CFP: The Invention of Politics in European Modernism (9/15/03; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Sascha Bru
contact email: 


The Invention of Politics in European Modernism

The ties between European modernist literature and <political modernity>
have been the focal point of numerous studies in recent decades. Studies of
how modernism represents the political, the self, <community> and power,
often refer to Claude Lefort's thesis that modern democracy is substantially
"empty" or "devoid of any markers of certainty". This leaves the question in
what ways modernist literature (might have) played a role in shaping
inter-war democracy. Today, however, analyses focussing on the actual
interaction between modernism and the state of political affairs in various
local and national European contexts are rather scarce. Studies most often
are restricted to "rapports de faits" of extreme cases. The present volume
sets out to map the array of imagined (and experienced) communities present
in modernist literature. It also calls for a thorough historicization of the
links between modernism and the concrete shape of <political modernisation
or democratisation> in European regions and states between 1909 and 1940.
To do so, the volume will be divided into three sections. The first section
will chart a number of ways in which modernist authorial personae create
selves, communities and authority or power. Papers are welcomed on major
modernist and historical avant-garde writers or texts. In the second
section, attention will be given to modernist <writing practices> performing
the role of rituals or language games within small-scale literary
communities (from the solitary Valéryan writing practice to the
collaborative écriture automatique.) The third and final section of the
volume will investigate the incorporation of aspects of modernism into
political discourses present in inter-war democratic constellations, both
formally (rhetorical or textual) as well as substantially or thematically.
Rather than departing from pre-given political ideologies a "bottom to top"
approach is invited.

One-page abstracts for 5000-word papers are invited for one of the sections
in the volume.

September 15, 2003

University of Ghent
Comparative Literature and Literary Theory
Rozier 44 -- B-9000 Ghent
tel: + 32 (0) 9 264 40 69

         From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                       Full Information at
          or write Erika Lin:
Received on Sat Jul 19 2003 - 14:18:06 EDT