrence Durrell);
    * Pornography, Erotica, Censorship, and Literature;
    * Film and Modern Love;
    * Gay and Lesbian studies and/or Queer Theory.


Dr. Shere Hite is an American born cultural historian, sex educator and 
feminist, an expert on psycho- sexual behaviour and gender relations. 
Her sexological work has focused primarily on female sexuality. Her 
books include The Hite Report on Female Sexuality, The Hite Report on 
Men and Male Sexuality, Women and Love: A Cultural Revolution in 
Progress, Sexual Honesty, by Women, for Women, and Oedipus Revisited. 
Her forthcoming books include Women Loving Women (relationships between 
women at work and at home), October 12, 2007 Arcadia U.K., and 
Questions, March 8, 2008 (International Women's Day), Seven Stories U.S. 
Her keynote topic at the seminar is expected to be concerned with the 
topic 'What is loveÑas women talk about itÑare there special emotions 
related to sex?'

Professor Joseph Boone is Professor of English at the University of 
Southern California, where he just finished a four-year term as 
Department Chair. A specialist in the novel as genre, gender and queer 
theory, and modernism, he is the author of Tradition Counter Tradition: 
Love and the Form of Fiction (Chicago 1987) and Libidinal Currents: 
Sexuality and the Shaping of Modernism (Chicago 1997). The latter 
includes a chapter that expands his earlier work on Durrell in a chapter 
titled: 'Fragmented Selves, Mythic Descents, and Third World 
Geographies: Fifties Writing Gone Mad in Lessing and Durrell.' Recipient 
of ACLS, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Huntington Library Fellowships, 
among others, Boone has co-edited two collections, Engendering Men: The 
Question of Male Feminist Criticism (Routledge 1990) and Queer 
Frontiers: Millennial Geographies, Genders, and Generations (Wisconsin 
2000). He has also written a dramatic musical, with his composer-brother 
Benjamin, based on Herman Melville's novel The Confidence-Man, and he is 
currently working on a project titled The Homoerotics of Orientalism. 
His keynote talk at the seminar is expected to be concerned with 
sexuality, travel, colonialism, modernism, and gay/queer figures.


Proposals (2 pages maximum), together with the author's CV, should reach 
the Durrell School by 1 February 2008 . Presentations will be limited to 
30 minutes each, with another 30 minutes allocated for discussion by 
participants including resident faculty and the moderators.


Full texts of accepted presentations must be received by the DSC by 1 
May 2008 in electronic form. This is to facilitate circulation of the 
papers to all participants in advance. The papers should not be read at 
the seminar, but spoken to, since they will have been read by 
participants before the seminar opens. In other words, participants 
should discuss their papers in order to engage and begin discussion with 
an audience already familiar with the written copy. A selection of 
papers will be published as part of the DSC's Proceedings.


The registration fee for the seminar will be 300 euros for participants 
(to include costs of field classes) and 350 euros for those who wish to 
take part in the discussions but who do not wish to present papers. The 
authors of accepted proposals will be asked to give the DSC an assurance 
that they have secured adequate funding to enable them to take up the 
places offered to them. The DSC cannot be responsible for any costs 
associated with travel or accommodation. Intending participants should 
consult the DSC website for details of accommodation available in Corfu.

A limited number of scholarships is available: in the first instance, 
contact the Administrative Director at: <durrells at otenet.gr>.

More information about the ILDS mailing list