CFP: [Theory] The Frankfurt School and Anglo-American Modernism

full name / name of organization: 
Charles Sumner

CFP: MSA X Panel: The Frankfurt School and Anglo-American Modernism

Over the past decade, the Frankfurt School has enjoyed resurgent interest
in the fields of literary and political criticism, and this resurgence
coincides with renewed interest in aesthetic discourses across the
humanities generally. This panel will focus on the need for turning to
the Frankfurt School particularly in order to re-read Anglo-American
modernist literature. Questions to consider are:

Why is this turn needed now?

What sorts of questions and ways of reading does the Frankfurt School
allow or make available that has been missing from the canon of Anglo-
American modernist criticism? What is it about the politics of this
field that makes this turn not only inviting, but imperative?

How does the Frankfurt School allow us to re-read modernism in ways that
anticipate the sorts of political defamations now leveled retroactively
against it?

Does the Frankfurt School allow us to see a radical politics or leftist
ideology in modernist figures traditionally considered to be right wing
and conservative, such as Eliot, Pound, or Lewis? If so, what kinds of
qualifications or safe-guards must we make in staging this sort of re-
reading or re-appropriation from the left?

Reversing the flow of critical energy, how do Anglo-American modernists
allow us to criticize conservative political tendencies latent in the
Frankfurt School philosophers?

Adorno and Benjamin are front and center to many of these questions. How
might we extend renewed interest in the Frankfurt School by considering
other figures in relation to Anglo-American modernism, such as
Horkheimer, Marcuse, or Bloch?

Papers touching on these and similar issues will be welcomed.

Please send a one or two page abstract to: by
April 20.

The annual conference of the Modernist Studies Association takes place in
Nashville, TN from November 13-18, 2008.

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Received on Sat Mar 08 2008 - 15:29:09 EST