The Modernist Studies Association is pleased to offer the following workshops during the Chicago 2021 conference. You will have the opportunity to sign up for these workshops during the online registration process.

Labor Solidarity


Megan Faragher, Wright State University (Lake Campus)

Lisa Jong, University of Michigan

Erin Kappeler, Tulane University

Karen Weingarten, Queens College, CUNY

At a moment when university workers face unprecedented levels of precarity in their professional lives, how can we redesign spaces that openly invite, promote, and sustain equity, diversity, and inclusion? Answering this question requires us to address the continued threats to humanities departments, the collapsing job market, the often unreasonable labor demands placed on graduate students, and an ever-growing reliance upon contingent, non-unionized labor in place of full-time employees across campus spaces. Resisting precarity, however, would be transformative for everyone.

This workshop, sponsored by the Caucus for Contingent and Independent Scholars, aims to pool resources from across academic ranks to learn how we, as university workers, can help mitigate or push back against some of the structural issues impacting us all. The workshop will open with a panel of speakers who will address the visible and invisible systems that perpetuate precarity and strategies they have employed to resist and reimagine such systems to reduce precarity on their campuses. We will identify what securely employed academics can do to improve the situation for precarious members of their departments, as well as invite graduate students and contingent faculty to share effective strategies for catalyzing change.

Following the panel and group discussion, participants will break into groups to consider challenges on their campuses and possible plans of action. We will reconvene at the end of the workshop to produce a set of actionable items that individuals—as members of departments and professional organizations—can commit to in the short term. We will also launch the longer-term project of producing an “advocacy handbook” for use by workshop participants and the wider association. The workshop and subsequent handbook compilation will be organized by Charlotte Jones, Kate Schur, Sejal Sutaria, and Emily Bloom, featuring Megan Faragher, Lisa Jong, Erin Kappeler, and Karen Weingarten.

Teaching Modernism in the Age of BLM


Amy Clukey, University of Louisville

Guest Speakers:

Zoë Henry, Indiana University

Amardeep Singh, Lehigh University

Sarah Townsend, University of New Mexico

This workshop will focus on how we teach modernism in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement and ongoing white supremacist violence. It aims to help participants teach race and adopt anti-racist pedagogies in their classes by sharing brass tacks strategies (for instance, what to do if there’s been an act of police violence in the days before you teach?) and the consideration of complex pedagogical issues (to what extent has the teaching of modernism centered whiteness and contributed to anti-blackness not only in undergraduate curricula, but also in departments, graduate training, and universities?). We’ll also discuss the pitfalls and limitations of “decolonizing the syllabus.” Guest speakers will help guide our discussion. Participants will submit a brief statement of their pedagogical concerns (1-2 pages double-spaced) and share one teaching document (such as a syllabus, a lesson plan, an assignment sheet, teaching philosophy, course description, “teaching paragraphs” from a job letter, etc.) to be workshopped by the group before our meeting in Chicago.

Interdisciplinary Publishing


Laura Heffernan, University of North Florida

This 90-minute workshop will feature a small panel of press editors, series editors, journal editors, and authors to discuss how and why they are writing and publishing interdisciplinary work in modernist studies. The workshop will begin with general introductions, including fields of interest, among participants. Panelists will respond to the following two questions: (1) what does exciting interdisciplinary work in modernist studies look like now? (2) what challenges are associated with publishing interdisciplinary work and how can authors best meet or mitigate those challenges? We will have follow-up questions and answers with the audience, and conclude with a general discussion on the final question: (3) what interdisciplinary work in modernist studies remains to be done?