Roundtable: (Early) American Disgust
Expressed both publicly and privately, disgust is often a response to the new and the different, whether referring to people, food, behaviors, or ideologies, and this was no less true in the early Americas than it is today. Because disgust is historically and culturally constructed, early texts detailing/evoking this particular emotional response may pose special challenges to contemporary readers. However, understanding what was considered disgusting to those in the early Americas and why can also help us better contextualize current antipathies and revulsions. For this proposed roundtable, I invite submissions that address any aspect of disgust in the early Americas, but especially those that consider public displays of disgust, as well as the ways earlier forms of disgust can help us engage in current conversations about what we mean by disgust and how this concept continues to inform public discourse. Topics might include, but are not limited to: self disgust; public vs. private disgust; disgust and morality; the aesthetics of disgust; fear/anxiety and/of disgust; disgust and food/cooking/eating; disgust and/of the grotesque; disgust and creatureliness; cleanliness and disgust; shame and disgust; disgust and desire; disgust and/of the body. A 300-word abstract and one-page vita should be submitted by August 29, 2016, to Mary Balkun (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Mary Balkun, Professor of English, Seton Hall University