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MSA 18: Outsider Modernisms

In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce writes that artists must defend themselves with the use of “silence, exile, and cunning” (181) – for Joyce, the artist must become an outsider. Indeed, the outsider was often a privileged figure in the modernist period, and twentieth-century advancements in technology, industry and communication broadened artistic boundaries, encouraging migrations and expatriations as well as a vast array of alternative influences from different temporal and spatial sources, all of which permitted artists to remove themselves and view their homes from afar. In a milieu that emphasizes the benefits of exile and broad networks of influence, the concepts of the outsider and the mainstream both take on shifts in meaning.

This panel investigates the concept of exile and the figure of the modernist outsider in light of these rapidly expanding boundaries and next to assumptions about established modernisms. How is the concept of the outsider developed within a movement in a movement that already values an apparently outside perspective, and in a culture where boundaries of travel and communication are being continually broken down? What kinds of networks and communities are available to outsiders, and what kinds of networks and communities do they form? To what alternative lines of influence do outsiders claim lineage, and how might they re-interpret established lines of influence? How might paying attention to outsider modernisms re-form or re-interrogate assumptions about industries of High Modernism? How does the outsider play into theories of modernist creativity, and how do modernist artists represent outsiders in their work?

Paper topics might include, but are not limited to:
-Modernist and alternative modernist networks, industries, and influences
- Alternative theories of modernism
- Transnational modernisms
- Broadening or alienating technological advances in modernism
- Expatriate modernisms in conversation with domestic modernisms
- Otherness and modernism
- Under-recognized forms and authors of modernism (e.g. women, minority ethnic groups, postcolonial writers, etc.)
- Life-writing of expatriates, travelers, immigrants during the modernist period
- The figure of the outsider in modernist literature and culture
- The relationship between creativity and alienation
- The outsider, celebrity, and self-promotion

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement to Dancy Mason (dancy.mason@mail.mcgill.ca) by April 1st, 2016.




Conference Location: Pasadena, USA
Conference Starts: November 17, 2016
Conference Ends: November 20, 2016

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2016

For more information, contact: Dancy Mason

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