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UCC Modernisms Research Centre
Feminism: Activism: Modernisms
University College Cork, September 14th -15th 2012
Keynote Speaker: Professor Janet Lyon
Feminism and modernism have long had an uneasy relationship. The feminist position within modernism, an arguably masculinist complex of movements, is an ambiguous and problematic one which is further complicated when it comes into relationship with activism. Throughout the twentieth century, artists and writers aligned with feminism and the women’s movement have engaged with modernist tropes in a variety of ways, employing literary, filmic and artistic practices both to evaluate political positions and to prosthelytize for them. Much of the recent scholarship on these practitioners has neglected to contextualise their output as work that might operate against or within contemporaneous manifestations of feminist activism.
This conference seeks to explore how feminist activism has intersected with modernism and postmodernism in the arts, examining the tensions, connections, and contributions made to modernisms by participants in the women’s movement and by individual feminist activists. Looking at phenomena ranging from early futurist claims for the autonomy of the female practitioner to an artistic and literary engagement with the second wave of the women’s movement, and the relationship between feminism and poststructuralism, this conference seeks considerations of a variety of approaches from across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in order to interrogate activist feminism and its relationship to the modernist artworld. Suggested topics might include:
• Feminist modernist appropriations and subversions of the manifesto form
• Feminist modernist texts invervening in public/political/social discourses
• New propositions regarding the activistic currency of familiar/canonical/classics of feminist modernism
• The problems inherent to any such intersections
• Feminist activism by modernist men
• Feminist activism in modernist and avant-garde performance
• New candidates for consideration or integration within a feminist-modernist canon
We would particularly welcome submissions for papers seeking to recalibrate the scholarly discourse on feminist interventions in sociopolitical discourse as they were conceived, attempted and/or successfully executed by modernist artists and writers.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words are invited. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 June 2012.
UCC Modernisms Research Centre: Dr Lee Jenkins, Dr Kerstin Fest, Dr Sarah Hayden, James Cummins, Rachel Warriner,