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MSA 2018 Seminar
Vanguard U.: Universities as Infrastructures of the Avant-garde

The term ‚??avant-garde‚?Ě often conjures images of cultural radicals bucking tradition, agitating against the stifling confines of the academy and other institutions, and dismantling established traditions and values. Yet the constitution of any avant-garde is premised upon either the invention or (more often) the seizure and transformation of infrastructures of circulation ‚?? publications, exhibition spaces, teaching institutions, etc. ‚?? to disseminate ideas, artworks, and activities.

With the exception of avowedly experimental institutions like Black Mountain College, the New School for Social Research, and Cal Arts, North American universities are not typically imagined as sites of vanguard activity, and scholars rarely consider the ways avant-garde thought and practice rely upon, transform, and even nurture existing public institutions. This seminar aims to account for the presence, practices, and legacies of avant-garde writers and artists in universities -- particularly in large public research institutions that are geographically far removed from established coastal urban centers of cultural production.

We invite papers that focus on universities as incubators of avant-garde thought and practice, in the past, present, and future. How have public research universities, as both infrastructure and philosophical enterprise, advanced avant-garde ideas and practices in multiple, and at times coordinated, domains (for example, in collecting, teaching, and practice)?

We intend for this discussion to constitute a significant contribution to ongoing interdisciplinary efforts to constitute a critical vanguard studies for the twenty-first century.

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

CFP Submission Deadline: March 15, 2018

For more information, contact: Jen Buckley