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Handling Literary Obscenity


2-3 December 2022

Responsable de l'activité



Dre Amy Brown, UNIBE


Dr Jordan S. Carroll, University of Puget Sound

Prof. Carissa Harris, Temple University

Prof. Mary Flannery, UNIBE


The study of obscenity is the study of what is considered culturally permissible in literature and art. Issues arising from obscenity and censorship impact not only texts which are intentionally obscene, but those which are transgressive in various ways, and those which may not have been offensive in the mind of their original author and target audience but have become so in the light of changing social mores. Consequently, an awareness of obscenity studies and the critical frameworks available for dealing with obscenity has much to offer students across the breadth of English literary studies. This workshop will offer interactive sessions where doctoral students can collaborate on interpreting texts from a range of periods. Presentations from international experts will offer diverse approaches: Associate Professor Carissa Harris' (Obscene Pedagogies, Cornell UP: 2018) expertise includes medieval and early modern popular culture, gender, and sexuality studies, while Dr Jordan S. Carroll (Reading the Obscene, Stanford UP, 2021) works on modern American publishing markets and legal mores. In addition, a round table of experts, including Prof. Dr. Mary Flannery (the first researcher to win the SNSF Excellenza Professorial fellowship in English literature) will discuss strategies for developing and pitching obscenity focused work, and for writing for the public on contentious and contemporary issues from a literary perspective. The event will conclude with an excursion to the Bibliothèque Publique et Universitaire, Neuchâtel, to view material from the 2018-19 exhibit Gare au désordre! and discuss with librarians the conception and public reception of this censorship-focused exhibit.





Deadline for registration 27.11.2022
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