[Msa-discuss] CFP: modernism + rural revolutions (MSA 17)

JESS LAMAR REECE HOLLER jesslrh at sas.upenn.edu
Tue Mar 24 23:01:42 EDT 2015

Dear All --

Please consider the following CFP, for MSA 17 in Boston.
Feel free to drop us a line with any questions or to discuss ideas!
We'd love to hear from you. 

All the Best,

Brooke, Jason and Jess


This call seeks papers on modernism’s involvement with and response to rural revolutions in the 20th century for a panel or panel series at the 2015 MSA Meeting in Boston. We’re looking for papers investigating modernist cultures and literatures alongside the transformation of rural landscapes and cultures, in imagination and on the land, in the long 20th century. We particularly seek papers that consider the rise of industrial agriculture and its discontents or the role of the rural and its representations in movements towards social and ecological revolution. We welcome papers that consider and investigate the rural alongside multiple and contested modernities.

We are interested in all kinds of research projects that examine “rural modernism” both as a force of industrialization or settler colonialism and as a radical renegotiation of those processes. We thus welcome hemispheric approaches and papers attentive to postcolonial concerns, including rural modernism, development and politics in the global South. Likewise, we invite papers that consider rural revolutions from perspectives including the environmental humanities, food studies, feminist and queer studies, science and literature, and the history of technology. The panel will take up the question of rural modernism across literary genres, as well as cinematic, musical and popular cultures and non-fiction rural print and documentary cultures including magazines, the agricultural press, and rural or agricultural memoirs, advertising, instructional pamphlets, bulletins, circulars, and ‘how-to’ guides.

Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:
-- the rural and multiple modernities, including the rise of industrial agriculture globally, and responses to the “Green Revolution”
-- rural “modernization” movements and the state: the complex lives of rural development policies in 20th-century colonialism, domestic state-building programs, and under neoliberalism/global capitalism. For example, papers might consider the U.S. New Deal, Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction land reform, exurban planning in the American West, Native American removal, reservations, and rights, apartheid spatial organization and the limitations of post-apartheid land reform in South Africa, Zimbabwean land reform and its perception as threat by other African states, Irish modernities and the rural/provincial, or rural modernization policies and responses in other spaces
-- rural indigeneities/indigenous ruralities: indigeneity and the land, rural activism, indigenous responses to industrial agriculture or rural development projects
-- the role(s) of the rural in Anthropocene studies, ecocriticism, critical animal and plant studies, sustainability studies
-- rural modernism and the texture of history; past-ness or strategic reuses, responses to or “repetitions with a difference” of rural pasts; cultures of rural reception
-- role of the rural in urban and suburban imaginations, including regional development, suburbanization and community planning
-- rural modernism and the emergence of conservation and ecological thinking in the 20th century; the role of the rural in literatures and cultures of environmental activism
-- new agrarianism / the pastoral in the age of industrial agriculture
-- race-making and rural development in the global 20th century 
-- the politics and representations of back-to-the-land movements, homesteading and agrarian revivals in the 20th and 21st century
-- revolutions and the rural “commons”: movements such as food sovereignty in Latin America, Spain, Africa and elsewhere; Naxalite movements in South Asia; rural politics in Palestine; etc
-- politics of the and representations of the rural in conflict, reconciliation
-- rural and farm geographies; rural infrastructure
-- gender politics in food and farm movements; queer ruralisms
-- rural modernism and sustainability studies
-- modernism and the rural imagination in food studies, especially food politics, food justice, and food sovereignty

We also invite broader considerations of modernism and the imagination of the countryside, agricultural or otherwise, and papers that trouble these very categories. We welcome papers spanning the 20th century, from 1900 to our current food, farm, and rural landscapes. 

Please send 300-word abstracts by April 5th, 2015, to Brooke Stanley, Jason Bell and Jess Lamar Reece Holler at ruralmod at gmail.com.

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