CfP: Peripheral Modernisms International Conference 23.03.2012, London

CALL FOR PAPERS: Peripheral Modernisms International Conference

23 March 2012

Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies,
School of Advanced Study, University of London

The last decade has witnessed renewed scholarly interest in modernist and avant-garde studies. The study of Modernism as a global phenomenon and the exploration of the links between modernity and postcoloniality constitute some of the distinctive features of this new scholarship. As a fitting end to the decade, the 2010 Modernist Studies Association Conference proposed to appraise Modernism’s ‘claims to globality’ by re-examining transnational ‘Modernist Networks’. However, the resurgence of modernist studies invites a re-examination of the cultural and aesthetic complexities of the early twentieth century that revisits the notions of ‘peripheral modernities’ introduced by Harootunian in 2000. Benita Parry further argued in 2009 that the notion of periphery extends to a larger geo-political expanse than the colonized regions under global capitalism and that Harootunian’s concept should include such regions as Eastern and Middle Europe and the Mediterranean.
This conference proposes to reappraise critical approaches to modernist movements from European regions generally regarded as peripheral, including Eastern and Middle Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as from beyond Europe  in both area-centred and comparative cross-cultural frameworks. In doing so, it aims to reassess the contributions made by these peripheral modernisms to a global aesthetic of Modernism that accounts for its geographic variety and cultural diversity. We aim to address the following questions: does Modernism have a more disparate and heterogeneous nature than has been suggested so far? Can we identify likenesses and differences between peripheral modernisms? Do peripheral modernisms evince their ambivalence toward modernity in especially distinctive ways? To what extent does peripheral modernity prefigure postmodernity, as argued by Beatriz Sarlo in 2001?

Keynote speaker: Benita Parry (University of Warwick)

We welcome proposals in or around the following research areas:

*        modernist routes between the global North and South
*       the dialectic of the urban or cosmopolitan and the rural and regional
*       the negotiation of global and local encapsulated in Roland Robertson’s ‘glocalization’
*        hybrid or migrational identities
*       the role of periodicals and ephemera in facilitating exchanges between metropolitan and peripheral modernisms and within the latter
*        issues of translation and reception
*        issues of synchronicity or simultaneity (or lack of)

Please send paper proposals of up to 250 words in English by 13 June 2011 to:

Dr. Patricia Silva McNeill:
and Dr. Katia Pizzi:

Dr Katia Pizzi
Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies
School of Advanced Study
University of London