Modernist creativity and contingency: (MSA15, 8/29-9/01)

full name / name of organization: 
Erica McAlpine, Reena Sastri
contact email: 
ericamcalpine@gmail.com, reena.sastri@gmail.com

Modernist creativity and contingency

Traditional forms in poetry and prose have often been seen as opposed to accidental, unanticipated, or unseen forces. Writing that takes chance as its defining principle frequently positions itself outside or against the literary mainstream. How might we move beyond this restrictive binary to conceive of creativity in ways that embrace contingency, accident, and/or surprise? Interruptions, distractions, fortuitous forgettings, slips of the tongue/pen, factual or grammatical mistakes, occasions and commissions, joint authorship, collaborations within and across media, constraints of production—in what ways might these factors be integral, rather than opposed, to the creation of art in the modernist period? How have twentieth-century writers and artists, as well as thinkers from disciplines such as philosophy, psychoanalysis, and the social sciences, approached such contingencies? This panel will address these issues via the close study of specific texts as well as the compositional practices that surround them. We particularly seek papers that join theoretical models with close attention to textual/artistic examples. Please send a 250-word abstract, plus a brief bio, to reena.sastri@gmail.com and ericamcalpine@gmail.com by Monday, March 4th.

cfp categories: 
american
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
poetry
twentieth_century_and_beyond