Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012--Rochester, New York
This panel examines the burgeoning interest in adventure during the years 1880-1901. Joseph A. Kestner in his recent Masculinities in British Adventure Fiction, 1880-1915 has suggested that adventure texts are filled with “codes” such as “rescue, heroism, survival, courage, duty, isolation, voyaging” for audiences to “live up to” (1). Papers that scrutinize late Victorian literary treatments of these codes, in addition to tropes such as travel, sailing, mountain climbing, and camping are warmly welcomed. What is the cultural or historical significance of this attention to adventure and why should it be celebrated? Why are the codes of adventure important, for both the individual and for the state? How do Victorian authors of adventure texts use their works to problematize empire? Can adventure texts function as pedagogical tools for younger readers, colonial administrators, or emigrants? Do adventure texts function at different levels for colonizing or colonized audiences? How do female authors treat the codes of adventure? And what does this intense engagement with adventure reveal?
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