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Creature (Dis)comforts: On Human Thresholds from Classical Myth to Modern Day

Saturday, June 3 @ 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

CMRS Conference

The threshold of the home constitutes a literal boundary between public and private, between the domestic and the political. It is also a border that, by its very nature, invites transgression. It is a boundary that exists to be crossed.

This conference, organized by Dr. Sara Burdorff (UCLA, English) and Malcolm Harris (UCLA, English) takes the literal liminality of the domestic threshold as its inspiration, exploring the comparable permeability of more abstract thresholds in a wide range of social, temporal, and interdisciplinary contexts.

Presentations will elaborate on the ambivalent cultural value invested in other intrinsically–even necessarily–violable boundaries between Self and Other, including those between man and man, man and animal, and parent and child.

Saturday, June 3, 2017 | UCLA Royce Hall Room 314
9:00 Refreshments
9:45 Welcoming Remarks
Sara Burdorff, Conference Co-organizer, UCLA Department of English
10:00 Liza Blake (University of Toronto)
“Fabulous Knowledge: Animal Fables at the Threshold of Literature and Science”
Session Chair: Karina A. Roche (UCLA)
11:00 Kathryn Vomero Santos (Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi)
“‘Madam, my interpreter, what says she?’: Women and the Thresholds of Language in Early Modern English Drama”
Session Chair: Zrinka Stahuljak (UCLA)
12:00 Lunch Break
1:00 Susan Schmidt (University of California, Santa Barbara)
“The Urban Ecology of Medieval Cities: Testing Thresholds and Negotiating Boundaries”
Session Chair: Ronnie Cohen (UCLA)
2:00 Robert Watson (UCLA)
“Boundary Failures and Creaturely Discomforts in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus
Session Chair: Megan Lonsinger (UCLA)
2:30 Coffee Break
2:45 Mead Bowen (UCLA)
Title TBD
Session Chair: Kylie Rostad (UCLA)
3:15 Sarah Alison Miller (Duquesne University)
“Porosity and the Medieval Maternal Breast”
Session Chair: Christine Nguyen (UCLA)
4:15 Laura Lorhan (UCLA)
“At the Heart of the Riddle: Riddling and Community in Djuna Barnes’s Ladies Almanack
Session Chair: Helen Zapata (UCLA)
4:45 Round Table with Speakers
Moderator: Joseph F. Nagy (Harvard University)
5:30 Closing Remarks
Malcolm Harris, Conference Co-organizer, UCLA Department of English
Co-sponsored by the the UCLA Department of English.
Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating.


Funding for this conference is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies and the UCLA Department of English.


Saturday, June 3
9:30 am - 5:30 pm


Royce Hall 314
10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States