Oscar Wilde and Fin de Siecle


The Importance of Being Wilde

Day Symposium on Oscar Wilde and Fin de Siècle Culture

University of Limerick, IRELAND 12th June 2013


Plenary Speakers:

Professor Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware)

Professor Joseph Bristow (University of California Los Angeles)


 Call for Papers:

 On the 8th of January 1884 Mr Oscar Wilde appeared before a Limerick audience in the Theatre Royal  (Henry Street). His lecture ‘On the House Beautiful’ was not well attended; according to the Limerick Chronicle, the audience ‘was select and small and would have damped the ardour of many public speakers’. Nonetheless, Wilde appeared onstage again the following night to deliver a talk on ‘Personal Impressions of America’. Over a century later, this day symposium commemorates Wilde’s visit to Limerick, focusing primarily on Wilde as public intellectual and cultural critic.

 A key figure at the fin de siècle, Wilde was a literary writer, radical thinker, and cultural icon all at once. His works, and his legacy, are associated with disruptions of norms of gendered behaviour, sexual identities, class alignments, and aesthetic issues. Today, the flourishing of a diverse and interdisciplinary body of scholarship is testament to his importance. The continued production of Wilde’s work, particularly his plays, attests to the sustained interest of a general audience in his ideas. Our symposium aims to contextualize Wilde’s work in relation to other scholars, literary writers, radical ideas, and avant garde movements of his day.

 Papers may address, but are not limited to the following topics:

 ·        Wilde and his contemporaries

·        The Irish Wilde

·        Wilde and the New Woman

·        Wilde: public intellectual

·        Wilde and aestheticism

·        Wilde and socialism

·        Wilde the European

·        Wilde: our contemporary

 Abstracts (300 words, for papers of twenty minutes), accompanied by a brief bio, should be sent to wilde@ul.ie by March 31st 2013.

 Organisers: Dr. Tina O’Toole, Dr. Eoin Devereux and Dr. Kathryn Laing