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Modern Institutions - M/m Print Plus Cluster

The following is a prospective peer-reviewed cluster on Modernism/modernity Print Plus platform

"Modern Institutions"

Editors: Caroline Z. Krzakowski, Northern Michigan University and Megan Faragher, Wright State University-Lake Campus

After using his position as PEN International's president to expel Nazi sympathizers from the organization in the 1930s, H.G. Wells drafted a new Declaration of the Rights of Man in 1940, arguing emphatically that dangerous political circumstances made it "imperative to adjust man's life and institutions." Facing times that are similarly troubled, we think now is a pivotal time to reconsider the engagement of modernism with, or even against, institutions and bureaucracies.

In the twentieth century, national and transnational institutions such as PEN International, UNESCO, and state actors such as the British Council transformed literature and culture. This prospective peer-reviewed cluster for the Modernism/modernity Print Plus platform brings together brief position papers that define the aims and influences of institutions-whether private or public, national or transnational-and the relationship of these institutions to modernist aesthetics and practices.

Typically, scholarly discourse on the intersection of modernism and institutions has been dominated by Rainey's vision of modernism as a "strategy whereby the work of art solicits its commodification" through its integration "into a different economic pursuit of patronage, collecting, speculation, and investment" (5). As productive as these conversations have been, they have often stunted potential discussions of modernist interactions with institutions in their more everyday sense: governmental, bureaucratic and public institutions of all stripes that have often crossed paths with modernism in ways less concretely connected to the economics of modernism's self-commodification.

Contributions might address the following questions:

How does increasing bureaucratization impact the possibilities of aesthetic production?
What role have modern institutions played in creating reading publics and audiences?
How do bureaucrats defend or otherwise transform art from within institutions?
How do the interactions between cultural producers and institutions impact literary or artistic artifacts?

Examples of institutions include, but are not limited to:

Radio networks (eg: BBC, CBS)
Governmental cultural agencies and initiatives (eg: The British Council, Federal Art Project, Works Progress Administration)
Educational institutions (eg: Workers Educational Association)
Governing bodies or agencies (eg: Parliament, Congress)
International governmental bodies (eg: League of Nations)
International aesthetic institutions (eg: PEN International)
Governmental departments (eg: Office of War Information; Ministry of Information)
Non-profit institutions, both international and local (eg: UNESCO, The National Trust, NAACP)

Article lengths should be 2500-3000 words. Please email abstracts of 300-500 words to Caroline Z. Krzakowski ckrzakow@nmu.edu and Megan Faragher megan.faragher@wright.edu by June 1, 2018


Conference Location: N/A, N/A
Conference Starts: March 20, 2018
Conference Ends: June 01, 2018

CFP Submission Deadline: June 01, 2018

For more information, contact: Caroline Krzakowski & Megan Faragher

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