Member Services

Call for Papers Archive

Call for Papers (MSA 2021 Chicago): Modernist Studies in the Age of Black Lives Matter

Call for papers for a proposed session for the Modernist Studies Association Conference to be held in Chicago, November 4-7, 2021.

This proposed session considers how modernists are responding to Black Lives Matter in their scholarship. It asks, how has the field changed (or not) and how could, or should, it change?

The killing of George Floyd ignited a massive, popular protest against police brutality and systemic racism. While Black Lives Matter began in the US as a response to the particular configurations of American racism, it quickly became a global movement as activists in other nations adopted some of its strategies to confront their own histories of racism. While the movement and its influence extend beyond the US, its concerns also exceed the actions of police. BLM, like the systemic racism to which it responds, encompasses institutions of every sort, including the university and organizations like MSA itself. Other than heeding to calls to “decolonize” syllabi, how have modernist scholars responded to BLM?

Papers may, among other things:
-summarize the kinds of responses to BLM apparent in modernist studies.
-provide an example of modernist studies scholarship that engages with BLM.
-ask what our methodologies prohibit and what they allow.
-call for specific changes in modernist studies and/or in MSA to incorporate the lessons of BLM.

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biographical statement to by March 31, 2021.

Please note that this is a proposed, not a guaranteed, session; it will be evaluated by the MSA Program Committee (myself recused).

Elizabeth F. Evans (she/her)
Department of Literatures in English
Cornell University
250 Goldwin Smith Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

Author, Threshold Modernism: New Public Women and the Literary Spaces of Imperial London (Cambridge University Press, 2019) (
Book Reviews Editor, The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945 (
Program Chair, Modernist Studies Association (

Conference Location: Chicago, USA
Conference Starts: November 04, 2021
Conference Ends: November 07, 2021

CFP Submission Deadline: March 31, 2021

For more information, contact: Elizabeth Evans