Other Rooms, Other Modernisms (deadline April 20) (MSA 12, Nov 11-14, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Shawna Ross, Pennsylvania State University
contact email: 

Other Rooms, Other Modernisms: Mapping the Alternative Spaces of Modernity

Granting Franco Moretti's claim that "geography is not an inert container, is not a box where cultural history 'happens,' but an active force that pervades the literary field and shapes it in depth," this panel will explore what other modernisms or modernities emerge if we turn our gaze away from the canonical spaces of modernity (the metropole, the cafe, the train station, the coterie salon or country house) and turn it towards different spaces: yachts, prisons, lobbies, public baths, sanatoria, street fairs, experimental communities, Salvation Army shelters, working-class teashops, etc. How are modernist works shaped within these unusual spaces? Do these spaces offer an isolated or distinct environment that critiques, supplements, or neutralizes the forces of modernization? Of particular interest are papers that consider the degree to which such spaces can host or cultivate alternative political, economic, interpersonal, or poetic identities or behaviors.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a two- to three-sentence biographical statement to Shawna Ross (smr343@psu.edu) by April 20.