April 9th & April 10th, 2021 via Zoom


Please join us on Friday, April 9th and Saturday, April 10th on Zoom (hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison) for the 2021 GAFIS Symposium, entitled Obscenity & censorship.

Please click on the Zoom links in order to register separately for each of the events. Upon registration, you will be sent a confirmation email with the relevant links.


Friday, April 9th, 2021 @ 5:00 pm CST : Keynote Speaker, Professor Chris Forster, Syracuse University. “The End of Obscenity? Media and Aesthetics in the History (and Present) of Obscenity”

Virtual reception to follow

Register here for the Keynote & Virtual Reception to follow

Saturday, April 10th, 2021–all day event

Due to the number of submissions, each time slot will have concurrent panels

8:30am CST–Opening Remarks–Prof. Jan Miernowski (University of Wisconsin Madison, Department of French & Italian)
Register here for the Opening Remarks

9:00am-10:15am CST

Panel 1: Fragile Masculinities: Male Vulnerability and Sexuality in Media
Register here for Panel 1

Chandler Abshire (Yale University)–Alternative families in Les Faux-Monnayeurs and La Conspiration
Andrés Obando Taborda (Purdue University)–The dandy and other gender representations in The Secret Fire by Fernando Vallejo
Cody Reynolds (University of Newcastle, Australia)–Podcasts, Porn & Public Outrage: Ironies of queer identity performance & obscenity in new media

Panel 2: Of Monsters and Men: Dehumanization and the Taboo of the Unhuman
Register here for Panel 2

Giampaolo Molisina (University of Wisconsin, Madison)–Perversion of Modernity: Pasolini’s Christ and the Loss of the Sacred Dimension in Contemporary Man
Sergio Schargel (Literature PUC-Rio / Political Science – UNIRIO. Brazil)–Obscene Seraphim: narrative disputes and dehumanization of an intellectual
Nora Siena (Cornell University)–The Aesthetic Codification of Disgusting and the Immunological Paradigm of Modern Biopolitics: A Reading of XVIII- Century German Aesthetic in the Light of Roberto Esposito’s Immunitas
Alex Taylor (University of Wisconsin, Madison)–Perversion in François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451

10:30-11:45am CST

Panel 3: Obscene in the Streets and in the Sheets: The Public and Private Faces of Taboo
Register here for Panel 3

Tanuja Bhakuni (Center for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)–(Re)-Configuring ‘Publicness’: A Case of ‘Public Indecency’ in ‘Private’ Hotels
Debashrita Dey & Priyanka Tripathi (Indian Institute of Technology Patna, India)–Art and Obscenity: Censoring Female Nudity in Select Indian Paintings
Amrapali Modal (Center for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)–Exploring Ideas of Sexuality and Desire through the Reading of Street Magazines in Mumbai

Panel 4: Obscenity Revisited: Tracing a History of the Taboo
Register here for Panel 4

Purbita Das (IISER Bhopal)–Desh and Unish Kuri: Rethinking the Concept of Obscenity in Bengali Print Cultures from 1933-2010
Rachel Green (Independent Scholar)–Anonymous Authorities: Dictionaries and the Myth of Objectivity
Anthony Revelle (University of Michigan)–Gentrifying the Middle Ages. Lost Obscenity in Modern Translations of Old French Narratives
Emily Waller (University of Pennsylvania)–The (Perverse) Pleasure of the Text: Early Modern Censorship of the Ancient Romance Novel

11:45-1:15pm CST — “Lunch” Break

1:15-2:30pm CST

Panel 5: Taboos along National Lines: A National Politics of the Obscene
Register here for Panel 5

Ninon Bartz (University of Virginia)–Still Watching That Junk? Genre, Gender and Form Transgressions in Baise-Moi/Fuck Me
Anas Tabraiz (New Dehli University)–Obscenity, Censorship and Pornography in the works of J.M. Coetzee

Panel 6: Invisibility to Hypervisibility: The Representation of Marginalized bodies in Media
Register here for Panel 6

Tiffany Bailey (Boston University)–Controlling and Censoring the Formation of Black Girlhood Through Media and Popular Culture in the 21st Century
Sarah Gamalinda (University of Wisconsin-Madison)–Tokens, Taboos, and Tapes: Reading Race in Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex
Griffin Reed (St. Louis University)–“A Use as Well as a Delight”: A Materialist Critique of Representations of Underage Sex in Film
Kaitlyn Waller (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)–Challenging Censorship Through Queer Identity in Lois Lowry’s The Giver

2:45-4:00pm CST

Panel 7: Transgressing the Margins: Deconstructing the Other as Taboo
Register here for Panel 7

Bennet Brazelton (Independent Scholar)–Consuming the New World: Hans Staden and the Erotics of Empire
John Calavitta (University of Washington)–Obscene Liberalism: Censorship and Public Art—Lived Experiences from the Field
Corie Marshall (University of Wisconsin-Madison)–Sanitizing the Italian Immigrant in Reginald Barker’s The Italian

Panel 8: Not Your Mother’s Texts: Demystifying the Female Body
Register here for Panel 8

Marina Cervera Teruel (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)–Nasty Monsters and Sexy Princesses: Reading The Bloody Chamber through Psychoanalytical Feminism
Daria Kozhanova (University of Bologna)–“Obscene” Motherhood and New Maternal Imaginary in Rossella Milone’s Cattiva (2018)
Gala Patenkovich (University of Michigan)–Desiring asexual mothers: Mother’s sex in Courbet’s Origin du monde and Annie Ernaux’s Je ne suis pas sortie de ma nuit
David Schwartz (University of Cincinnati)–Quantifying the Taboo in Erotic Thrillers: Anne Serre’s Les Gouvernantes and Sexual Investment

4:15-5:30pm CST

Please join us for the Round Table discussion, featuring:
Prof. Chris Forster (Syracuse University, Keynote Speaker)
Prof. Stefania Buccini (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Italian)
Prof. Jill Casid (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Art History & Gender and Women’s Studies)

Virtual reception to follow

Register here for the Round Table & Virtual Reception to follow