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“But modernism’s longevity,” David James reminds us in his recent article, “may also disclose certain critical impulses that arguably say just as much about the affective energies of championing modernism’s terminological adaptability as about the precise aesthetic, historical, or ideological anatomy of modernism’s myriad practices and remediations” (“Modernism’s Contemporary Affects”). As the new modernist studies garners increasingly concentrated attention to affect—from Charles Altieri’s The Particulars of Rapture (2003) and Sianne Ngai’s Ugly Feelings (2005) to Julia Taylor’s edited volume Modernism and Affect (2015), Modernism/modernity’s special issue on weak theory and weak modernism (2018), and the Modernism/modernity Print Plus cluster “Modernism’s Contemporary Affects” (2018)—this panel invokes the conference theme by calling for rigorous investigations into the disruption affect brings to both literary representation and our interpretive practice. What do we talk about when we talk about modernism’s “affect”? In a field often defined by its troublingly obstinate resistance to exposition and the multifarious demands, shocks, and obfuscation faced by its readership, can affect provide us with more dynamic modes of critical inquiry into the hermeneutical slipperiness of modernism? How do we reconcile the tension between the epistemological uncontainablity of affect and the methodological demands of modernist studies? What theoretical reformulations of affect and interpretation do we need if we want to take into account our affective entanglement and ideological alignment with modernism\'s affect? What are the revolutionary and reactionary politics of modernism’s affect and our reading methods? How do we understand modernism’s affect in relation to the historical and social production of affect as partaking in commodity fetishism and ideological apparatuses?

To those interested, please send a brief abstract (250-300 words) and bio to both Kevin Tunnicliffe ( and Amy Tang (

Conference Location: Toronto, Canada
Conference Starts: October 17, 2019
Conference Ends: October 20, 2019

CFP Submission Deadline: March 01, 2019

For more information, contact: Kevin Tunnicliffe and Amy Tang