“Parties, Festivals and Celebrations”
20 July 2019 – London, UK
Traditional celebrations are a key part of any culture: whether it is a wedding, a harvest festival, a religious holiday, or a national observance, celebrations are woven tightly into cultural identity. Whether it is the Mad Hatter's tea party in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or the Meryton ball in Pride and Prejudice, parties can be pivotal points in the dramatic structure of a literary work. Moreover, special days and celebrations are largely incorporated in art (Giovanni Bellini's The Feast of the Gods or Édouard Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe), music (Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro or Requiem), film (Home Alone or Saturday Night Fever) or popular culture (La Tomatina or Oktoberfest). They can be different in size – from a private birthday party to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, they can celebrate life or death, knowledge or creative achievement and they can be an occasion for merrymaking or mourning.
The conference will explore the literary representations and cultural significance of celebrations, examining them as sites for contestation and identifying them as examples of a particular socio-cultural manifestation. It will focus on special days as reflection of values, history, fashion, lifestyle, religion, etc. and view them as social texts requiring interpretation and contextualisation.
Topics include but are not limited to:
- holiday, vacation, weekend
- festival, fête, fiesta
- birthday, anniversary, jubilee, wedding, funeral
- ceremony, inauguration, honouring, commemoration
- show, exhibition, display, presentation
- performance, concert, recital
- carnival, fair, circus, masquerade, parade
- convention, assembly, congress
- ball, banquet, reception,
- feast, picnic, barbecue
- awards, games, competitions
- conference, symposium, seminar
- religious celebrations and rituals
The conference aims to bring together scholars from different fields including literature, culture studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, history, arts, film studies, tourism, religious studies, etc.
Registration fee – 100 GBP
Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX, UK