Dear Members and Friends,
I write regarding the planned October 2020 Modernist Studies Association (MSA) conference in Brooklyn, New York. Following extensive deliberations and a survey of members, the MSA board has determined that we cannot safely hold the Brooklyn conference in a manner that reflects our ambitions and safeguards the health of our members. We are therefore cancelling the October 2020 MSA conference. But there is good news, too! The CFP for the Brooklyn conference generated a record number of proposals in every category. What’s more, the work proposed was outstanding in its quality and diversity, representing all that is best about modernist studies in the present.
We are therefore rescheduling the Brooklyn conference for October 2023. Many of the 2020 organizers will come together again to plan this effort. And although my term as MSA president will end this fall, I will remain personally involved in making the Brooklyn conference happen.
My sincere thanks to everyone who helped plan the 2020 conference. Please join me in saluting the co-chairs: Patrick Deer, Amanda Golden, and Nico Israel. Thank you, also, to the members of the Steering Committee: Elizabeth Alsop, Emily Bloom, Bridget Chalk, Matt Eatough, Anne Fernald, Christopher GoGwilt, Jonathan Goldman, Robert Higney, Adam McKible, Julie Napolin, Vaclav Paris, and Michael Rubenstein.
If you submitted a proposal or paper to the 2020 conference, please accept my apologies. All of us on the MSA board are disappointed, too, about this outcome. We hope that you’ll join us at our forthcoming conferences in Chicago, Illinois (fall 2021) and Portland, Oregon (fall 2022).
Please watch out for news about possible fall 2020 online events. While these will hardly compensate for the loss of our traditional MSA conference, we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to showcase at least some of the incredible work that would otherwise have been presented in Brooklyn. I’ll write again on this topic in the next several weeks.
Sincerely – and in solidarity, Matt Hart