[Msa-discuss] CFP MSA 2019, Toronto: 'Legacies' of Modernism, deadline March 5

Makkar, Jap-Nanak japnanak.makkar at wilkes.edu
Sun Feb 24 14:54:37 EST 2019

Dear MSA Members,

Please see below for a call for papers. If accepted, this panel would host
a conversation on the 'legacies' of modernism paradigm at MSA 2019.

Currently, I've got one confirmed participant and a confirmed
moderator--both of whom are fabulous people and scholars.  I'm still
looking for 2 participants. Please be in touch if you have paper ideas or

Best regards,


CFP for MSA 2019 Panel Proposal: '*Legacies' of Modernism*

Conference Theme: “Upheaval and Reconstruction”
Event Location and Dates: Toronto, ON, CA. October 17-20, 2019

Submission Details: Please email abstracts to
japnanak.makkar at wilkes.edu by *March
5. *

Recent critics have turned to literary modernism to explain certain formal
characteristics of contemporary literature. Departing from definitional
constraints that would date modernism to the early twentieth century or
situate it in the metropoles of Europe, scholars have broadened the meaning
of category, allowing for its application to geographically diverse texts
written recently. Such a project compels us trace a lineage between Franz
Kafka and J.M. Coetzee, E.M. Forster and Zadie Smith, or involves us in the
identification of strategies of irony, defamiliarization and
self-reflexivity in the work of Tayeb Salih, Kazuo Ishiguro, Christopher
Okigbo and Michelle Cliff. Jahan Ramazani, for instance, argues that there
is a convivial connection between the *bricolage*of modernist poetry and
the hybridity of postcolonial poetics. Aarthi Vadde has proposed that
modernist form allows for transnational identification, becoming a resource
in the hands of postcolonialists, because “concern with the mechanics of
form, medium and compositional methods [lead] authors… to think about
nations as contingent constructions.”

But postcolonial literary studies has long acknowledged the relative
importance of modernism as a resource for tropes and techniques (as when
Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths and Hellen Tiffin’s seminal text initiated
the “writing back” paradigm), but without conceding third-world literary
archives entirely to modernism. Similarly, postmodernism in the
contemporary novel was often described as a mode that *superseded *modernist
tenets—ones which still avowed the possibility of objective
understanding—by substituting more skeptical formulas in their place. This
panel invites papers who explore the consequences of reframing the
relationship between modern and contemporary in terms of “legacy,”
“influence” and “connection,” rather than “opposition,” “refusal” or
“upheaval.” What does the “continuity” model offer for the reading of
contemporary literature or contemporary life? When “expanding” the meaning
of modernism, do we implicitly seek to “arraogat[e] intellectual capital to
those objects or conditions it (newly) designates” (David James, 2018)? If
so, then what value system does our literary history encode?

Please send a 300-word paper proposal and a short biography to Jap-Nanak
Makkar (japnanak.makkar at wilkes.edu) by March 5.

Jap-Nanak Makkar
Assistant Professor, Wilkes University
Website <https://www.japnanakmakkar.org/>    Twitter
<https://twitter.com/jmakr?lang=en>    Email <japnanak.makkar at wilkes.edu>
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