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MSA CFPs Ending in 2017

The Call for Papers page is open to all CFPs in modernist studies. We encourage all members (and potential members) to use this site for announcing CFPs for the Annual MSA Conference. If you have any questions, please contact the MSA Webmaster.



Modernist Objects

This CFP IS NOT for a MSA Conference


Third International Conference of the French Society for Modernist Studies (SEM)

13-14-15-16th June 2018, Paris Sorbonne University (VALE EA 4085)

Keynote speakers:

Rachel Bowlby (University College London); Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins University).

In a line which seems pre-emptively levelled at Aaron Jaffe’s The Way Things Go exactly one century later, Richard Aldington wrote in The Egoist that “one of the problems of modern art” is that “to drag smells of petrol, refrigerators, ocean greyhounds, President Wilson and analine [sic] dyes into a work of art will not compensate for lack of talent and technique.” This was December 1914. In the next few decades, psychoanalysis sought to make sense of the trivial, thinkers inquired into the status of the mass-produced object, and the rise of feminist and Labour movements posed the prosaic and essential question of material comforts. Modernist art and literature focused on the mundane, as emblematized by the everyday object, which now crystallized our changing relation to the world. The anachronistic frigidaire patent in Ezra Pound’s “Homage to Sextus Propertius,” ordinariness in William Carlos Williams’s famous “red wheelbarrow,” defamiliarization in Gertrude Stein’s “Roastbeef” are but a few possible variations on the object, its importance becoming central to the British neo-empiricists and the American Objectivists. Papers could examine the claim that the poetry and prose, the visual and performing arts, and the music of the Modernist era accounted for a shift in object relations with an intensity of observation in proportion with the changes which so profoundly affected the experience of living in industrial times. This SEM conference invites English-language contributions that cover the widest range of reflections on Modernist objects.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

- the object vs the thing

- instruments and tools, technology, the machine

- the object as mass-produced commodity; resistance to consumption

- waste, junk, obsolescence, recycling

- the material presence of the book or the magazine in everyday life

- architecture, machines for living

- the Utopian potential of the crafted object

- the gift and the unalienable object

- objects, social identities and intimacy

- the object and/in space

- the object in/of science

- non-human agency

- the object in the Anthropocene

Please send proposals (300 words) and short biographies to Hélène Aji, Université Paris Nanterre (, Noëlle Cuny, Université de Haute Alsace ( and Xavier Kalck, Université Paris Sorbonne ( no later than November 15th, 2017. Notification of decision: December 15th, 2017.

Conference Location: Paris, France
Conference Starts: June 13, 2018
Conference Ends: June 16, 2018

CFP Submission Deadline: November 15, 2017

For more information, contact: Xavier Kalck

"Modernism in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands"

This CFP IS NOT for a MSA Conference

"Modernism in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands"

We are looking for outstanding essays addressing the topic of "Modernism in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands" for a special issue of Modernist Cultures, tentatively scheduled to appear in 2019. While the “global turn” in modernist studies has greatly expanded scholarly conceptions of the geographies and temporalities that can be interestingly considered modernist, this special issue aims to address the comparatively neglected subject of configurations of modernity and modernism in the Pacific. To study modernism in the Pacific is to grapple with issues of settler colonialism, gender, indigeneity, nationalism and transnationalism, sexuality, formations of capital, and racialization that complicate received narratives about the nature and course of modernism and modernization in other parts of the world. We believe that the importance of this project goes well beyond the goal of bringing another geographic region into the modernist fold, overdue as that may be. If modernist studies really wants to investigate modernism as a multi-sited and rhizomatic phenomenon, then we are persuaded that it is essential to consider the intersections and ruptures between the ways cultural producers across the Pacific experienced and expressed modernity, responded to and influenced visual art, music, dance, and literature elsewhere in the world, and advanced or inflected processes of modernization.

We welcome essays on all forms of cultural production and on writing in any of the colonial or indigenous languages of the Pacific; essays themselves should be in English. Please send a 300-word abstract and prospective title for your essay, with a short biographical note, to Brian Reed ( or Erin Carlston ( by 1 October 2017.

Conference Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Conference Starts: October 01, 2017
Conference Ends: October 01, 2017

CFP Submission Deadline: October 01, 2017

For more information, contact: Erin G. Carlston