MSA 12 Panel (Sub), "East Asia and Modernist Criticism," 10/1/2010; 11/13/2010 (3:30pm)
This panel examines the critics and critical projects that grew out of modernism through a transnational lens that attends to intellectual exchange with East Asia. The study of modernism's interaction with East Asian 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 East Asian 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.