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Modernism and the Forms of Totality (MSA 14)

Major theories of modernism from Lukacs to Jameson have read modernism as a rejection of totality, even as numerous novels and poems of the period are defined by their encyclopedic, totalizing impulses. This panel seeks to conceptualize that tension through a focus on the influence of more small-scale and popular encyclopedic forms and genres on the aesthetics and aims of the modern novel: travel guidebooks, censuses, phone books and street directories, dictionaries, etc. How do modern novels both mirror and subvert the functions and structures of these emerging textual forms? How do these genres intervene in how writers represent geographic space and human bodies, and how do they serve to map the relationship between England and Europe and its colonial possessions? Any approaches to these questions are welcomed.

Please send an abstract of 300 words, as well as a brief bio, to Jesse Schotter ( by April 1st.

Conference Location: Las Vegas, US
Conference Starts: October 18, 2012
Conference Ends: October 21, 2012

CFP Submission Deadline: April 01, 2012

For more information, contact: Jesse Schotter