[Msa-discuss] CALL FOR PAPERS: Variations on the Flâneur and Flâneuse in International Modernism

Papalas, Marylaura PAPALASM at ecu.edu
Fri Oct 27 08:59:13 EDT 2017


Variations on the Flâneur and Flâneuse in International Modernism:

Utopian and Dystopian Experiences of the City, 1860-1945

The flâneur figure, originating in texts like the anonymous 1806 pamphlet describing a loitering Monsieur Bonhomme, developed in fiction by Honoré de Balzac, Louis Hart, Charles Baudelaire, and Victor Fournel, reinforced in Walter Benjamin’s momentous project on 19th century French culture, and appropriated by avant-garde groups like the Surrealists, has experienced recent revisiting. Explorations into gender (Susan Buck-Morss 1986, Griselda Pollock 1988, Janet Wolff 1989, Anne Friedberg 1993, Deborah Parsons 2000, Elizabeth Wilson 2000, Mariah Devereux Herbeck 2013, and Lauren Elkin 2017), different forms of city travel (Makiko Minow-Pinkney 1998, José Eduardo González 2012), and urban drifting outside of France (James Werner 2011, Dorde Cuvardic García 2012, Richard Wrigley (ed.) 2014, and Peng Hsiao-Yen 2015), have challenged the traditional definition of the flâneur as a male pedestrian strolling through the French capital. With the aim of contributing to this expanded concept of flânerie, and developing a more comprehensive understanding of the range of urban experiences in the modernist period, we invite submissions for chapter contributions to an edited volume on the relationship between the flâneur/flâneuse and city in modernist literature, film, visual and performing arts, and popular culture. For the purposes of this project, the modernist period will be broadly delineated as ranging from 1860 to 1945 so as to examine the changes and variations in flânerie over more than eight decades.

The overarching theoretical question of this collection is whether the flâneur/flâneuse figure--broadly conceived--experiences the city and modernity as utopian or dystopian, that is, as paradisiacal or infernal, as sources of pleasure or pain, as places of beauty or ugliness, as canvases for artistic creation or as settings of destruction, death, or ruin, as egalitarian or stratified spaces, as a matrix of liberation or confinement, etc.

Contributions should explore how the flâneur/flâneuse figure--whether historical or literary, filmic, artistic--understands and engages with his/her environment. Some possible questions to address are:

  *   In what ways does flânerie illuminate or complicate the modern experience of the city?
  *   What roles do gender, class, sexuality, nationality, race or ethnicity play in the practice of flânerie?
  *   What are the concerns of the “peripheral” flâneur/flâneuse and what “peripheries” ought to be examined?
  *   How does flânerie intersect with, engage in or evoke diametric notions like town and country, society and nation, high and low art, the artist and the streetwalker, reverie and action, escapism and engagement, aesthetics and politics?
  *   How have leading artistic, social and political paradigms of the modernist period--Aestheticism, Surrealism, Marxism, Freudianism, First-Wave Feminism, etc.--affected the genealogy of the flâneur/flâneuse figure and flânerie studies?
  *   How have later theories like Postmodernism, Situationism, Postwar Feminism, or Mobility Studies shaped more recent understandings of modernist flânerie?
  *   How have major theoretical contributions such as those of Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin been revisited, revised, or rewritten by later theorists, authors, and practitioners of flânerie?
  *   In addition to textual and literary definitions or characterizations of flânerie, what kinds of alternative examples exist? What is the significance of the flâneur/flâneuse image in art, film, graphic novels, photography, popular magazines, performance or fashion?

Variations on the Flâneur and Flâneuse in International Modernism thus aims to explore both early manifestations of the flâneur figure in mid- to late-nineteenth century texts as well as later variations in early- to mid-twentieth century treatments of the topic. Chapter contributions will be grouped both chronologically (roughly 1860-1900 and 1900-1945) and theoretically (utopic and/or dystopic).  We are open to studies on any geographical region and on any genre or form.

Please email completed chapter submissions of 7,000-9,000 words to Marylaura Papalas (papalasm at ecu.edu<mailto:papalasm at ecu.edu>) and Kelly Comfort (kcomfort at gatech.edu<mailto:kcomfort at gatech.edu>) by March 15, 2018 for consideration in this volume.  Please follow the most recent MLA style guidelines.

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