CFP: Modernism-Fascism-Postmodernism (5/15/06; 9/20/06-9/22/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Susanne Baackmann
contact email: 

September 20-22, 2006
The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Fascism was frequently motivated by a rejection of
modernity and modernization, along with other
"internationalizing" features of the early 20th century.
Similarly, fascism in Germany entailed a repudiation of
modernism's various aesthetic modes, especially its visual
languages: from Expressionism and Cubism through
Constructivism and the Bauhaus to Dada and Surrealism. Not
surprisingly, the most famous modernist painting of the
entire 20th century, Picasso's Guernica (1937), was
triggered by anti-fascist partisanship. Nonetheless, some
strains of nationalistic modernism, such as Futurism in
Italy and Vorticism in England, articulated ideological
sympathies with fascist governments. The celebrated
critiques of Futurism by Walter Benjamin and Meyer
Schapiro remain key texts to be discussed in this regard.
More ambiguously, the legacy of fascism in the West, as
linked to figures like philosopher Martin Heidegger,
presents us with some intriguing contradictions,
especially given this thinker's subsequent impact on
post-modernist thought and aesthetics in the
Anglo-American world, as well as in France and elsewhere
in Western Europe. At once an anti-modernist and a
modernist, Heidegger occupies a paradoxical position in
the history of thought that calls for a concerted look at
the ongoing legacy of fascism within the current
"post-fascist" culture of the West. In fact, critical
engagement with fascist iconography, as found in the work
of contemporary artists like Barbara Kruger, Hans Haacke,
Anselm Kiefer, and Thomas Demand, among others, testify to
the ongoing aesthetic negotiations of our "post-fascist"
culture. These complex relationships, along with others,
will be explored by conference participants.

Main session topics include, but are not limited to the

o Modernism versus Fascism
o Modernism in Collusion with Fascism
o Questions of Gender and Fascism
o Post-Modernism and Post-Fascism
o Mass Culture, Kitsch, and Fascism
o Fascism as State Capitalism and Instrumental Thinking
o The Culture of Trauma and Loss in Post-Fascist Societies

The Conference will take place in September 2006 at the
University of New Mexico.

Please send paper proposals and/ or session proposals by
May 15, 2006 to: and/or or by mail/fax to:

Dr. Susanne Baackmann
                                     Dr. David Craven
Dept. of Foreign Languages & Literatures Dept.
of Art & Art History
MSCO3 2080
1 University of New Mexico
                                            1 University of New
Albuqerque, NM 87131-0001
 Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Tel: 505-277-4771
Fax: 505-277-3599

Susanne Baackmann Ph.D.
Associate Professor of German
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Ortega Hall 229
MSC03 2080
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
Tel 505 277-3206
Fax 505 277-3599

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Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 11:15:12 EST