EVENT Nov 11
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Infernal Cities (PAMLA)

Las Vegas
Organization: PAMLA
Event: PAMLA
Categories: Postcolonial, American, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, British, Popular Culture, World Literatures, African-American, Colonial, Revolution & Early National, Transcendentalists, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Medieval, Early Modern & Renaissance, Long 18th Century, Romantics, Victorian, 20th & 21st Century, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Australian Literature, Canadian Literature, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Eastern European, Mediterranean, Middle East, Native American, Scandinavian, Pacific Literature
Event Date: 2021-11-11 to 2021-11-14 Abstract Due: 2021-04-15

The idea of infernal cities is a paradox. If, as Aristotle argues, a city aims at achieving and providing "the highest good" for its citizens, then how can a city organize in a hellish place for hellish ends? But infernal cities frequently occur in literature. The Bible abounds with wicked cities, Dante, Milton, Blake, Eliot, and Bishop all include images of hellish cities in their poetry, and the term "Sin City" is often used to describe Las Vegas and other cities, real and fictional, that base their economy around providing opportunity for vice. This session seeks to understand the apparently paradoxical purpose these infernal cities serve in the lives of their citizens.


Stanley Szczesny