Risk Modernism [MSA 16, Pittsburgh, PA; Nov. 6-9, 2014]

full name / name of organization: 
Jason Puskar
contact email: 
puskar@uwm.edu

Modernist Studies Association Annual Conference, "Confluence and Division"
Nov. 6-9, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA

What is the modernism of risk? During the first half of the twentieth century an already massive apparatus of risk analysis and administration expanded dramatically, and new modes of risk consciousness came into being. Especially in the financial sector, new kinds of securities, new levels of speculation, new markets for insurance, and new complexities of the global financial system made the condition of being at-risk normative—even desirable—for many people living in western liberal societies.

This panel will examine what it means to think about modernism as a creative and critical engagement with emergent cultures of risk, especially in relation to economics and finance. How does modernism rethink risk for an age of abstract and high-speed global finance? How does literature propagate, resist, or encode risk dynamics and the ideologies behind them? What kinds of risk did Modernism absorb from the colonial situation, or from earlier historical precedents? And how did risk pressure or even reshape existing conceptions of race, class, gender, or sexuality?

Interdisciplinary and theoretical papers that address some aspect of finance or economics are especially welcome, as are papers from various national or transnational perspectives.

Please send abstracts of about 300 words to Jason Puskar at puskar@uwm.edu by April 1, 2014.

Contexts might include:
- Speculation
- Gambling practices
- Gender and risk taking
- Risk theory
- Insurance cultures
- Risk and race
- Politics of risk
- The welfare state
- Colonial trade and administration
- Economic forecasting
- Risk expertise and informatics

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
interdisciplinary
modernist studies
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond