Modernism and Cosmopolitanism (MSA 14; Oct. 18–21, 2012)
The past few years have witnessed a revival of interest in cosmopolitanism as scholars in a variety of disciplines seek new ways to define community in an increasingly interdependent world. Cosmopolitanism once represented an ethical and political ideal that championed a commitment to humankind as a whole and devalued local attachments. Now "new" or "counter" cosmopolitanisms have emerged; challenging the implications of traditional cosmopolitanism (ethnocentrism, imperialism, elitism), this new generation locates cosmopolitanism within the realities of a globally integrated world that recognizes and values local attachments.
A handful of studies have already applied this new cosmopolitanism to modernism and, in so doing, have reconceived the spatial and temporal boundaries of modernism. This panel seeks submissions that extend or contest previous studies as well as submissions that explore the heretofore unexamined convergences between new cosmopolitanism theory and modernist practices.
Some potential questions include (but are by no means limited to) the following:
• Can cosmopolitan "style" be located beyond the English novel?
• Does cosmopolitanism, as manifested in ways of reading and writing as well as in modes of being, represent anticolonial critique or neocolonial practice?
• Do modernist artists anticipate contemporary forms of transnational belonging?
• How do they negotiate the inherent contradictions of new cosmopolitanisms, be it "rooted," "discrepant," or "vernacular" cosmopolitanism?
• How much does a cosmopolitanism outlook depend on travel, migration, exile, and displacement?
• How do works of modernism represent the interplay between forces of nationalism and cosmopolitan visions?
• In what ways do modernist texts articulate cosmopolitan memory and what are the implications of cosmopolitan memory on conceptions of culture and identity?
If interested, please send a 250-word abstract and a brief bio to Michael Spiegel (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 19.