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Radical Domesticities

Wednesday 27 May 2015, 5.00PM to 6.30pm

Centre for Modern Studies postgraduate forum seminar

  • Stephanie Lambert: ‘Sex, weather and food’: Don DeLillo and The Politics of the Everyday
  • Amy Tobin: A Woman’s Place: Radical Domesticity and The Spaces of Second Wave Feminist Activism

These papers uncover radical aesthetics at work in representations of the home. Stephanie Lambert’s paper explores Don DeLillo’s formal ‘messiness,’ focusing on representations of domestic waste inWhite Noise (1985). Arguing against readings of the novel as epitomizing postmodern depthlessness, it contends that DeLillo’s sprawling lists of mundane objects signal his interest in sensuous everyday detail and marginal experience. His work critiques the exclusionary nature of postmodern theory. The paper will suggest lines of continuity rather than rupture between DeLillo’s work and supposedly ‘post-postmodern’ texts such as Jennifer Egan’s Look at Me (2001) and David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King (2011). Amy Tobin’s paper stages a return to a primal scene of feminism’s domesticities, the Los Angeles installation Womanhouse (1972), and the lesser-known London-based sister work, A Woman’s Place (1974). This paper will argue against charges of essentialism, suggesting that these works stage a return to the home whilst attacking its oppressive borders and boundaries, thus engendering a radical domesticity that troubled the reproductive labour of nurture and care by luxuriating in the possibility of mess.

Location: BS/008, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: All welcome