[Msa-discuss] CFP: Derivative Modernisms

Stephen Ross saross at uvic.ca
Mon Feb 18 13:59:26 EST 2019


Derivative Modernisms


Just how wide is modernism’s debt to Indigenous cultural practices? We all know that Picasso stole freely from African masks in developing his cubist aesthetic, but what other such thefts have remained hidden from view? What writers “borrowed” from Indigenous narrative contents and techniques without attribution? Which sculptors made Indigenous uses of volume and plane their own (lookin’ at you, Pompon!)? Which painters adapted Indigenous designs for apparently avant-garde results in the European setting? More broadly, how did settler government policies create the conditions of possibility for modernist experimentation and innovation? How is the politics of removal encoded in modernism’s aesthetic fireworks? Exactly how Indigenous is modernist aesthetics?

This panel proceeds from the deep suspicion that a great many more Indigenous influences shaped modernist aesthetics than have been acknowledged thus far. How have Sami, Ainu, Maori, Cherokee, Mohawk, Hawaiian, Haida, and thousands of other cultural traditions been “borrowed” by modernist aesthetics? We seek papers that excavate such influences, with the aim of restoring credit to the borrowed-from. At the same time, we seek papers that expand the remit of modernism to include its elided Indigenous sources.



Send 250-word abstracts to Stephen Ross (saross at uvic.ca) by 4 March 2019.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stephen Ross,
Professor of English and
Cultural, Social, and Political Thought,
University of Victoria,
Victoria, BC V8W 3W1
Canada.
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