Important Dates:

Jul. 31, 2010
-Seminar Registration Deadline

-A/V Request Deadline

Sept. 15, 2010
-Early Registration Ends

-Last Day to Register for "What Are You Reading?"

Oct. 12, 2010
-Last Day to Reserve Hotel Room at "Special Rate"

Oct. 22, 2010
-Last Day for Conference Registration

-Last Day to Register for Business Lunch


Seminar Registration is now closed.

You will have the opportunity to list your top three seminar choices during the registration process. If a seminar is marked "closed," it has reached its maximum number of participants. In order to secure a place in your preferred seminar, we recommend you register as quickly as possible.

1. Rethinking Transatlantic Networks – Michael Malouf

Transatlantic Modernism has long been seen as the foundational modernist network, signifying the travel and collaboration of artists from the U.S. and Europe. This seminar is interested in the ways in which recent work has re-cast this network of relations to consider other transatlantic routes, including the Caribbean, Africa and South America and Latin America. What are some of the new networks that have been imagined in transatlantic space? What types of modernisms are being defined by this travel? How has the conceptual model of Joseph Roach’s “circum-Atlantic” replaced that of the transatlantic? What new cross-cultural reading practices are involved in these new transatlantic formations?

2. Modernist Death(s) – Holly Laird

This seminar invites discussion of death—actual, psychological, social, ecological, always also textual and/or visual—through modernist lenses. Contributions focusing on lesser studied phenomena are encouraged, ranging from the 1880s through post-World War II modernity; based on various types of texts, from the written to the corpsical; and focused on diverse kinds of death, from suicide to the extermination of populations. How do/did death’s imaginary inflect social-actor networks? How do social-actor networks carry and transform its burdens? How do personal, cultural, and disciplinary discourses cross-pollinate? Narrower foci from throughout this period are anticipated for individual contributions.

3. Diaspora, Migration, and Modernism – Beth Rosenberg

Though the critical concepts of diaspora and migration originate in postcolonial theory, they also define the history of modernism itself. In addition to traditional representations of diaspora, exile, and migration in modern literature, this seminar includes the following topics: 20th century immigration policy and its impact on art and aesthetics, modernism and diaspora, global modernisms, translation as migration, displaced modernisms, ideologies of “home,” politics of multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, borders and borderlands, mixing, hybridity, homesickness, memory, nostalgia, melancholy.

4. Is there a Future for Women’s Literature in Modernist Studies? – Mark Hussey and Jane Garrity

The last two conferences have featured feminist roundtables that have attempted to initiate a conversation about the status of women's writing within modernist studies today, and this seminar aims to build upon that foundation by asking: "is there a future for women's literature in modernist studies?," or has a gender-specific analysis become passé? Clare Hanson, at MSA 11, proposed that “feminism and women’s writing risk becoming, once more, sidelined or marginal to the main developments in the field” of modernist studies. Is this so? Is there a category “women’s writing,” as opposed to writing by women? How have “the new modernist studies” treated women modernists?

5. Modernism and Administration – Alan C. Golding and Aaron Jaffe

Modernism often opposes forms of cultural control with rebellious outlaw or fugitive stances. Yet, new modernist studies finds it hard to disentangle these stances, and modernist activity generally, from the administrative and institutional imperatives of its history: management of reputations, capital, canons, foundations, journals, museums, performances, schemes; implementation of public policy, documentation, observation, education, method, bookkeeping, accounting; facilitation by and through editing, publishing, collecting, office work, prizes, residuals. We’re interested in 1.) interpretations of modernist texts making an issue or a theme of administration, and 2.) discussions of modernist culture as a resource to be facilitated, curated, allocated and implemented.

6. Reimagining Form through the Network – Jonathon J. Butts, Wesley Beal, and Stacy Lavin

The conference invitation suggests an array of networks—of people, technologies, influences, and relationships—but leaves unmentioned a central concern of modernist production and criticism: form. How might we reconsider modernism’s formal experiments in terms of networks? In what ways does an emphasis on networks help us understand collage, montage, image, jazz, the vortex, or other common figures of modernist form? How might a networked rearticulation of these formal dynamics prompt reexaminations of modernists’ relations to their political or social milieu? And how might we subject these networked rereadings to interrogation? This seminar welcomes papers with interdisciplinary and international perspectives. Invited participants will include Molly Gage and Matthew Garite.

7. The Modernism-Fashion Nexus – Lois Cucullu and Celia Marshik

From ready-to-wear to haute couture, fashion provided modernism with inspiration, lines of association, and cautionary tales. It was, as Benjamin put it, “the eternal recurrence of the new.” Though once disparaged as feminine practice, scholars have recently studied fashion as an exemplary code of status and hierarchy, whether for distinction or conformity, subversion or degradation. This seminar explores the relationship between modernism and fashion at the level of social theory, consumption, creative and material praxis, and representation. It invites papers that examine designs and designers, seamstresses and models, materials and manufacture, and the crossover from finished to surreal object.

8. Reception of Late Modernist Writing by Women – Lara Vetter and Demetres P. Tryphonopolous

In response to emerging interest in late modernism, this seminar will
consider women writers' late modernist texts written during the era
of the Second World War. We are particularly interested in current
reception of texts that may have been forgotten until recently in
archives or otherwise excluded from literary history and scholarly
discussion, as well as the potential impact of those texts on
contemporary theorizing of late modernism. We welcome papers on late
modernist productions by women presented through a variety of theoretical lenses: gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, critical theory, historicist and materialist approaches, and so forth. Cynthia Hogue will act as respondent for this seminar.

9. The Logics of Constructivist Abstraction in Writing and the Visual Arts – Charles Altieri

This seminar will concentrate on discussing four basic questions: what values does constructivist abstraction pursue and make possible; what is the significance and power of its refusals; what internal pressures generate changes within this perspective over time; and how can writers continue to develop strategies for elaborating this literal rendering of the principle of networks.

10. Marginal Modernisms: Texts and Paratexts – Michael Thurston and Emily Wojcik

Gerard Genette calls attention to paratexts—elements of books/magazines that appear literally alongside texts—while Jerome McGann in The Textual Condition draws attention to bibliographic codes to understand the significance of aspects of the artifact. We seek explorations of how such elements create networks among writers, readers, editors, and advertisers, both within and beyond modernist texts. How do colophons, lists of previous and forthcoming publications, typesetting, encoded value (paper weight, ink quality), etc., articulate specific models of modernism? How do advertisements, letters to the editor, and editorial sequencing establish networks (among artists, between artists and audiences)? How does participation in such networks contribute to taste formation and audience development? Finally, how do contemporary advances in data storage—the ability to preserve material often left out of library binding or microfilm—affect scholarship on modernist publication? We welcome scholars whose work along these lines fleshes out accounts of modernism and explores the methodological implications of attending to the literally marginal and formerly invisible.

11. Modernism and the Languages of Jewishness – Tatjana Soldat-Jaffe and Amy Blau

This seminar invites explorations of the relations of modernity and modernism and the languages of the Jewish experience as productive sites of contact, influence and confluence. To what extent has modernism been shaped by languages of Jewish alterity? To what extent have Yiddish, modern Hebrew, Ladino, and capabilities of Jewish inflections in languages like English, German, French, Russian, and others been hindered or assisted by the developments of modernity? We invite contributions that address the modernity of Jewish languages from a range of literary and cultural materials, as well as considerations of the "Jewish" languages and linguistic forms of (Jewish) modernisms.

12. After the New Modernist Studies: Rethinking the Postmodern – Robin Blyn CLOSED (do not request this seminar)

By redefining modernism, the new modernist studies have effectively challenged the ways we have been trained to think about postmodernism (Jameson, Habermas, Lyotard). This seminar seeks to approach a “new postmodernist studies.” Laying aside claims that postmodernism is merely an extension of modernism, or a complete break with it, our project will be to find new ways of defining postmodernism such that we can recognize the variety of postmodern practices and appreciate the historical particularity of their emergence. Is World War II the definitive event for the production of postmodernisms? How important are transformations in global capitalism or the revolutionary political movements of the 1960s? What are the relationships between the postmodern and other “posts” (posthumanism, postcolonialism, poststructuralism)? Does the term postmodern refer to a kind of text or to an affective response? Any and all approaches are welcome.

13. Modernisms: Wars, States, and Citizens – Marlene Briggs and Paul Saint-Amour - CLOSED (do not request this seminar)

W. H. Auden invokes the Unknown Soldier in his mock-elegy, “The Unknown Citizen.” This seminar explores the contested ground of citizenship from the Great War (1914-18) to the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). State categories – aliens, conscripts, enemies, refugees, spies, terrorists, and others – regulated wartime populations through differential norms of membership and mobility. How did modernists mobilize these public discourses of exclusion and inclusion? Which cultural figures, forms, and practices shaped interwar civic controversies? In turn, how might debates on 21st century wars, states, and citizens inform approaches to modernism? Relevant topics include commemoration, consumerism, empire, revolution, suffrage, surveillance, and trauma.

14. Modernism and Disability – Maren Linett and Janet Lyon

Drawing on work in disability studies flourishing since the 1990s, this seminar considers the range of constructions of and attitudes toward disability in modernist literature and culture. Papers might consider a text's portrayal of a particular disability (e.g., Carson McCullers' representation of deafness in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter or H. G. Wells' representation of blindness in "The Country of the Blind"); might theorize ways that authors' disabilities inform their technical innovations (e.g., James Joyce's or Jorge Louis Borges' blindness as influences on their intense portrayals of visual phenomena; or Elizabeth Bowen's stammer as a form of Deleuzean stuttering); might explore the ways the body is constructed as normal or abnormal in literature or film; or might explore the generative role of disability in a modernist aesthetics directed against normate culture.

15. Modernist Digital Networks: An Infrastructure for Digitizing Modernist Print Culture – Clifford Wulfman

This seminar convokes modernist scholars and digital humanists to put this year's conference theme of networks into practice by working through what it would take to confederate our efforts to establish a deep and far-ranging digital resource for the study of Modernism through digital editions of magazines and other artifacts of print culture. Furthering this endeavor requires the joint labor and dedication of scholars, technologists, and librarians/curators, and the MSA seminar format is well suited to such a collaboration.

Much of the seminar's work will take place in discussions leading up to the conference -- establishing common goals; thinking about patterns of collaboration, access, and control; working out an infrastructure for the distributed production and dissemination of digital editions. The outcome of the seminar will be a joint document that will serve as a reference point for digitization projects, further collaborations, and quests for funding. As a follow-up to this seminar, we will offer a roundtable at the Buffalo MSA to unveil our results and encourage discussion and feedback.

16. Globalizing Modernist Studies: Research and Teaching Strategies – Susan Stanford Friedman CLOSED (do not request this seminar)

The seminar will challenge older paradigms of an internationalist modernism by exploring strategies in research and teaching that are more fully global or planetary. Participants will be encouraged to theorize about and position their work on modernism under the rubrics of: (1) Re-Vision, returning to “canonical” modernist texts to reread within a planetary framework; (2) Recovery, incorporation of modernisms outside the conventional “canon,” especially from non-Western traditions; (3) Circulation, studying the travels, networks, enmenshments of modernisms from different parts of the globe; and/or (4) Collage, radical juxtapositions of modernisms not typically read together for insight into broader theoretical/comparative issues. Friedman’s essay outlining these strategies in greater detail will be made available to participants.

17. Modernism and the Scene of the Archive – Anita Helle and Amanda Golden

The seminar considers contemporary issues and tensions in the expanding field of archival material research. We invite papers that consider how archival and material research inflect and transform our understanding of modernist texts as well as reconsiderations of the “scene of the archive”—that is, how modernist networks and ideas materialize in archival settings and artifacts. Suggested topics include but are not limited to archives of individual writers and teaching modernism with archival materials; modernism’s alternative archives (home and street); modernists as collectors and “cultures of collecting” in modernist archives; feeling and thinking in archival research; the instability of archives; trauma in archives; gendering and racializing of archives.

Please note that the following scholars have agreed to join the seminar as invited participants:

Cristanne Miller, Edward H. Butler Professor of English and Chair of the English Department, State University of New York at Buffalo

Marsha Bryant, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, University of Florida

18. International Networks – David Ayers

Avant-gardists and Modernists commonly looked beyond national boundaries and developed programs of activity which were international in scope both artistically and politically. Notably, after the Great War nationalism was called into question, and internationalist ideals of different kinds were examined with fresh interest. D.H. Lawrence undertook an individualistic ‘savage pilgrimage’ in an attempt to transcend ‘England’ by connecting with pre-industrial culture; Leonard Woolf advocated the collective political security of the League of Nations; Eliot made the Criterion into an internationalist hub. Many other writers traveled in search of alternatives to national identity; editors solicited international contributors and commissioned important translations; both groups explored ideas of international culture and politics. This seminar focuses on the internationalization strategies of writers and journal editors of all nations in the period 1900-1940.

19. The Print Media Ecology of Modernity, 1880-1922: Transnational Networks and Periodical Communities – Ann L. Ardis

How do we conceptualize a newspaper or magazine’s contribution to a public sphere that was being transformed by the visual and technological “mediamorphosis” of print at the turn of the twentieth century? Did the print media environment of modernism create more opportunities for transnational exchange than prevailing paradigms of national print culture would suggest, requiring us to think differently about historical periodical communities and the shaping of taste as a collective project? As we recover modernism’s entanglement, in the pages of periodicals, with feminism, socialism, and other radical cultural movements, do we also need, more fundamentally, to “recalibrate the measure of modernity” (Leja)? Papers analyzing the print media ecology of modernity through the study of transnational networks and periodical communities are especially welcome in this seminar, which invites consideration of questions such as these that energize recent scholarship in modern periodical studies.

20. Modernist Media and the Pacific Rim – Michael Coyle and Steven Yao

Canonical Euro-American modernist writers famously viewed the accomplishments of numerous Asian traditions as crucial antidotes to a Western culture perceived to be mired in crisis. At the same time, the modernist period also witnessed monumental artistic, cultural, political and other transformations across the geographical area known as the Pacific Rim. In addition to literary revolutions in China, Japan, and other nations, new developments in areas such technology, mass communication, music, and others, further reshaped the cultural terrain across the region. This seminar welcomes participants interested in any intersection between modernist media and the Pacific Rim. Possible topics include Euro-American engagements with Pacific Rim traditions; the spread and function of jazz in different Asian cities; the role of film in the development of Pacific Rim Modernisms.

21. Wittgenstein’s Modernisms – Michael LeMahieu and Lisi Schoenbach

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s writings simultaneously provoke and resist modernist readings. This seminar invites papers that consider the aesthetic, cultural, philosophical, or other modernisms of Wittgenstein’s work, early or late. We welcome papers that consider how Wittgenstein fits or misfits the categories of twentieth-century philosophy – from pragmatism to logical positivism to ordinary language philosophy – or those that examine other nodes in a modernist network of literary and cultural production to which Wittgenstein connects or from which he disconnects, including avant-garde aesthetics, psychology and psychoanalysis, visual culture, and religious studies. Papers might read Wittgenstein’s work in terms of established modernist networks (e.g., Bloomsbury) or explore its possible anti- or post-modern aspects.

22. Theorizing Visual/Textual Study – Christopher Reed CLOSED (do not request this seminar)

Despite longstanding academic disciplinary divides between text and image, many – probably most – modernists combined visual and textual practices, if not in their own work certainly in their creative and professional circles. The institutionalization of terms like “visual culture” and “visual studies” to name interdisciplinary academic programs and subfields marks a shift in the study of modernism that acknowledges the integration of the visual and the textual. At this point, however, theorization of this interdisciplinary practice remains inchoate, with competing vocabularies and approaches offering opportunities for creativity and innovation, but also risking incoherence and redundancy. This seminar asks participants to reflect on methodological and theoretical approaches to visual culture/studies they find useful or frustrating (or some combination).

23. The Culture Network: Modernism, Anthropology and Art – Eric Aronoff

A century after the advent of literary modernism and “classic” anthropology, the MSA conference theme on “Networked Modernism” provides an opportune moment to consider the deep interconnections between the two fields. This seminar will build on work by scholars in the last decade (Manganaro, Hegeman, Chris Douglas, et. al.), to examine the ways in which key concepts, representational strategies and concerns of modernist anthropology arise within an interdisciplinary, pre-disciplinary, and transnational network of ideas, institutions and technologies that shape modernist literature and art. In what way might we see modernist anthropologists, linguists, literary critics, artist and social scientists (among others) engaging a common problematic of culture, form and meaning? Topics might include: the form of culture and literary form; the meaning of meaning; storytelling, fieldwork and folklore; empire and ethnography; ethnography and film; writing and cultural “dwelling” from the Southwest to the South Seas; networks of travel, tourism, art and anthropology; regional modernism; participant-observation and art; “mass observation;” primitivism; surrealism and anthropology.