Second Annual Conference of the Modernist Studies Association
University of Pennsylvania • Philadelphia, PA • October 12-15, 2000

Conference program Seminar list Book Display
About the conference Conference format and participation Contact Information
Penn Humanities Forum Address Registration and fees Membership dues and benefits
Plenary Speakers Hotel accommodations MSA and Modernism/Modernity
Poetry Readings Special airfare rates Call for papers: Modernism/Modernity
Seminars (registration deadline July 1) Frequently Asked Questions Back to MSA homepage

about the conference

back to top

The recently founded Modernist Studies Association is devoted to the study of the arts in their social, political, cultural and intellectual contexts from the late-nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century. The organization seeks to develop an international and interdisciplinary forum to promote exchange among scholars in this revitalized and rapidly changing field.


penn humanities forum address

back to top

Edward Said, Special guest of the Penn Humanities Forum

Visit the Forum's website:

plenary speakers

(two speakers in dialogue)

back to top

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University) and Michael North (University of California-Los Angeles)
Janet Lyon (University of Illinois-Urbana) and Peter Wollen (University of California-Los Angeles)
Robert O'Meally (Columbia University) and John F. Szwed (Yale)

poetry readings


back to top

On three nights, nine contemporary poets read their work through the influence of a modernist.

Project hosted by the Kelly Writers House:

Silliman on Williams, DuPlessis on Woolf, Bernstein on Benjamin, Armantrout on Dickinson, and more.



Registration deadline extended until July 1.

Group discussions (15 members maximum) will be based on brief papers (5-10 pages) submitted in advance of the conference. A limited number of spaces are still available in some seminars; please note designations of open and closed seminars in the list below.

If you would like to participate in one of the open seminars, please send us a ranked list of two or three seminar choices, along with your name, professional affiliation, mailing address, summer address (if applicable), phone number, fax and e-mail address. Seminar assignments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.

Many seminar leaders will welcome auditors in their sessions at the conference. All registered conference participants will be permitted to audit these seminars; no additional registration procedure is required. Information on leaders' policies on auditors will be available in the conference program.

You may register your seminar preferences by e-mail by contacting Emily Zinn, assistant to Bob Perelman, at To register by mail or fax, use the following address:

Bob Perelman,
Department of English
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104
fax: 215-573-2063

back to top

seminar list

Click on the title of a seminar from the list below to see its description.

Charles Altieri (English, University of California, Berkeley) Modernist Experiments and Structures of Feeling

Invited participant: Michael Levenson


David Brownlee (Art History, University of Pennsylvania) Modernism and Post-Modernism in Late Twentieth-Century Architecture


Jessica Burstein (English, University of Washington) Fashion and Modernism

Invited participants: Jennifer Wicke and Jane Garrity


Anne Charles (English, University of New Orleans) Sapphic Modernism

Invited participants: Diana Collecott and Cassandra Laity


David Chinitz (English, Loyola University of Chicago) Modernism, Poetry, and Culture


Michael Coyle (English, Colgate University) and Bernard Gendron (Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) Modernism and Jazz


Marianne DeKoven (English, Rutgers University) Postmodern Modernism


Laura Doyle (English, University of Massachusetts) Race, Modernism, Modernity

Invited participants: Phillip Brian Harper, Peggy O'Brien, Radha Radhakrishnan, Marlon Ross


James English (English, University of Pennsylvania) Modernism and Prestige



Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi (Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara) Fascism and the Avant-Garde


Norman Finkelstein and Tyrone Williams (English, Xavier University) Diaspora


Nancy K. Gish (English, University of Southern Maine) and Keith Tuma (English, Miami University) Languages and Legacies of Modernism - "Britain" and Ireland

Invited participants: Alex Davis, Romana Huk, Steven J. Matthews, and Peter Middleton


Mary Gluck (History, Brown University) Modernism and the City


Eileen Gregory (English, University of Dallas) Models of the Classical in Modernism


Linda Dalrymple Henderson (Art and Art History, University of Texas) and Bruce Clarke (English, Texas Tech University) Modernism and Science

Invited participant: Susan Squier


Kerry Johnson (English, Merrimack College) Modernism and Caribbean Literatures

Invited participant: Mary Lou Emery


Gail McDonald (English, University of North Carolina at Greensboro) Feeding Modernism


David McWhirter (English, Texas A & M University) Modernist Abstraction

Invited participants: Anke Finger and Robert Kaufman


Cristanne Miller (English, Pomona College) Crossing Boundaries in the Arts

Invited participant: Bonnie Costello


Robert Morgan (Music, Yale University) Coherence and Incoherence in Modernist Literature, Art, and Music


Carol Oja (Music, College of William and Mary) Spirituality and Early 20th-Century Modernism


Brian Richardson (English, University of Maryland) Modernism and the Reader

Invited participants: David Kadlec, R.B. Kershner, Patrocinio Schweickart


John Paul Riquelme (English, Boston University) Modernist Orientalism


Luca Somigli (Italian, University of Toronto) The Genres of Modernism

Invited participants: Christina Della Colletta, Mario Moroni


Leon Surette (English, University of Western Ontario) Literature and Economics An Unholy Alliance?

Invited participants: Jack Amariglio, Hildegard Hoeller, Alec Marsh, and David Ruccio


Denise Von Glahn (Music, Florida State University) Futurism


Wallace Watson (English, Duquesne University) Modernism and the Movies

Invited participants: Peter Christensen, Carole Dole


Barrett Watten (English, Wayne State University) and Rachel Blau DuPlessis (English, Temple University) Avant-Garde and Cultural Studies








back to top

format and participation


The conference is structured to allow all participants to attend the plenary sessions, and to participate in a seminar, a panel or both. You may apply to participate in the conference by submitting a proposal for a complete panel by May 31, or by submitting a ranked list of two or three seminar choices by July 1.

Since we can accept only a limited number of panel proposals, we encourage all prospective panelists to consider registering for one of our seminars at the same time. If your panel proposal is not accepted, you are guaranteed your place in one of the seminars. If your proposal is accepted, you still have the option of taking part in the seminar as well.

For seminar registration instructions, click here.

Panel proposals, due May 31, should include the following information:

  • your name
  • session title
  • professional affiliation
  • mailing address
  • summer mailing address (if applicable),
  • phone number, fax and e-mail address.
  • the names and affiliations of the other members of your session
  • a 250-word abstract on the topic

back to top

Note: we can only accept proposals for complete panels, not single papers. Each session at New Modernisms II must have a chair who is not delivering a paper; the chair will introduce the session, keep speakers to time, and moderate the question and answer session. You may choose to designate a chair for your panel yourself or ask the MSA to assign one.

Please send panel proposals to :
Bob Perelman
Department of English
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6273
e-mail: (no attachments, please)
fax: 215-573-2063

registration and fees

Conference registration fees are $75 for faculty participants, $40 for graduate students and adjunct faculty participants.

Participants may register for the conference by completing the registration form found in the New Modernisms II conference brochure. If you have not yet received a brochure in the mail, please contact Emily Zinn, assistant to Bob Perelman at:

The conference registration fee covers all program materials, two receptions, and refreshment breaks. Registrants are responsible for paying for all other meals and for their lodging. Conference registration may be paid by check, money order, or credit card. No purchase orders will be accepted.

You must be a member of the MSA to attend the annual conference. Click here for information about membership dues and benefits.


send registration form and payment to:







back to top

Conference Service
University of Pennsylvania
222 Sansom Place East
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6183
Attention: MSA
Tel. 215.898.9319

All questions concering registration and payments should be directed to Conference Services. You will be notified of your registration, including hotel reservation, room rate, and confirmation number, by Conference Services within 3-4 weeks of mailing your registration and payment.


hotel accommodations
  • The Inn at Penn, 3600 Sansom Street, is set in the four-diamond tradition and is located in the heart of Penn's campus. MSA conference rate, $154 per room per night (single or double).
  • Sheraton University City is located one block away from the conference at 36th and Chestnut Streets. MSA conference rate, $119 per room per night (single or double).
  • Club Quarters at 17th and Chestnut Streets is a private hotel for the exclusive use of guests of member organizations. The hotel offers four room types, with Penn rates ranging from $76 to $116 per room per night (single). Add $13 per room for additional guests.


Participants may reserve accommodations for New Modernisms II through the University of Pennsylvania Conference Services Office by completing the registration form found in the conference brochure. If you have not yet received a brochure in the mail, please contact Emily Zinn, assistant to Bob Perelman at:

A limited number of rooms has been set aside at each of three hotels, two on Penn's campus and one a short cab ride away in Center City Philadelphia.

back to top

special airfare rates


back to top

US airways is the official airline carrier for the New Modernisms conference. For discount rates, call US Airways' Group and Meeting Reservation Office at 877.874.7687 and refer to Gold File Number 34131526. Some restrictions may apply.

special needs The University of Pennsylvania encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing special accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Penn Conference Services before your visit.

contact information

also check the MSA homepage


back to top

For PANEL information:

Casandra Laity,


For SEMINAR information:

Gail McDonald,


For conference REGISTRATION questions:

Penn Conference Services,;
phone 215.898.9319; fax 215.573.8452

(PLEASE NOTE: The phone number on the printed New Modernisms II brochure is incorrect. Please use the phone number above.)


For ALL OTHER conference questions:

Bob Perelman,

book display












back to top

New Modernisms II will feature a display of works by conference participants hosted by the Penn Bookstore. The Bookstore is conveniently located at 3601 Walnut Street, next door to the Inn at Penn, the central conference facility.

If you wish to have your book displayed at the Bookstore, please contact Choti Weiler at or Christine Hibbard at

For each book, please provide the following information:

  • Title
  • Author (or editor if you are not the editor/author listed )
  • ISBN Publisher (if the press is small or you are self-published, please include a phone number and address of the publisher)
  • Price
  • Binding
  • Your phone or e-mail address