Modernism and the Folk: Beyond Primitivism - Rutgers University, March 23rd, 2012 - abstracts due 11/30/2011

full name / name of organization: 
Rutgers University Modernist Studies Group and Americanist Colloquium
contact email: 
modernistfolk@gmail.com

The Rutgers University Modernist Studies Group and the Americanist Colloquium announce “Modernism and the Folk: Beyond Primitivism,” a transatlantic and interdisciplinary graduate student conference. This day-long event will take place at Rutgers – New Brunswick on March 23, 2012. Christopher Reed, Professor of English and Visual Studies at Penn State, will deliver the keynote lecture, "Bachelor Japanists."

We invite papers from across disciplines that examine the intersection of literary and artistic modernism and the seemingly opposed discourse of the folk. As modernism is increasingly subdivided into “many modernisms,” is a similar subdivision happening with its folk or primitivist offshoots? How does a changing definition of modernism or an expanded canon alter our definition of such categories as the folk, the “primitive,” and the avant-garde? How does it alter or expand our view of modernism and its others?

While we envision the conference as centering on the early twentieth century, we welcome proposals that challenge or expand the temporal boundaries of modernism. We also welcome papers that consider work written in languages other than English.

Specific areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

The folk/avant-garde dialectic in literature, art, performance, and music
Primtivism in its relationship to colonialism and imperialism
Primitivism in an American context
Theories of creole degeneracy and the “New World primitive”
“Inner primitivism” and the “thin veneer” of civilization
The power or potential of the folk
The folk and the modernist project of renewal or revitalization
The circulation of images, books, periodicals, films, radio
The postcolonial critique of “primitivist” appropriation and problems with this critique
The relationship between animism, vitalism, and “the new materialism”
Fascism and the folk
Ethnography, auto-ethnography, counter-ethnography
Folklore and alternative histories
The history of anthropology and folklore studies

Please submit a 250-word abstract to modernistfolk@gmail.com by Wednesday, November 30.

Sponsored by the Rutgers Modernism and Globalization Seminar Series, the Rutgers Graduate Student Association, the Rutgers Americanist Colloquium, and the Rutgers Modernist Studies Group.

cfp categories: 
american
bibliography_and_history_of_the_book
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
graduate_conferences
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
postcolonial
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond