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MSA 11: Between Modernism and the Lyric

Please note: this panel description has been updated (7 April).

Understood variously as the voice of a solitary speaker whose words express inward emotional states (Mill's "feeling confessed to itself"); as unanswered cry for the absent mother or other; or as memorable, musical, formally patterned language that highlights all language's alterity, lyric poetry bring into focus questions about how selves inhabit language. This panel asks how modern poetry asks, and provisionally answers, such questions. Current work on the lyric often sets Romantic interiority against postmodernist models of language shaping the subject from without, and elides or misrepresents distinctively modernist engagements with the relation of subjectivity to poetry. How might current discussion of lyric be enriched by engaging modernism more fully? How do modern poets imagine the origin of their poetic language? How do they invoke, or complicate, models of interiority? What kinds of relationships between subjects (including the poetic "I" and addressees or readers) do modern lyric poems conjure? How does recent poetry draw on and revise elements of modernism in exploring how selves inhabit language?

Papers on aspects of modernist, mid-century, and contemporary poetry and poetics, and/ or theory of lyric, are invited, and might address topics including impersonality; confession; sincerity and authenticity; objectivity; emotion; analogies with visual arts, music, etc.; personae, masks, myth; address (including address to readers); pronouns (I, you, we); psychoanalytic models of language; speech acts and performativity; etc.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement (2-3 sentences) to Reena Sastri (rs531@york.ac.uk) by 3 May 2009.

Conference Location: Montreal, Canada
Conference Starts: November 05, 2009
Conference Ends: November 08, 2009

CFP Submission Deadline: May 03, 2009

For more information, contact: Reena Sastri

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