[Msa-discuss] CFP: Modernism and the Forms of Life Writing (MSA Columbus)

Ella Ophir e.ophir at usask.ca
Tue Mar 13 12:36:11 EDT 2018

CFP: Modernism and the Forms of Life Writing

MSA Columbus (Nov. 8-11, 2018)

This proposed panel will pursue the remapping of modernism through its
complex relations with life writing. While recent work has emphasized the
many forms of generic blurring and fusion (e.g. Saunders’
“autobiografiction”), we seek to examine, as an informing and instructive
contrast, instances of relatively direct engagement with the particular
liabilities, and the particular leverage, of the explicitly (perhaps
graphically) “personal” and the avowedly “true”--whether in the form of
diaries, letters, autobiographies or memoirs, or biographies. We are
interested in papers that focus on particular instances but address broader
questions, such as: How do the subject’s gender and social position inform
the purposes and alter the stakes of publishing these forms? What modes are
deployed (e.g. confession, testimony, documentary) and to what ends? What
might the creation, publication, or reception of these forms in the
modernist era reveal about changing notions of subjectivity, privacy,
readership--perhaps of historiography and of fiction? If “the very genres
we choose to read define the contours of our narratives about modernism”
(Seshagiri 2017) how might reading and teaching these forms of life writing
reshape those narratives?

Please send 250-300 word proposals and a brief bio to Ella Ophir (
e.ophir at usask.ca) by March 30.

*Ella Ophir*
Associate Professor, Department of English
College of Arts & Science | University of Saskatchewan
P. (306) 966-2056
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