"Vestigial Human Nature in Modernist Literature" MSA 15 Sussex (Aug. 29-Sep. 1, 2013)
This panel for the 2013 Modernist Studies Association Conference seeks to analyze and interpret instances of vestigial essentialism in literary modernism. Literary modernism is often described as a movement that rejected the biological conception of a fixed human nature, consistent across time and place, in favor of a cultural relativism that, similar to behaviorism in psychology or the cultural turn in anthropology, foregrounded the variations and anomalies of human experience, rather than the transcendent similarities. Despite this general rejection, however, lingering notions of human nature persevere in modernism, apparent, for example, in psychoanalysis or primitivism. This panel seeks papers that examine the subsequent essentialism that appears in modernist texts.
Please submit abstracts of approximately 250 words and a brief (2-3 sentences) scholarly biography by March 08, 2013, to Andrew Yerkes (firstname.lastname@example.org).