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MSA 15: Religion, Women, and Modernism

A CFP for MSA 15

Religion, Women, and Modernism

This panel explores the exciting and complex ways in which many modernist women were engaging with questions of religion. During one of their psychoanalytic sessions together, Freud asked H.D. if she wished, "in the deepest unconscious or subconscious layers of [her] being, to be the founder of a new religion." Indeed, H.D. did harbor a wish, more conscious than Freud perhaps realized, to take her religious inheritance and make it "new" -- and she was not alone. Far from simply renouncing religious traditions, modernist women writers were appropriating, rupturing, and revising these religious narratives, often inhabiting a seemingly impossible space between the sacred and the secular, between belief and non-belief. Whether they were engaging with Christianity, Jewishness, mysticism, Catholicism, or the occult, it is clear that questions of religion and belief were politically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually imperative for these women.

This panel invites papers that explore any aspect of this problematic in texts by modernist women. To what degree are modernist women seeking to repudiate, reclaim, revise, or re-imagine religion in their texts? What were their aesthetic, political, moral, social, and psychological investments in these problems? What resources did modernist formal practices offer these women? How might the analysis of religion in women's texts open up fresh avenues of study for feminist scholars of modernism?

Please send a 250 word abstract, along with a brief scholarly biography, to Jenny Hyest (jehc@lehigh.edu) by March 10.

Conference Location: Brighton, UK
Conference Starts: August 29, 2013
Conference Ends: September 01, 2013

CFP Submission Deadline: March 10, 2013

For more information, contact: Jenny Hyest

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