MSA12: East Asia and Critics of English Language Modernism (Deadline: 4/26/10)

full name / name of organization: 
Kevin Piper / Modernist Studies Association (MSA)
contact email: 

East Asia and The Criticism of English Language Modernism

The study of modernism's cross-pollination with East Asian language and culture often focuses on the activity of modernist artists, such as Ezra Pound's incorporation of the sinograph into his poetics. Additionally, many early twentieth century critics, who took modernist art and literature as their focus, were also drawn to the study of Japanese and Chinese language and culture. I.A. Richards, for example, set up the Orthological Institute of China in Beijing, and his protégé, William Empson, taught in Japan before moving on to the University of Peking. These and other crossovers between modernisms' critics and East Asia suggest that this geopolitical area was not only of interest to practitioners of what we now call English language modernism, but to key critical voices in the historicization of that tradition. This panel proposes to build on the recent surge in criticism on modernism and East Asia by examining the critics and critical projects that grew out of anglo-modernism within the transnational context of American and British cultural exchange with East Asia. The panel encourages papers that reconsider critics or critical schools associated with modernism for their historical ties to East Asia. Papers focused on the relationship between North Atlantic Modernist history and the development of East Asian modernisms are equally encouraged.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

-Cross-Cultural Appreciation
-Transnational Literary History
-The Critical History of East Asian Modernisms
-Imperialism and Modernism
-Literary Exchange between the North Atlantic and East Asia