[Msa-discuss] CFP MSA 16: Artistic Modernism and the Confluences of Interdisciplinarity

Susan Funkenstein s.funkenstein at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 19 14:56:01 EDT 2014


 
Call
for Papers
Modernist
Studies Association Conference, November 6-9, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA
 
Panel
topic: Artistic Modernism and the Confluences of Interdisciplinarity
 
Inspired
by the MSA’s theme “Confluence and Division,” this panel asks, what does interdisciplinarity in the context
of artistic modernism mean?  In what ways is
interdisciplinarity itself a meeting or a flow between the disciplines, and in
what ways, despite all its best efforts, is it nonetheless rooted in presumed
divisions between fields and media? 
 
Such
divisions between disciplines are in some ways part of the heritage of
Greenbergian formalism, but the emphasis on context in the “new art history” –
not to mention its own interdisciplinary methodologies – enabled a broader
recognition of a range of practices as worthy of analysis.The expanded awareness
of the role of interdisciplinarity in artistic theory and practice not only
corresponded with a shift from artistic modernism to post-modernism and then
the contemporary, but it also opened the door for a reassessment of the role
played by interdisciplinary interactions in modernism. 
 
It
is clear that the art world’s emphasis on Greenbergian modernism in effect
concealed the actual interdisciplinarity that thrived in plain sight. 
This panel seeks to draw further attention to previously un- or
under-recognized examples of such interdisciplinary approaches that existed at
the heart of the theories and practices of artistic modernism. Examples
include: art historians such as the American Meyer Schapiro who sought
theoretical inspiration in fields including anthropology, psychology and
linguistics, among others; sculptors such as Isamu Noguchi who constructed
stage sets for Martha Graham’s choreographies; and Dadaists such as Raoul
Hausmann who created photomontages as well as performance art.
 
In
some cases, the nature of the interdisciplinary work was collaborative; each
individual created according to their specialization and contributed to the
whole. In other cases, the individual worked in a cross-disciplinary manner, engaging
fields in ways that bridged the distinctions between them. The impetuses
for interdisciplinary work among modernists were multiple. In some instances,
individuals saw the work being done in other disciplines as a possible means to
avoiding gendered or racial assumptions. In other examples, interdisciplinary
investigations were a means to challenge hierarchies ensconced within their own
fields, or even to model future collaborative ideals.  By bringing
together papers that address interdisciplinary work in artistic modernism, this
panel seeks to deepen our understanding of the cultural production that
countered the dichotomies and hierarchies that used to be seen as inherent to
modernism.
 
This
panel welcomes papers on topics in the visual and performing arts as well as in
theory and criticism, philosophy, and historiography.
 
Please
send a brief abstract (about 200 words) and a CV to Susan Funkenstein (s.funkenstein at yahoo.com) and Cindy
Persinger (persinger at calu.edu) by May 1, 2014.
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