[Msa-discuss] FW: Modernism's Child Conference, Sussex, 20 April 2015

Bryant,Marsha C mbryant at ufl.edu
Wed Jan 21 14:43:30 EST 2015

Hello colleagues. Our own Doug Mao is keynoting this conference, which should interest many MSA-ers.


Marsha Bryant, Professor of English & Distinguished Teaching Scholar
Associate Editor, Contemporary Women's Writing
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117310, Gainesville FL 32611-7310
email: mbryant at ufl.edu
office voicemail: 352-294-2846
fax: 352-392-0860
web: people.clas.ufl.edu/mbryant/

recent book: Women's Poetry and Popular Culture

-----Original Message-----
From: Kidd,Kenneth B 
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2015 11:51 AM
To: Bryant,Marsha C
Subject: FW: Modernism's Child Conference, Sussex, 20 April 2015

Hi - not sure how widely this is circulating, but FYI in case you know anyone interested. best, K

Kenneth Kidd
Professor and Chair
Department of English
P.O. Box 117310
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7310

From: Natalia Cecire [N.Cecire at sussex.ac.uk]
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2015 11:19 AM
To: westmank at ksu.edu; philnel at ksu.edu; rbernste at fas.harvard.edu; opdebena at plu.edu; nicholas.gaskill at rutgers.edu; p.a.crain at gmail.com; sarah.chinn at hunter.cuny.edu; sblackwood at pace.edu; josephlavery at berkeley.edu; esty at sas.upenn.edu; katie.trumpener at yale.edu; heather.klemann at yale.edu; jill.campbell at yale.edu; anna.duane at uconn.edu; Kidd,Kenneth B; rsheldon000 at gmail.com; gerry.canavan at marquette.edu; bgleason at princeton.edu; mcecire at bard.edu; tyler at tylerbickford.com; jgillp at scarletmail.rutgers.edu; marissa.brostoff at gmail.com; mallory.cohn at gmail.com; fischler at sas.upenn.edu; nhurley at ualberta.ca; jaisaac12 at gmail.com; samantha.pergadia at gmail.com; hstaats at gmail.com
Subject: Modernism's Child Conference, Sussex, 20 April 2015

Dear childhood studies friends,

One of our wonderful PhD candidates, Justine Shaw, is running a conference on modernism and childhood this spring through the Centre for Modernist Studies at Sussex, to be held on 20 April 2015. Doug Mao will deliver the main keynote. I'd be very grateful if you could pass the CFP (below) on to anyone you think might be interested. The deadline for abstracts is 1 March 2015.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Natalia Cecire

Lecturer in English and American Literature University of Sussex



Modernism's Child
One-Day Conference
April 20th 2015
Centre for Modernist Studies, University of Sussex

In 1802 William Wordsworth famously declared, "The Child is the father of the Man". Some 100 years later Sigmund Freud would bring new relevance to this statement with his burgeoning psychoanalytic theory of the determinative nature of childhood. The 1920s saw a wealth of intellectual development theorists, among them John B. Watson, whose Behaviorist work famously produced the controversial 'Little Albert' study of 1920. Then, in 1952, phenomenologist Merleau-Ponty delivered his lectures on Child Psychology and Pedagogy at The Sorbonne, exploring childhood from a standpoint that attempted to articulate and examine the alternative academic points of view at work in child development studies. Now, in the early twenty-first century, it is possible to distinguish 'Philosophy of Childhood' as a recognisably independent field of enquiry within mainstream philosophy.

Taking inspiration from Merleau-Ponty's desire to approach the question of childhood from multiple standpoints, this conference aims to explore literary representations of childhood in modernism. Things we may consider include why what Katherine Mansfield called in her journal the "rage for confession, autobiography, especially memories of earliest childhood" was so prevalent in modernism? How reading the contemporaneous work of psychologists and sociologists can affect our understanding of literary discussions of childhood, thereby querying what it means for modernists to write the child at a time when childhood itself was undergoing both radical theoretical and practical changes? In what ways the modernist desire for "newness", youth, and innovation is captured by the style, form, and breadth of its literary engagement with children and childhood? Particularly, how the techniques of children's literature or the use of childish language operate within modernist texts produced both for children and adults? In addition, how the visual arts of the era respond to the question of childhood and, moreover, what reading the visual arts and the literary arts as being concerned with a similar project to explore childhood does to reveal each discipline's engagement?

Subjects to be considered may include but are not limited to:

* Modernism's child in autobiography / life writing / personal writing
* Psychoanalysis - childhood repression at work in modernism, childhood sexuality etc.
* Children's being-in-the-world - self-/other-awareness in children
* Gender development in children as displayed in modernism
* The aesthetically sensitive child in modernism
* Childish embodiment - how children's lived bodies are written
* The child in the visual arts and literary modernism
* Children's literature in the modernist period
* Portrayals of the acquisition of language or of childish language in literary texts
* Childhood and private / domestic space - writing the spaces of childhood
* Representations of toys / children at play
* Social, economic, and cultural changes relating to children between 1900 and 1945
* Voluntary / Involuntary memory - the mental resurgence of childhood and the legacy of Proust
* Writing the psyche - how the young self is psychologically portrayed in modernism
* Comparative work on Victorian and modernist discussions of childhood
* Representations of maternity and paternity in modernism
* The child as a vehicle for modernist concerns - newness, innovation, progress, youth, etc.
* Familial texts - writers writing for / within literary families

Proposals are encouraged from all researchers working in modernist studies with abstracts from graduates and early-career researchers particularly welcome. Preference will be given to papers that foster interdisciplinary exchange. Abstracts of 250 words are invited for 20-minute papers. Please send abstracts along with a brief biographical note to modernismschildconference at gmail.com by 1st March 2015.

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