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Reading Joy: The Praxis of Analyzing Good Feelings

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Organizer: Janaka Lewis

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American and Diasporic literature has examined trauma and mourning to a greater extent than we have contextualized joy, happiness, and celebration.  This may be due to the impact of feelings and experiences that are deemed negative, and even "real," rather than ideal.  This panel seeks to contextualize joy, pleasure, and ecstasy in American (including African American, Latine, Indigenous) literatures and within diasporic literature (inclusive of South American, European, continental).  How do authors define and write about these experiences as also being definitive to who they are and to the cultural experiences to which their texts (across genres) bear witness? Furthermore, how is this writing both reparative and restorative for the reading audience?

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