Friday, February 24, 2006

Conference Preparation

First, let me apologize for neglecting this blog. When I started this blog I had full intentions of making regular posts but as usual things do not always go as planned.

For the past few weeks I have been busy preparing for the 26th Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference which is being held at the University of Prince Edward Island from March 3rd to 5th. I have been asked by my professor to present one of my English papers. The paper is one I wrote for my 18th Century Prose and Poetry class. Here is the abstract for my paper:

Essay Title: The Battle of the Sexes: Challenging Gender Roles in Aphra Behn's "The Disappointment"
Written by: Lucy LeBlanc
Abstract: In her poem "The Disappointment," controversial seventeenth-century writer Aphra Behn employs a creative translation of Cantenac's "L'Occasion perdue recouverte" to manipulate the tradition of the imperfect enjoyment poem. Such poems usually present a desiring male subject, while Behn's poem depicts female sexual desire. By so doing, the poem challenges gender roles as well as the structures of oppression which they support. Through the ability of her female character to speak words of resistance and hence control her situation, Behn challenges masculine power and control within personal relationships.

Presenting the essay does not make me nervous as I have read and reread the essay so many times I feel I could recite it by heart. What does make me a bit nervous is the element of the unknown. This will be my first time attending the "Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference" and I do not know what to expect. My professor assures me that all I have to do is read my essay and field questions if any arise. Okay. Will I be expected to have a broad knowledge of Aphra Behn and her works? Do the organizers expect me to have copies of the original French poem Aphra Behn translated from? It seems to me people attending this conference will be expecting to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about as the conference website points out this event will be "showcasing some of the most promising academic and creative writers on the East Coast." Pretty high standards to live up to.

Regardless, I intend to enjoy myself next weekend. I am one of those people who love to dissect anything they are reading. Hopefully "some of the most promising" will present work that I have read before so I can participate in some great literary discussions. I am sure there will be something there that I will like but I'm still wondering if I should spend just a little more time researching my topic. Scholarly research is never done.

Bonus Links
The Aphra Behn Page
The Aphra Behn Society
"The Disappointment" by Aphra Behn
"The Imperfect Enjoyment" by John Wilmot
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester

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