[Msa-discuss] Fwd: CFP: "A Society to Match The Scenery:" Spectacle and Western American Modernisms. Proposed Panel for 2012 Modernist Studies Association, Las Vegas, NV Oct. 18-21

alex young alex.trimble at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 14:27:08 EDT 2012

Dear MSA members:

Attached and below is a CFP for a panel I am proposing for the 2012 MSA
conference in Las Vegas.  I look forward to hearing from faculty interested
in participating with submissions or queries before *April 4th, 2012*.
Feel free to forward widely.



*"A Society to Match The Scenery:" Spectacle and Western American Modernisms

*Proposed Panel for 2012 Modernist Studies Association: Modernism and

*                                Las Vegas, NV Oct. 18-21*

We are seeking papers for a panel will focus on the relationship between
Western American cultural production, transnational modernism, and the
spectacle.  The rise of modernism was coeval with the rise of Turnerian
historiography in the United States: first delivered as a paper at the
American Historical Association's annual conference in the World's Fair of
1893, and published in book form for the first time in 1920, Frederick
Jackson Turner's "frontier thesis" posited that the frontier produced the
material conditions that forged "the American character," and that the
frontier's closing in 1890 meant an uncertain future for American life.  As
Turnerian historiography argued that the historical significance of the
U.S. West was declining, however, the West became an increasingly
significant space for cultural representation as the nation came to define
itself through the epic narratives and spectacular landscapes of the mythic
West in the early 20th century.  This panel will consider how modernist
cultural production in the U.S. represented the "post-frontier" U.S. West,
a site where the nation is “thrown back on itself" (Turner), as a "a world
that is *really turned upside down*” (Debord).  We welcome papers from
disciplines including English, comparative literature, history, art
history, and American studies.  Possible topics include:

•                The role of the mythic or historical West in the writing
of "high" modernist literary figures not often associated with the
regionalist study of the West; e.g. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein,
D.H. Lawrence or Ernest Hemingway

•                The relationship of writers more often associated with
Western regionalism,(e.g. Nathanael West, Willa Cather, or Mary Austin) to
transnational modernism

•                Spectacle and Western landscapes in the visual cultures of
U.S. modernism; e.g. the photographs of Alfred Steiglitz or the paintings
of Georgia O'Keefe

•                Spectacle and modernity in pop-cultural Western texts;
e.g. the genre Western in print culture or film, regionalist Western
painting, the traveling Western show, or Western performers such as Will

To submit, please send a 250 word abstract and a CV to session organizer
Alex Young at alexanty at usc.edu by *April 4th, 2012*.
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