[Msa-discuss] A CFP for MSA 15: Documentary Modernism

Rasmussen Goloubeva, Irina i.rasmussen.goloubeva at gmail.com
Fri Mar 1 09:21:40 EST 2013

A CFP for MSA 15

One of the principles of Walter Benjamin’s *Arcades Project* (1940) is that
art never responds to “aesthetic exigencies alone.” Benjamin’s work
typifies modernism’s interest in recording cultural history,
particularlyhistorical experience excluded from official
historiographies. Anthologies,
common readers, photographic reportage, and other kinds of compilation use
assemblage as a means of production and require different modes of reading.
Benjamin’s *Arcades Project* (1940) and Nancy Cunard’s *Negro*
*Anthology*(1934) are two examples of documentary modernism. Heroic
achievements in
their own right, these modernist projects—characterized by their
fragmented, contradictory, and suggestive form—share the documentary
impulse towards a new historical comprehension. As anthological projects
typically work by imposing a shape upon the collected cultural material and
asserting curatorial control that material, they raise questions about
representation and agency in documentary writing, and about modernism’s
critical self-understanding and cultural motivation. We invite papers that
explore the aesthetic and cultural thrust of documentary modernism, the
modes of reading they invite, and the kinds of value they generate.

This interdisciplinary panel seeks to explore the sociological impulse of
modernism and its concern with capturing the dynamics of social life in
literature, film, photography, sociology, ethnography, urban writing, and
philosophy. Papers investigating the modernists’ approaches to collecting,
compiling, and recording cultural experience as part of their aesthetic
programs are particularly welcome.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short bio to Irina Rasmussen
Goloubeva (irina.goloubeva at english.su.se <mail
to<irina.goloubeva at english.su.se%20%3cmail%20to>:
irina.goloubeva at english.su.se>) by March 10, 2013.

Irina Rasmussen Goloubeva
Research Fellow
Department of English
Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden


irina.goloubeva at english.su.se

room: E884
office: +46 (0)8-164305
mobile: +46 (0)709-118 301
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