[Msa-discuss] CFP for MSA-discuss list

Mary Wilson mary.wilson at cnu.edu
Tue Feb 19 08:53:38 EST 2013

Please post this CFP to the MSA list.  Thank you!

--Mary Wilson

*Call for Papers: Modernism and the Queer Ordinary*

“Queer” has become a familiar modifier of “modernism,” to the point that
Heather Love could argue in *PMLA *that “of all the forms of marginal
modernism that have surfaced in the past couple of decades, queer modernism
seems particularly likely to merge into modernism proper.”  The
etymological history of the term “queer” shows that it has always signaled
deviance, with its connotations of strangeness, oddity, and peculiarity,
whether or not the term has been used as a weapon or embraced as an
identity.  That legacy perhaps clarifies why queer seems to fit so well
with the new modernist studies, which has enabled us to understand anew
modernism’s multiplicitous, challenging engagements with modernity.

Perhaps less of an obvious fit, but with much potential for modernist
studies, is the “ordinary,” which has also come into its own as a “major
conceptual category in literary studies,” as Benjamin Madden notes in his
review of Liesl Olson’s *Modernism and the Ordinary*.  Olson’s claim that
“ordinary experience” is the central subject of literary modernism offers
another possible way of rethinking traditional modernist histories.

But the possible union of these terms, a “queer ordinary,” still seems
somehow extraordinary;* *queerness continues to have a conflicted
relationship to the ordinary and the everyday.  How do, or should, we
understand queerness in relation to the ordinary?  Is that relationship
always oppositional, or can there be a “queer ordinary” that doesn’t tame
queer’s dynamic oppositionality?

This proposed panel invites papers that investigate the intersections of
modernism, queerness, and the ordinary and the everyday.  How do queer
modernisms depict everyday life?  In what ways are queerness and/or
modernism themselves ordinary?  How might queer modernisms help us to
reinvestigate conceptions of the everyday, possibly disrupting the
equivalence between ordinary/everyday and normal/normative?  Interdisciplinary
papers are welcome.

Please send a 250-word abstract and CV to Mary Wilson (mary.wilson at cnu.edu)
by March 1, 2013.

Mary Wilson, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606
mary.wilson at cnu.edu
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