Member Services

MSA 18: Pragmatism and Modernism

This proposed panel looks to reconsider the potential relationship between modernism and pragmatism. Following from Lisi Schoenbach€'s _Pragmatic Modernism_ (2012) which argues against the narrative of modernism-as-break by demonstrating a strain of modernist thought committed to gradualism and continuity linked with the pragmatist concept of habit – this panel asks in what other ways modernist and pragmatist thought might be mutually informing, continuous, or otherwise related. Moreover, the panel looks to consider how pragmatism may complicate the division that is still thought to exist between literary modernism in its American, British, and European forms.

Such a panel is especially appropriate given the conference's theme of "Culture Industries." By highlighting the "€œproliferation of cultures in the plural" as among the characteristics that makes southern California the ideal location for this conference, the MSA conference organizers implicitly call to mind a sense of William James' pluralistic universe. What's more, the rhetoric of "new ways of thinking about old distinctions between high and low, serious and popular, [etc.]" intimates the subtitle of James' _Pragmatism_ (i.e. "A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking") while also pragmatically interrogating a set of binaries often associated with modernist studies. That the Frankfurt school has historically been understood to have a vexed relationship with American pragmatism intensifies the relevance of this panel to the conference's thematic framework.

This panel thus invites proposals for individual papers interested in any aspect of the relationship between pragmatism and modernism. Interdisciplinary approaches are welcome. Please email brief abstracts (200-300 words) and bio to Abigail Reardon at abigail.reardon@rutgers.edu by April 12th.


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

CFP Submission Deadline: April 12, 2016

For more information, contact: Abigail Reardon

Back to Main Index