MSA 14: New Modernist Studies in the Commonwealth (Oct. 18–21, 2012, Las Vegas)

full name / name of organization: 
Melissa Dalgleish / York University
contact email: 

With the advent of New Modernist Studies came a call to rethink the assumption that modernist aesthetic innovations are "first produced in the great culture capitals of Europe and the United States and then exported to…colonies and postcolonial nations … where they exist in diluted and imitative form as 'trickle down' effects" (Friedman). However, the modernisms of Canada and Australia remain marginalized within modernist studies, and only preliminary work has been done in response to this call. Re-examining Commonwealth modernisms through the lens of New Modernist Studies has the potential to reconfigure them not as belated and mimetic, but as distinctive and localized modernisms that emerge in response to their specific cultures and geographies. It also has the potential to reveal how they function within a "global landscape of interlocking and mutually constitutive centers that are influenced by and that in turn influence others" (Friedman).

This panel invites re-readings and reconfigurations of Canadian and Australian modernisms—separately or in relationship—through the lens of New Modernist Studies. How can New Modernist Studies broaden and deepen our understanding of Commonwealth modernisms? Begin moving them from the margins of modernist studies towards the centre?

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio to Melissa Dalgleish ( by Monday March 26.