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Modernism and the Forms of Life Writing

This panel will pursue the remapping of modernism through its complex relations with life writing. While recent work has emphasized the many forms of generic blurring and fusion (e.g. Saunders’ “autobiografiction”), we seek to examine, as an informing and instructive contrast, instances of relatively direct engagement with the particular liabilities, and the particular leverage, of the explicitly (perhaps graphically) “personal” and the avowedly “true”--whether in the form of diaries, letters, autobiographies or memoirs, or biographies. We seek papers that focus on particular instances but address broader questions, such as: How do the subject’s gender and social position inform the purposes and alter the stakes of publishing these forms? What modes are deployed (e.g. confession, testimony, documentary) and to what ends? What might the creation, publication, or reception of these forms in the modernist era reveal about changing notions of subjectivity, privacy, readership--perhaps of historiography and of fiction? If “the very genres we choose to read define the contours of our narratives about modernism” (Seshagiri 2017) how might reading and teaching these forms of life writing reshape those narratives?

Please send 250-300 word proposals and a brief bio to e.ophir@usask.ca by March 30.



Conference Location: Columbus, USA
Conference Starts: November 08, 2018
Conference Ends: November 11, 2018

CFP Submission Deadline: March 30, 2018

For more information, contact: Ella Ophir

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