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Colonial Spectacles, Modernist Afterlives (MSA 14)

From the Wonder House in Kipling's Kim (1901), to the sculpture of Jacob Epstein and art criticism of Roger Fry, to the unmasking of the egwugwu in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (1958), the visual arts of colonized spaces have been of central interest to global modernism. This panel seeks papers that consider the relationship between modernism and non-Western visual arts. The phrase "colonial spectacle" could be taken to mean the spectacles created by the appropriation or collection of art objects, as in the Kipling example, or the indigenous spectacles in which art objects are socially embedded, as in the Achebe example.

This panel is particularly interested in papers that challenge conventional narratives of primitivist appropriation, and that respond to art historian Rupert Richard Arrowsmith's recent call, in Modernism and the Museum (2010), for work that recognizes the "possibility of multi-directional, transnational exchange in aesthetic concepts, art-historical knowledge, and literary and artistic technique." Accordingly, papers that present alternatives to narratives that position non-Western art objects as nothing more than passive sources of inspiration for European modernist innovation would be especially welcome.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

- Critiques of primitivism and the problems with these critiques
- Ekphrasis
- Museum studies
- History of art criticism
- Intersections among literature, art history, or anthropology
- Book history and paratextual analysis


Please send 250-word abstracts and CVs to Mark DiGiacomo (mjdigiacomo@gmail.com).

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

CFP Submission Deadline: April 03, 2012

For more information, contact: Mark DiGiacomo

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