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Modernism and History (MSA 17)

From the early decades of the twentieth century the concept of '€˜revolution'€™ has provided modernism with a powerful historical imaginary of rupture and change, encompassing phenomena ranging from overtly political manifestos through to radical challenges to established aesthetic forms and prevailing critical frameworks. Taking our cue from this year's theme, this session seeks to rethink modernism'€™s broader relationship to categories and modes of the historical. We invite papers that both broaden and complicate current understandings of the interrelation between conceptions of history and modernist artistic practice. Modernist figurations that might come under scrutiny include visions of historical experience as nightmare; belatedness; anticipation; everydayness and banality; concepts of the residual and of foreclosure; the phantasmagoric; spaces of memory and trauma, the museum and the slaughterhouse.

The panel will consider - but is not limited to - questions such as: What is the status of the historical 'event'€™ in modernism and what conception of history does it presuppose? How does the modernist obsession with the moment reflect a complex negotiation with the past and the future? How does modernism intervene in contemporaneous philosophies of history, and what are its lessons for historicism today? What visions of history do modernist historical novels offer, and how do they shift the parameters of the genre, either as a popular form or as the realist form par excellence, valorized by Georg Lukacs? What radical new forms of historicity emerge from the modernist engagement with contemporaneous philosophy, psychology, and politics? How can we analyze the history of modernism beyond the great divide between rupture and continuity? How does artistic form, whether experimental or established, produce particular historical sensibilities? How do major nodes of modernist engagement and estrangement - sensory perception, concepts of experience, media technologies -€“ speak to concepts of history and to the possibilities of historical experience?

Please send a 50-word bio, title, and abstract (250 words maximum) to avg212@nyu.edu by April 12.

Conference Location: Boston, USA
Conference Starts: November 19, 2015
Conference Ends: November 22, 2015

CFP Submission Deadline: April 12, 2015

For more information, contact: Adrienne Ghaly, Aleks Prigozhin

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