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MSA XIV: Behind the Scenes Modernism

This MSA XIV panel examines modernist spectacle from the vantage point of the rehearsal room, the off-stage, the ticket booth, the prop closet. We propose to explore the modernist preoccupation with the practice, time, and material and affective labor that performance and spectatorship demand. The literary and filmic texts that interest us spotlight the scaffolding and expose the seams, showcasing the minor sensations and marginal bodies that spectacle more conventionally occludes.

Topics:
-revealed labor: exposed foundations, staging, clean-up;
-technicians, stage hands, prop makers, scene-painters, ticket-sellers;
-remainders of the show: stains, costumes, smudged make-up, debris, confetti;
-‘minor’ sensory play (smell, touch), rather than visual spectacle;
-contra-modernity, the out-of-synch, off-beat, counter-rhythms;
-belatedness, remainders, left-overs, waste products, the spoiled, the sour, crumbs;
-spatial edges, peripheries, out of the spotlight, in the wings, the lateral gaze;
-rehearsal, practice;
-marginal characters, back-ups, alternates;
-infelicitous performatives, misfired speech acts, the peri-performative;
-trying too hard, flubbing your lines, failed sophistication, embarrassment

Send 150 word abstracts and brief bio by April 1, to Hannah Freed-Thall, Princeton University (h.freedthall@gmail.com) and Sarah Ann Wells, University of Iowa (sarah-wells@uiowa.edu).


Conference Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Conference Starts: October 18, 2012
Conference Ends: October 21, 2012

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2012

For more information, contact: Sarah Ann Wells

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