"Modernism and Nature" at MSA 11, Montréal, Québec, Nov 5-8, 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Emily Essert (McGill University)

Modernist representation of nature and human relationships therewith – particularly of animals – has recently received increased critical attention in studies such as Carrie Rohman's Stalking the Subject: Modernism and the Animal (Columbia UP, 2009) and Philip Armstrong's What Animals Mean in the Fiction of Modernity (Routledge, 2008). Recently-published theoretical work on animal/human relations – such as Donna Haraway's When Species Meet (U of Minnesota P, 2008), and Jacques Derrida's The Animal That Therefore I Am (Fordham UP, 2008) – can also help us to arrive at a richer understanding of textual animals. Following these lines of inquiry, this panel will explore questions of the relationship between modernism and nature, with particular interest in representations of animals. Broad areas of inquiry might include the following:

o How do modernists understand the relationship between the artist and nature?
o What ethical questions are raised by modernist representations?
o What might examining the category of "nature" illuminate about modernism more generally?
Work with texts of any genre or media, and from any strand of modernism, is welcome.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief biographical statement to Emily Essert (emily.essert@mail.mcgill.ca) by May 1st, 2009.