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Modernist Studies Association 14: Modernism & Spectacle (The Flamingo Hotel)

Panel Organizer: Will Scheibel, Indiana University / Panel Chair: Faye Hammill, University of Strathclyde

Some of the most historically and theoretically provocative areas of modernist studies have recently occupied the interrelated areas of modernism, celebrity, and publicity, challenging the divide between the high culture of modernism (and the elite reputations of its figures) and the publicly mediated culture of celebrity (and the consumerist economy from which modernists claimed to rebel). Following the work of scholars such as Aaron Jaffe in MODERNISM AND THE CULTURE OF CELEBRITY (2005), Justus Nieland in FEELING MODERN (2008), and Jonathan Goldman in MODERNISM IS THE LITERATURE OF CELEBRITY (2011), this interdisciplinary panel seeks to explore further the idea of a 'modernist reputation' in aspects of art and literature, as well as media and popular culture.

Apropos of this year's conference theme, it will also devote special attention to the ways in which a quotidian or "vernacular" modernism affectively enables such reputations. As Miriam Hansen argues, modernism encompasses "a whole range of cultural and artistic practices that register, respond to, and reflect upon processes of modernization and the experience of modernity, including the paradigmatic transformation of the conditions under which art is produced, transmitted, and consumed." What do particular reputations signify in particular cultural moments and how do they change over time? What does it mean from an ideological perspective to have a reputation associated with modernist aesthetics? What are the discursive and art-historical currents from which these reputations flow through the modernist imaginary, particularly along a phenomenological horizon where modernity is worked through at the level of the senses?

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

- Media stardom, celebrity, and visibility
- Reputations across media forms
- Popular images: production, consumption, and circulation
- The machinery of reputation building: publicity, promotion, and criticism/commentary
- The role of the press
- The relationships between and among new technologies, publics, and reputations
- Reception contexts: readers, audiences, and fans
- Canonicity, taste cultures, and reading formations
- The identity politics of reputations
- Fame, glamour, and beauty
- Success stories
- Performance styles in music, theater, and/or cinema
- Renowned authorship
- Art world reputations
- Self-made reputations
- Global reputations
- Infamy and notoriety
- Forgotten figures and the undoing of reputations

Send 300 word abstract with 5 item bibliography and full academic CV (as separate e-mail attachments) to: Will Scheibel (

Please visit the MSA website for more details about the 2012 conference:

Conference Location: Las Vegas, NV, U. S. A.
Conference Starts: October 18, 2012
Conference Ends: October 21, 2012

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2012

For more information, contact: Will Scheibel