CFP: The Politics of Friendship: Modernist Literary/Philosophical Groups and their Embedded Politics (3/15/06; book project)

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The Politics of Friendship: Modernist Literary/Philosophical Groups and their
Embedded Politics (book project)

proposal deadline: March 15, 2006
contact: Fabio Akcelrud Durao (;

Call for chapter proposals for the book project *The Politics of Friendship:
Modernist Literary/Philosophical Groups and their Embedded Politics* to be
submitted to the Cambridge Scholars Press.

While the concept of modernism often invokes the lonely image of a flaneur,
modernist literary or philosophical groups invite us to go beyond the obsession
with individual geniuses and to explore the dynamic politics as embedded in
exemplary groups. The important role that some literary circles, such as
Woolf's Bloomsbury Group, the avant-garde Tel Quel, or the Chinese "Crescent
Moon", play in defining movements of modernism is well known. Yet, it is often
implicitly assumed that a group is an assemblage of some quirky geniuses who
tend to agree and disagree with each other passionately. More important than
the celebrity culture of modernist literary groups, however, is how their
agreements and disagreements come to shape what we know today as modernism, or
rather, modernity.

For this book project we look for chapter proposals investigating different
aspects of modernist aesthetics and politics through the lenses of literary
groups. Some of the pertinent questions to be addressed would be: What is the
singularity of the group? How does the group define, identify, territorialize
itself against, and at the same time in dynamic exchanges with, the mass
culture "out there"? How does the friendship among group members affect their
politics, and vice versa?

We invite proposals that engage theories of the group as well as specific
literary or philosophical circles such as Woolf's Bloomsbury, C.S. Lewis and
Tolkien's Inglings, Freud's "secret committee," Wittgenstein's "Vienna Circle,"
the Tel Quel group, the transatlantic connections at the Leftbank, the poets
gathering by Walden Pond, Dorothy Parker's Vicious Circle, and many others. By
looking at specific groups, the book also seeks to explore their historical,
political, and philosophical significance. Proposals that engage the concept of
modernity and the formation of literary/philosophical groups from a
philosophical, psychoanalytical, and political perspective are especially
welcome. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

-- Theories of the group from Sigmund Freud, W.R. Bion, to Gilles Deleuze and
Felix Guattari. Does the group work on identification with the father figure?
Does Jacques Derrida's politics of friendship apply to the politics of the
group? Is friendship political? And how does politics affect friendship or
fraternity feelings?

-- History and genealogy of literary groups, e.g., comparison of twentieth
century literary groups with the eighteenth century literary salon.

-- Sex and sexuality of the group: How do we understand the homoeroticism of
certain literary groups? In what way are women in literary group subversive of
their sexual norms? How does sexual/gender dynamics affect the working of the

-- Any specific literary or philosophical group and its role in modernist
aesthetic and political movements, including international groups.

-- The organization, dissents, and dissemination of the group and analysis of
its embedded politics.

-- Influences or cross-cultural comparisons between international groups.

-- Cultural/national identities, hybridity, and exchanges in the formation of
the group.

-- Transatlantic transmissions of modernist literary groups.

-- Literary groups and their manifestoes, literary magazines and print culture.

-- Important feuds and disputes related to a specific group.

-- New developments of literary groups: internet, activist groups, virtual
"literary groups" of celebrities (such as "Oprah's Book Club").

Please send chapter proposals (500-1000 words) to Fabio Akcelrud Durao
(; Deadline, March 15.

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Received on Sat Feb 11 2006 - 15:11:30 EST

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