[Msa-discuss] Need Testimonials for New Feminist Modernist Journal

Laity, Cassandra claity at utk.edu
Tue Jan 13 09:46:31 EST 2015

As we near a contract for a new feminist modernist journal (FMS), the publishers are asking for brief testimonials expressing the need (enthusiasm) for such a journal. (As you recall, I solicited suggestions from the list earlier for topics/authors).

We would greatly appreciate a few lines indicating how FMS might fill gaps for you, enhance your work, or provide a venue for your writing, etc.

You can send these to claity at utk.edu<mailto:claity at utk.edu> or here.

Below is a brief one-page description of the journal. Thank you!

Sustaining a broad international, global, and interdisciplinary scope, Feminist Modernist Studies (FMS) will stress theoretical, cultural, formalist, geographical, and archival approaches to women writers and producers of art/culture over the long twentieth-century.  The surge of interest in women writers and “second wave,” feminist criticism spanning the 1980s to late-1990s which focused largely on postmodern and psychoanalytic/linguistic theory was followed by an often described “post-feminist” era of roughly fifteen years.  Thus, attention to women and feminist criticism has seriously lagged behind in the interval witnessing the academy’s turn toward modernism/cultural studies and the emergence of new critical theories building  upon and departing from the “second wave” preoccupation with psychoanalytic/linguistic theory.

Feminist Modernist Studies aims to address these gaps.  Emphasizing modern women, gender, sexuality and feminist issues, the journal offers a much needed venue variously for ongoing work in the burgeoning, feminist areas of cultural studies and global, transnational studies; for the recovery of underexplored or “lost” women writers and producers of art/culture; and for new developments in a possible “third wave” feminist critical theory drawing on the rapidly growing fields of disability studies, ecocriticism,  transnational “comparative” theory, post-human scholarship, the “new materialism,” and LGBT studies.  Embracing the long twentieth-century, Feminist Modernist Studies’ purview extends from the 1870s and late-Victorian phenomena such as the “New Woman” and Decadent movement to the early 1970s when modernist writers such as Elizabeth Bishop were still active.   The journal would not be limited to women modernists, but would welcome submissions on male modernists creating in relation to women, feminism, and theory, for example, through representations of the female body in literary, artistic and cultural productions, authorial/editorial collaborations, and influence studies.

As Anne Fernald notes in her introduction to a recent special issue on feminism and the new modernisms (MFS 59. 2 [2013]), Virginia Woolf  and her feminist classic A Room of One’s Own remain the “landmarks” for scholarship on women and feminist theory at the expense of lesser known modernists and post-21st-century theories.  Feminist Modernist Studies seeks to expand the range of women writers receiving serious critical attention.  Inside the Anglo/American axis, we invite essays exploring a variety of prose writers and poets, including Mina Loy, H.D., Djuna Barnes, Sylvia Plath, Willa Cather, Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Robins, Radclyffe Hall, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Elizabeth Bishop, Jean Rhys, Vera Brittain; and the underexplored “London circle” comprising Bryher, Rebecca West, May Sinclair, Mary Butts, and Dorothy Richardson.  Outside the Anglo/American axis, the journal opens its pages to writers across the globe including European modernists such as poet, artist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven and non-Western/multicultural women such as Iqbalunnisa Hussain (Indian), Lin Huiyin (Chinese), or Uma Marsen (Jamaican).  The journal also welcomes submissions recovering forgotten and underpublished women writers—a project made possible by such recently available archival resources as the Modernist Journals Project (Brown) and its digitalization of countless little magazines.  As important, the journal will extend beyond women writers to modernist women artists/producers, including editors, architects, sculptors, filmmakers, dancers, and women in broadcasting.

Prof. Cassandra Laity
Visiting Scholar
English Department
University of Tennessee-Knoxville
e-mail claity at utk.edu
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