[Msa-discuss] BAMS conference 2019: Troublesome Modernisms

Bams info at bams.ac.uk
Wed Sep 5 04:27:16 EDT 2018

British Association for Modernist Studies International Conference 2019

Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

20–22 June 2019

Confirmed keynote speaker: Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins)

Second keynote speaker to be confirmed

‘What effects of synergy or friction result when the many, sometimes
contradictory, criteria of high modernism are tested against less evidently
experimental texts by principal figures; against principal works by less
well known or non-European artists; against texts that seem neither to be
art or about art?’

—    Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz

In troubled times, the BAMS International Conference 2019 proposes the
theme of ‘Troublesome Modernisms’. The conference aims to take a fresh look
at modernism’s capacity to, and for, trouble, to examine anew the multiple
modes of modernist argumentation, contestation and dissent. What can we
draw for the present from modernism’s troubled relationship with its own
pasts, presents and futures, and how might we address our troubles with
those aspects of the modernist project that sit uncomfortably with us today?

Inevitably this will include the troubling or scrutiny of the field of
modernism from within. In particular, the conference is eager to mark and
reflect on the reverberations of Douglas Mao’s and Rebecca Walkowitz’s
groundbreaking *Bad Modernisms* (2006), a volume that questioned the limits
of modernist studies, illuminating new avenues of critique by pressuring us
to consider what and when we believe modernity to be, and whose creative
and critical disruption continues to energise our field.

‘Troublesome Modernisms’ is interested in the notion of disorder, so
central to our conceptions of modernity, but also in art that troubles our
idea of modernism itself. The conference seeks to spark debate about how
modernisms might have troubled contemporary writers, political thinkers,
philosophers, artists and consumers; about how modernisms might not fit
with themes or ideals prescribed by modernist studies; and about how works
not immediately identifiable as modernist might afford new analyses of the
relationship between art, culture and modernity. In all, ‘Troublesome
Modernisms’ invites discussion of the ways in which modernisms might embody
negativity, disorder, commotion, interruption, intrusion, insurgency and
difficulty. How does modernism, in and through the lens of modernist
studies, continue both to address trouble and to behave badly?

*How to submit*

Proposals are invited for individual 20-minute papers, panels (3–4
speakers), roundtables, dialogues or other discussions on the broad theme
of ‘Troublesome Modernisms’. These will be drawn from a range of
disciplinary fields and may or may not include the following kinds of

·      Misrepresentation, manipulation and unreliability

·      Noise, distortion and warping

·      Weak and strong modernisms

·      War and peace

·      Anachronism

·      Pedagogical difficulties

·      Perversion and deviance

·      Heretics and the unorthodox

·      Conflicting feelings, emotions and affects

·      Violence, abuse and power

·      The inhuman and the posthuman

·      Revolution, rebellion and revolt

·      Critique and deconstruction

·      Awkwardness, boredom, obsolescence and the inane

·      Illogical, unreasonable and irrational approaches

·      Disobedience, resistance and subversion

·      Outrage, prejudice and intolerance

·      Injustice and lawlessness

·      Modernism and the culture wars

·      Activist modernisms

·      Decorative modernisms

·      Markets and modernism

·      Modernism and fundamentalism

·      Temporal and spatial disruption

Abstracts for individual papers should be no more than 250 words. Abstracts
for other proposed formats should be no more than 500 words, and should
include abstracts of proposed contributions and brief details of their
organisers and contributors. We aim to showcase the work not only of
individuals but of groups, societies, institutions and research projects,
so strongly encourage proposals from, for example, author societies,
research projects and departmental research centres. All proposals should
be sent to *troublesomemodernisms at bams.ac.uk
<troublesomemodernisms at bams.ac.uk>* by:

Deadline for individual paper proposals: 31 January 2019

Deadline for other format proposals: 28 February 2019

Decisions on proposals will be communicated within 4 weeks of the later
deadline (28 February).

*Attendance and fees*

The conference is open to anyone, in any discipline, working on modernism.
Prices for the conference, and details of how to pay, will be advertised

There is a reduced registration rate for BAMS members.

Current annual membership rates, which include a subscription to *Modernist
Cultures*, are £50 standard; £40 student and unwaged; online-only standard
£35; online-only student and unwaged £30.

For more information about BAMS membership, see:

We will be offering some bursaries to enable postgraduate members of BAMS
to attend the conference.
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