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New Modernist Studies and Feminist Pedagogy

This session will consider how methodologies of new modernist studies—such as recovery work, interdisciplinary studies, transnational studies, and print and material culture studies—can support a critical, feminist pedagogy in the college classroom. As bell hooks writes in “Toward a Revolutionary Feminist Pedagogy,” students “long for a context where their subjective needs can be integrated with study, where the primary focus is a broader spectrum of ideas and modes of inquiry, in short a dialectical context where there is serious and rigorous critical exchange” (51). Although the inquiries enabled by new modernist methodologies seemingly lend themselves well to such a feminist pedagogy, little theoretical work has been done developing this link.

As these methodologies receive more attention, however, and become increasingly served by digital humanities and shared online resources, scholars are seeking such a critical exchange in their classrooms. In this roundtable, we will address how the subjects and approaches of new modernist studies can construct a decentered, dynamic, and mutually supportive learning environment, both giving voice to the marginalized and making such voices essential to the narrative of modernism as presented in the classroom and beyond. In the 2009 issue of Modernism/Modernity devoted to teaching, Helen Sword writes, “In a field of study that openly welcomes international, multicultural, and interdisciplinary approaches, why has pedagogy remained such a persistently untrendy--indeed, virtually taboo--subject?” (470). Given that this question has yet to be fully addressed, this roundtable aims to forge clearer connections between new modernist studies and classroom work.

We will invite discussion related to feminism and queer studies as well as additional ways in which modernism has been reframed to include a range of race and national identities and influences related to mass culture. Our intention is that the subjects and pedagogical approaches considered by the roundtable reflect the broad range of students in the contemporary college classroom, likewise more accurately resembling the range of influences in play during the modernist period. We will also address how active learning derived from new modernist methodologies further raises concerns about accessibility and inequality, threatening to reinscribe the very limitations both new modernist studies and critical pedagogy have attempted to eliminate.

Questions to be considered include:

How have new modernist practices been used to support feminist or queer pedagogy in the classroom?

What possibilities for students’ construction of knowledge do new modernist practices open? What are the ethical and practical issues inherent to student scholarship in this subfield?

Do new approaches such as those in the digital humanities enable greater connections between new modernist studies and feminist pedagogy?

How might feminist practices derived from new modernist studies respond to the challenges facing higher education including rising tuitions, the impact of MOOCs, and the increasing neoliberalism of many university systems?

How might new modernist studies as a field be enriched by research in critical or feminist pedagogy? How might research in feminist or critical pedagogy be enriched by new modernist studies?

How does new modernist studies give voice to the marginalized and expand the reaches of women’s studies, race studies, and queer studies from theme-based classes to cross-curriculum integration?

Please send abstracts of 250 words to Laurel Harris at laurel_e_harris@yahoo.com.


Conference Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Conference Starts: November 06, 2014
Conference Ends: November 09, 2014

CFP Submission Deadline: April 30, 2014

For more information, contact: Laurel Harris

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