“Vulnerable Bodies in Works by Kay Boyle, Mina Loy, and Djuna Barnes” virtual panel session at 32nd ALA Conference, July 7-10, 2021
This panel aimed at discussing vulnerability in the works of Kay Boyle, Mina Loy, and Djuna Barnes with a view to fostering discussion and future collaboration. The first paper was given by Stamatina Dimakopoulou, an Assistant Professor in American literature and culture at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, who explored the issue of thinking and feeling vulnerably through the baroque tropes of Loy and Barnes. It was followed by a paper by Amy Wells, an Assistant Professor at the Université de Caen Normandie, who focused on Boyle’s “Norman novel,” Gentlemen, I Address You Privately (1933), and more particularly on the ways in which male vulnerable homosexual bodies are represented in the text. The third panelist was Anne Reynes-Delobel, an Associate Professor at Aix-Marseille Université, who examined Boyle’s 1937 poem “Angels for Djuna Barnes” with the aim to articulating Boyle’s lyric gesture with Barnes’s poetics of vulnerability in Nightwood. The fourth paper was given by Yasna Bozhkova, an Assitant Professor at Sorbonne Nouvelle University who examined the turn to the vulnerable body in Mina Loy’s late poetry, visual art, and novel Insel. Bozhkova argued that Loy sees the vulnerability of the body as a means to articulate an acutely critical ethical stance, permeated with thorough-going empathy for the subject exposed to the violence of social and historical cataclysms.