What Are You Reading?

Last year in Vancouver, the MSA introduced a new kind of session, "What Are You Reading?" Designed to take advantage, in a productive new way, of the presence in one place of modernist scholars from many locations, institutions, and fields, each ninety-minute forum consisted of 8 to 10 participants and a moderator. Led by the moderator, each participant reported for a few minutes on a scholarly or critical book in modernist studies, sketching the work's content and explaining why she or he found it exciting to share with other scholars. Time permitting, moderators then led discussions in which participants could seek clarifications, draw connections, and propose further related reading.

A major goal of "What Are You Reading?" is to facilitate the sharing of exciting new scholarship (or the "rediscovery" of older scholarship) and to foster interdisciplinarity by exposing participants to work in modernist fields other than their own. Open only to those who register for them in advance, these sessions were widely considered a success and will be repeated in Chicago.

"What Are You Reading" is not intended as a venue for discussion of primary texts or works, for self-promotion, or for the enacting of intellectual conflicts. Participants will therefore be asked not to present on primary texts or works (though new editions and catalogues are welcome), their own publications, or scholarship they did not substantially admire.

To participate, all you will need to do is check the appropriate box on your MSA registration form and name a book you might be interested in presenting. MSA registration will begin mid-April; look for announcements at that time. Please note that you will have to register by 5 September to be included in "What Are You Reading?"

You will be notified of the time and location of your forum in early October. There is no need to submit any proposal or paper in connection with this event, nor do you need to contact your moderator in advance. Simply check the box, receive notice of your time and location, and show up ready to share a book! Given the uncertain supply of moderators, places are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.