Martian Modernity (Modernist Studies Association, October 6-9, 2011)

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Modernist Studies Association

As an object for interdisciplinary study and speculation, Mars has long exerted a fascinating hold on the imaginations of astronomers, writers, and cultural critics of all political stripes and ideological orientations. With the recent publications of Fredric Jameson's Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions (2005), Robert Markley's Dying Planet: Mars in Science and the Imagination (2005) and Robert Crossley's Imagining Mars: A Literary History (2011), Mars and the vast twentieth-century literature set on it has finally started to become a rewarding site for contemporary literary criticism to explore, particularly with regard to the timely fantasies, aspirations, and fears (running the gamut from realized utopian societies to permanent ecological disaster zones) that have been consistently projected onto the red planet throughout the past hundred years or so. This proposed panel for the 2011 Modernist Studies Association convention in Buffalo is looking for papers that address the representations of modernity displaced onto the planet Mars in novels, short stories, and films produced in the first half of the last century in the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and beyond. Also welcome are papers that focus on the cultural study of science through Mars itself or on the methodologies used in representing history through this evocatively multidisciplinary site.

Please send a 300-word abstract and 2-to-3-sentence professional bio to Erik M. Bachman at by April 1, 2011.

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