Remapping Modernist Paris

full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association
contact email: 

Accounts of the emergence of Modernism in early twentieth-century Paris often focus on the contributions of writers and artists from Europe and the United States, even as understandings of their work have been transformed by increased scholarly engagement with transatlantic migrations and by contestation over the significance of "primitivism" in European and North American modernist art and writing. The latter concerns have also animated controversies over the 2006 opening in Paris of the Musée du Quai Branly, at the same time as works of historical fiction such as Monique Truong's 2003 The Book of Salt have heightened attention to the presence of colonial, diasporic, and transatlantic subjects in early twentieth-century Paris and thus to what David Eng, in a 2008 article in PMLA, calls the "alternative modernit[ies]" for which that city was a crossroads. Not only Truong's novel but also recent queer scholarship on modernism has re-drawn earlier maps of the queer artistic alliances that flourished in Modernist Paris. Whereas studies such as Shari Benstock's 1986 Women of the Left Bank importantly emphasize the artistic connections between women that flourished at that time, Jane Garrity and Tirza True Latimer have recently highlighted the frequency in Modernist Paris of what they call "cross-gender collaborations" between queer men and women—many of which also crossed cultural and national borders.

For this seminar I invite papers that address these and other remappings of Modernist Paris. Analyses of literary works, films, the visual arts, and music are equally welcome.

To reply to this call, please enter a 250-word proposal for your paper on the ACLA's website at and select "Remapping Modernist Paris" from the menu of seminar choices.