Arrivals, Departures, and Delays: Navigating Modernity (MSA 12: 11/11-11/14)

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Townsend
contact email: 

This CFP is for the Modernist Studies Association Annual Conference, November 11-14, 2010, in Victoria, B.C.

This panel explores modernism's preoccupation with travel and mobility by shifting the discussion from its wandering masses to its more purposive journeys. The exile and the flaneur are often heralded as emblems of modernist detachment. Yet travelers--those with fixed destinations, whether or not they reach them--are equally important modernist figures. They mark out the temporal and socio-political dynamics of modernism through their textual traces (itineraries, diaries, identification papers) and in their navigation of modern spaces: stations, trains, checkpoints and borders. If the exile serves as the go-to figure for modernist detachment, travelers map instead modernism's disparate attachments. Their intentions--why they are departing and where they hope to arrive--chart a different story of modernity. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, travel writing and documentaries, emigration and immigration, war and displacement, cosmopolitanism, geopolitics, speed and modernist temporalities.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short biographical statement to Sarah Townsend ( by April 26.