[Msa-discuss] MSA 15: Religion, Women, and Modernism

Jennifer L Hyest jehc at lehigh.edu
Fri Mar 1 13:25:15 EST 2013

A CFP for MSA 15
Brighton, UK

Religion, Women, and Modernism

This panel explores the exciting and complex ways in which many  
modernist women were engaging with questions of religion. During one  
of their psychoanalytic sessions together, Freud asked H.D. if she  
wished, "in the deepest unconscious or subconscious layers of [her]  
being, to be the founder of a new religion." Indeed, H.D. did harbor a  
wish, more conscious than Freud perhaps realized, to take her  
religious inheritance and make it "new" -- and she was not alone. Far  
from simply renouncing religious traditions, modernist women writers  
were appropriating, rupturing, and revising these religious  
narratives, often inhabiting a seemingly impossible space between the  
sacred and the secular, between belief and non-belief. Whether they  
were engaging with Christianity, Jewishness, mysticism, Catholicism,  
or the occult, it is clear that questions of religion and belief were  
politically, socially, psychologically, and spiritually imperative for  
these women.

This panel invites papers that explore any aspect of this problematic  
in texts by modernist women. To what degree are modernist women  
seeking to repudiate, reclaim, revise, or re-imagine religion in their  
texts? What were their aesthetic, political, moral, social, and  
psychological investments in these problems? What resources did  
modernist formal practices offer these women? How might the analysis  
of religion in women's texts open up fresh avenues of study for  
feminist scholars of modernism?

Please send a 250 word abstract, along with a brief scholarly  
biography, to Jenny Hyest (jehc at lehigh.edu) by March 10.

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