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MSA 18: The Splendor of the Real: Disrupting The Narrative Agency of Modernism

Neither Mind nor Matter, or The Splendor of the Real: Disrupting The Narrative Agency of Modernism

Modernism, insisted Adorno, is "not a chronological, but a qualitative category." As a tribute to Adorno's role in diffusing Modernism, this panel seeks to renew the provocation of the philosopher's saying. This dictum puts forth the unorthodox view that the specificity of modernism cannot be successfully captured either in terms of aesthetic devices or historical belongings. This panel solicits papers that respond to the challenge of the qualitative re-definition of Modernism after Adorno, especially in relation to the category of the Real.

It is typical of the modernist texts to create epistemic tensions and aesthetic effects resistant to formal, historicist or psychological vocabularies. In particular, we might see some modernist prose as subverting the categories of the mind (mimesis of inwardness) or matter (investment into the obdurate objecthood of things).

But we might also register, in certain modernist texts, a drive to enact a more estranged notion of the Real, one that could also be termed the "Inaccessible." Panelists are therefore invited to consider the tangled topology of such resistances and put forth new concepts for marking them. The goal of the panel is to estrange the canonical concept of ostranenie by reactivating the modernist passion for denoting the Real.

To bring into relief the disruptions Modernism brings to the industry of culture, the panelists may choose to explore the following questions:

* The Names of the Real: How does the category of the Real (as elaborated in the work of Alexandre Koyre, Jacques Lacan and Jean-Claude Milner) affect our understanding of modernist narrative? What other names, in addition to the "Inaccessible," can one give to the Real in the context of modernism?

* The Uses of the Unintelligible: What critical concept should we use to elucidate the resistance of modernist syntax to stylistic, psychological or rhetorical capture? Can the innovations of Deleuze, Lyotard, Ranciere, Serres, Badiou and Latour help us in this regard?

* Triple Negation: In what ways do modernist texts entrap the Cartesian cogito? How do they embarrass the worship of Nature? When do they undercut the reproducibility of Culture?

* Altered States, or the New Adventures of the Transcendental-Empirical "Doublet"(Foucault): What altered experiences of time and space emerge from the encounter with the modernist Real?

* Inherent Virtue: What pedagogical potential, if any, can be detected today in the extravagant textures of modernism?

In addition to investigations of modernist prose, the panel will also welcome submissions examining the intimations of the inaccessible, yet all-too-present Real in non-linguistic media, especially sculpture, painting and music.

Please submit abstracts of 500 words and a short scholarly bio to ogelikman@soka.edu by 5 April 2016.


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

CFP Submission Deadline: April 05, 2016

For more information, contact: Oleg Gelikman

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