Postgraduate Roundtables -“The Times they are a Changin’: Spaces and Temporality”

deadline for submissions: 
January 11, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Modernist Studies in Asia Network


“The Times they are a Changin’: Spaces and Temporality”

Postgraduate Event for the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA)

12 September 2019

Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo


Call for Papers: Postgraduate Roundtables


The first postgraduate roundtable sessions organized by the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA) will take place as part of our second annual international conference, “Modernism and Multiple Temporalities”. The MSIA 2019 theme is drawn from the agenda formulated by Douglas Mao and Rebecca L. Walkowitz in “The New Modernist Studies”. Their focus on expansions of modernism temporally, spatially and vertically remains current. While the main conference considers experimental time and politics of time, this postgraduate event builds on another facet of temporal space.

We live in an age where technological solutions to physical distance abound. Yet as scholars, we are nonetheless fascinated with the powerful ways spaces, literal and non-literal, are created, challenged, contorted, transcended or made fluid. Furthermore, as critics we have become increasingly aware of how socio-political, environmental or gendered questions arise from or inspire such spatial manipulation.  

“Movement is reality itself”, Henri Bergson tells us in The Creative Mind. With reality, a space in time or perception, being filled with motion we see both temporal and spatial concerns. The barriers of this “reality” seem in flux. Modernist texts can be considered spaces where we attempt to marshal stimulus of personal time and will. In these spaces emerge complex geographies where space is both real and imagined. Recent models of world literatures or global modernisms ask us to question politics of spatiality such as borders and hierarchies. With the modern metropolis as a common setting, scale itself becomes a political lens fraught with potential. The advancement of technology in art, cinema, advertising and commuting also played a key role in spatially emphasizing the liminal tensions between assemblage and wholeness, present and postulated future.

So how do modernist spaces of writing or performances create or challenge temporality? How do their chosen forms affect their function? How does language, the over-abundance or lack thereof, influence our concept of space?

Each roundtable will consist of 4-6 presenters and last for 90 minutes. Proposals of similar theme will be grouped at the organizer’s discretion.

Please submit 200 word proposals for 3000 word papers, along with a short bio, to by 11 January 2019.

Should your proposal be accepted, your full paper must be submitted in soft copy prior to the event. The deadline for this submission is 1 August 2019. The organizers will then circulate the papers to the appropriate recipients.


Before you submit to this event, please note the following:

All presenters will be required to prepare for the event by familiarizing themselves with the papers submitted by the other members of their session.

During the roundtable, each presenter will be allotted 10 minutes of individual speaking time. They may use this time as a summation of their paper, to raise further questions or highlight themes for discussion. The remaining time will consist of open discussion between the roundtable members. The aim of this format is to encourage critical and personalized discussion which will benefit each participant.

This is a separate submission from “Modernism and Multiple Temporalities” (MSIA 2019). If you wish to participate in BOTH the postgraduate roundtables and the main conference, your proposed papers must be substantially different in content or topic. You may not submit the same proposal multiple times.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

 Affect and the Perpetual Present


Texts in Translation

The Politics of Modernity

World Literature and Globalization


Gender or Sexuality

The Everyday and Dailyness

Poetry or Word/Image

Performance and Movement

Cultural Production

The City

Primitiveness or Orality

Utopias, Dystopias and the Subterranean  

Manifestos and Creative Nonfiction



Personal, Collective and Ascribed Memory

Racial Identity and Anxiety

Technology and Machinery