[Msa-discuss] MSA Amsterdam CFP: Weak Modernism and the periodical form

Alexander Christie achristie at brocku.ca
Fri Jan 27 16:55:35 EST 2017

Weak Modernism and the periodical form
Topic: the historiography of Modernism; periodical research and Modernism
Patrícia Taborda Silva and Maria José Canelo

Modernism’s historiography is often antithetical to the historical positivism of technical-industrial Modernity with its penchant for ordering historical events into a linear, progressive sequence, which prioritises the future-bound present as the summit of human achievement. The hegemony of the latter perspective in twentieth-century modernist studies, consolidated by triumphant or ‘breakthrough’ (Perloff, 1998) narratives of Modernism has undergone a paradigm shift in twenty-first century modernist studies towards what theorists have termed ‘weak modernism’ (Saint-Amour), which recuperates the centrifugal, plural and heterogeneous developments of modernist cultural expression. That these facets of Modernism were perceived by those involved in its early manifestations is evident, for instance, in the Eliotic “historical sense” – “a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence” –, underpinning the reigniting of literary genealogies leading up to the present in Eliot’s Tradition and the Individual Talent, and Pound’s “Vortex”, which comprises “the energized past”, “All the past that is vital, all the past that is capable of living into the future” (Blast 1, 153). As well as revealing the underlying heterochronicity of modernist works, weak modernism underscores their heterogeneity, both through formal experimentation and through the re-enactment of past forms and genres which modernists like Eliot and Pound proposed and practiced. Much of those practices occurred in periodicals, which, through their anthological nature, which reflects the diversity of modernist production, constitute privileged sites of excavation of the multiple temporalities and formal plurality attendant on modernist production. With this approach to the historiography of Modernism in mind, this panel examines instances of bi-directionality in early modernist periodicals, notably the comingling of avant- and arrièrre-garde tendencies, even in those periodicals with a markedly ‘make it new’ agenda. It explores the modernity of some of their anti-modernist production and the emergence of a ‘classicised modernism’ in some of them, as well as the relationship between the periodicals’ content and the aesthetic leanings of their directors or editors, who exercised a curatorial role in relation to competing contemporary trends. Finally, this panel speculates about the ways in which dissident models of history, temporality, sexuality, and gender find expression in the literary and visual production of early modernist periodicals.

Marjorie Perloff, ‘Normalizing John Ashbery’,
Paul K. Saint-Amour, Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form, before note 21: https://books.google.pt/books?id=Htl4BgAAQBAJ&pg=PT44&lpg=PT44&dq=%22weak+modernism%22&source=bl&ots=z-OoBgldPW&sig=35yt3HoS5vkEAYzvOnp4lG52mBA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvj56wl4jRAhVCXBoKHYjVDFkQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q=%22weak%20modernism%22&f=false<https://books.google.pt/books?id=Htl4BgAAQBAJ&pg=PT44&lpg=PT44&dq="weak+modernism"&source=bl&ots=z-OoBgldPW&sig=35yt3HoS5vkEAYzvOnp4lG52mBA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjvj56wl4jRAhVCXBoKHYjVDFkQ6AEIJTAC#v=onepage&q="weak%20modernism"&f=false>

Any expression of interest can be sent to:
p.taborda.silva at gmail.com<mailto:p.taborda.silva at gmail.com>
mjc254 at nyu.edu<mailto:mjc254 at nyu.edu>

Maria José Canelo


Professora Auxiliar
Secção de Estudos Anglo-Americanos
Departamento de Línguas, Literaturas e Culturas
Faculdade de Letras
Investigadora Permanente
Centro de Estudos Sociais
Universidade de Coimbra

Assistant Professor
Anglo-American Studies Section
Departament of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Faculty of Arts
Senior Researcher
Center for Social Studies
University of Coimbra, Portugal
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