news: Photos from MSA16 are now up!


The Modernist Studies Association conference will be hosted by Duquesne University and co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. The organizers are pleased to invite modernist scholars to the city of Pittsburgh, about which Marianne Moore observed:

It is a far cry from the ‘queen of jewels’
and the beau with the muff,
from the gilt coach shaped like a perfume bottle,
to the conjunction of the Monongahela and the Allegheny,
and the scholastic philosophy of the wilderness
to combat which one must stand outside and laugh
since to go in is to be lost.

Indeed, Pittsburgh sits at a powerful natural confluence of rivers – the Allegheny and the Monongahela – that forms the Ohio River at the western “point” of what is now the city’s vibrant downtown. This geographic conjunction speaks to the city’s history and character, marked in distinctive ways by convergences, collusions, and confluences that simultaneously function as splits, severances, divisions: the meeting of East Coast and Midwest, of urban streets and rural Appalachia, of capitalist splendor and worker resistance, of Gilded Age mansions and depleted communities, of stunning natural beauty and equally stunning environmental degradation. The city offers a rich site to contemplate the multifaceted impact of the modernist era and the forces of modernity.

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