Modernism and the Built Environment (MSA 14 10/18-21; abstracts due 4/1)

full name / name of organization: 
Jon Hegglund / Washington State University
contact email: 

Modernism often gets a bad rap from defenders of the natural environment: in its connections to industrial modernity, the machine age, and urbanization, its aesthetic projects are often seen in opposition to sustainable ecological practice. This panel aims to complicate such binaries by considering twentieth-century representations of and narratives about the built environment, particularly those that see possibilities for alliances between such constructed spaces and the biotic, nonhuman world. How do built environments force us to re-imagine the spaces of modernity in ways that undo such oppositions as nature/culture, organic/mechanical, green space/brown space? In addition to papers on literature, contributions from scholars working on film, architecture, or other visual cultural forms are especially welcome.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a brief academic bibliography to Jon Hegglund at by 1 April.