CFP: The FBI Files on Modernism (6/30/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Karen Leick
contact email:

CFP: The FBI Files on Modernism (6/30/04; collection)

J. Edgar Hoover's FBI manipulated the contours of modernism in both covert
and overt ways, affecting numerous writers and artists such as (but not
limited to) Richard Wright, Bertolt Brecht, Ezra Pound, Josephine Baker,
Ernest Hemingway, Lillian Hellman, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Henry
Roth, Rebecca West, Charlie Chaplin. This collection will include essays
that analyze the information collected by the FBI on particular figures.
Essays may examine the role of these investigations in distorting or
altering certain careers or reputations; essays may also look at the
anti-intellectual culture fostered by the FBI under Hoover.
Questions to consider: What does the information gathered tell us about the
FBI's perception of a figure's importance, influence, and possible danger
to the United States? What do the files reveal about the FBI's ideology and
their views about literature and other arts? Did the FBI reduce the output
of politically charged modernist work? What is the significance of
contradictory or false information in the files? How can the "reliability"
of interviews and other information be assessed by scholars today? How does
the existence of information in an FBI file, no matter how banal and
obvious, change by virtue of its inclusion in a "secret" file? Is there a
masculinist perspective in the files? How is the sexuality of certain
figures treated by the FBI?

Please email your abstracts (500-800 words) to Karen Leick
( or Claire Culleton ( by 15 June 2004.
Notification of acceptance will be made by 1 July 2004. Completed papers
will be due by 15 August 2004.

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Received on Mon Mar 29 2004 - 01:27:48 EST

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