Outrage: Offensive and Offended Sentiments from Livertinage and Colonial Calcutta to 21st Century France
20th Oct 2015 6:00pm-8:00pm
LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies)-Programme 2015-16
LINKS is a collaboration between London institutions involved in teaching and research in comparative literary studies, to promote dialogue and cooperation. Participating institutions include Birkbeck, King’s, Goldsmiths, Queen Mary, Royal Holloway, SOAS and UCL.
20 October 2015,18.00-20.00 in Room 243, Senate House (second floor)
Outrage: Offensive and Offended Sentiments, from Libertinage and Colonial Calcutta to 21st-century France
Dr David Lunn SOAS (chair); Dr Will McMorran, Queen Mary; Dr Carole Sweeney, Goldsmiths.
What makes for an outrageous work of literature? ‘Taste’, as constituted and reproduced in communities of consumers is at once a normative and fluid concept, constantly redefined and disputed in a dynamic process involving readers, writers, critics, and censors, official and otherwise. Importantly, such debates are rarely about the literary work alone, impacting as they do on modes of being, speech etiquette, desire and decency to name but a few. This seminar will consider questions of outrage, offended sentiments, and the censorious impulse around three foci: eighteenth-century libertine le Marquis de Sade (McMorran); France’s foremost contemporary literary provocateur Michel Houellebecq (Sweeney); and the long colonial context for India’s recent bouts of censorship (Lunn). By bringing such apparently disparate texts and contexts into conversation with one another, we hope to shed some light on the different ways in which outrage has functioned to both push and set the bounds of literary creativity.