CFP: Mobility & Modernity (4/30/07; MSA, 11/1/07-11/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Jessica Bremmer
contact email: 

CFP: Panel Proposal 2007 Modernist Studies Association Conference
           November 1-4, Long Beach, CA

Mobility and Modernity: Transportation in Noir Fiction and Film

This panel takes as its starting point the idea that innovations in
transportation are central to a discussion of modernity, and it will focus
more specifically on the subsequent consequences of increased mobility by
paying special attention to noir texts. In his article "Film Noir and
Automotive Isolation," Paul Mason Fotsch maintains that the automobile, as
one method of transportation, "offers the possibility of greater power
through mobility, but it also threatens to overpower the driver." Of
special interest in this panel is this bifurcation between the power that
accompanies the ability to "move" and the danger associated with the
technology that makes such movement possible. In a broader context, papers
that consider noir's role within a modernist concept of transportation will
be given preference.

Some possible paper topics include but are not limited to:

-The social and cultural crises associated with increased access to
transportation (isolation, increased anonymity, opportunities for criminal
activity, complicated gender relations, increased racial inequity, a
widening socio-economic gap, etc.)
-Metaphors of movement, displacement, and travel and their contribution to a
noir aesthetic
-The concept of transportation as the bridge between a noir aesthetic and a
modernist aesthetic
-The geographies of cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco and the
ways in which movement through such cities contributes to a metropolitan
-The differences between modes of transportation and their functions in noir
-The manifestations and functions of transportation within different genres
of noir texts (i.e. does transportation function differently in film than it
does in a noir novel?)

Please send a 250-word abstract and a brief biographical description
(including affiliation, title, and contact information) to by April 30, 2007.

Jessica Bremmer
University of Southern California
Department of English

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Received on Fri Apr 06 2007 - 17:58:41 EDT