Wyndham Lewis: Networks, Dialogues and Communities

full name / name of organization: 
Nathan Waddell / Institute of English Studies

Plenary Speakers: Dr Sara Crangle, University of Sussex; Dr David James, University of Nottingham

This conference's remit is to explore the numerous ways in which the modernist writer and painter Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) belonged to cultural networks of influence and inheritance.

Dedicated Lewis scholarship has during the past decade shown how key a part Lewis played in various communities of his time (e.g. the early twentieth-century avant-garde, 'little magazine' culture, and modernist sociality) as well as how many important contributions he made to an impressive variety of intellectual traditions and critical practices (e.g. ethnology, political theorizing, Semitism, Bergsonism, cinema scholarship, nihilism, and postmodernism, among others).

In all this, Lewis was a profoundly dialogic thinker; his writings are suffused with quotations of, and references to, other figures (from previous eras as well as his own). This aspect of Lewis's writing forces responsible accounts of his significance to take into consideration the numerous ways in which Lewis positioned himself as a relational thinker and creator, not to mention the complexities of the lines of influence upon subsequent generations to which his creative energies gave rise.

As a result, the conference calls for papers which take as their focus the dialogic, collective, and interpersonal sides of Lewis's oeuvre – in words as much as in paint. All topics will be considered.