Friday, July 5, 2019

DFW19: Society, Ethics, Representation in Wallace's Writing

Genevieve Bettendorf and Tom Winchester

Moderated by Matthew Alexander
Friday, June 28, 2019, 3:00 PM — 3:50 PM

Genevieve Bettendorf: The “Wallace Phase”

Ph.D. Student — The Graduate Center (CUNY)

This talk will suggest that the term “Wallace phase” better captures Wallace’s relations both to our current millennial modernism and to this century’s remaining eighty years than does the term “Wallace effect.” It’s time to fine-tune our ethics, and to be more deliberate about the future(s) they’ll effect.

G. M. Bettendorf is a Ph.D. student in English at The Graduate Center (CUNY). Her interests include: visual and spatial poetics; contemporary American fiction, mostly only the freaky kinds (think Mark Danielewski more than George Saunders); so-called “Critical University Studies”; and burrata.


Tom Winchester: The Cult of the Endless Kiss: Heteronormativity in Infinite Jest

Independent Scholar — His Own Self

For a novel set in 2009, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest seems to represent the real world of the time of its publication. One telling example of how it represents the mid-1990s is it’s derogatory depiction of the LGBTQ community. In essence, Infinite Jest discriminates against the LGBTQ community by casting most everything that’s not heterosexual as different or dangerous. It also includes an alarming amount of sincere usages of anti-gay slurs. This paper attempts to show the creative background for such discrimination by making connections with the political and pop-culture climates of the era which saw heterosexuality as a standard for being socially normal.

Tom Winchester is an artist and art critic in Saint Petersburg, Florida. He’s presented at DFW Con in previous years, and has published on the DFW Society Blog.

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