[Msa-discuss] CFP: Lo-Fi Modernism Roundtable, MSA 2019

Shawna Ross shawnaross1 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 18 10:23:15 EST 2019

Lo-Fi Modernism
CFP, Proposed Roundtable for MSA 2019

Keyword + 200-word abstracts due Friday, March 1 to Shawna Ross and Erin
via shawnaross1 at gmail dot com

Modernism is expensive—so we assume. We take for granted high modernism’s
elitism, particularly as an object of study in the contemporary academy.
And indeed, many of the methods associated with the rise of the New
Modernist Studies are resource-intensive, while the temporal and spatial
expansion of modernism call attention to problems of resource inequality.
Transnational, global, and planetary approaches to modernism call for
including students, faculties, and institutions who may not have reliable
access to some of the research resources typical of modernist scholarship.
The field’s renewed interest in archives threatens to exclude scholars
without a generous travel budget, while expansions into Digital Humanities
and New Media Studies (particularly sound studies and game studies) often
require investments in specialized equipment and software. Meanwhile, for
US-based scholars, the Great Divide that separates public domain and
copyrighted materials poses restrictions on what, where, how we can pursue
our research projects.

In short, as the New Modernist Studies matures, and its promises of new
avenues of research and teaching materialize, so too are materializing many
barriers of access. But as scholarly and pedagogical labor is increasingly
casualized, who has the time and money to visit far-flung archives, collate
dozens of copies of Cane to create a new edition, lavish a semester’s worth
of classroom time to Ulysses, purchase a fleet of iPads for digital
pedagogy activities, or hire squadrons of students to digitize rare
materials? And with dwindling resources, how do we outfit our students with
a rich range of experiences that will prepare them for careers inside or
outside the academy? For faculty members whose service demands increase
over the course of their career, rendering them and ineligible for
early-career and pre-tenure funding opportunities, how do we continue to
take advantage of research opportunities that seem to require resources we
cannot source?

This proposed roundtable for MSA 2019 will attempt to offer “lo-fi”
solutions to these problems. By doing so, we hope to eschew the rarified,
the expensive, and the institutionally bound, as they are slow and tend to
privilege those who are already resource-rich. We privilege instead the
quick, the cheap, and the ad-hoc, seeking strategies for redirecting
resources we may have in new ways. Each roundtable participant will
organize their comments around a single keyword—focused on one aspect of
our scholarly lives—to reveal how graduate students, contingent faculty
members, and tenure-line faculty members can help one another do our jobs
more easily and more equitably.

Sample keywords might include, but are not limited to:

   - Archive
   - Citation
   - Peer Review
   - Digital Project
   - Dissertation
   - Access to Scholarship
   - Institutional Service
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