CFP: Archiving Violence: History, Modernism, and War (4/30/06; MSA 8, 10/19/06-10/22/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Taryn L. Okuma
contact email: 

Modernist Studies Association 8 (2006)
October 19-22, 2006, Tulsa, OK

Paper proposals are invited for a proposed panel:

"Archiving Violence": History, Modernism, and War

By "archiving violence" via artistic representation, modernist war
artists were engaged in the negotiation of a way to remember and
represent war as a specific historical event. In doing so, they sought
ways to locate particular wars among other wars, or as a singular
"disaster" that must be considered in relationship to other "disasters."
Yet, for these artists, the very ability to represent war is called into
question by its violence. As a result, the problem that these artists
highlight is one of representing unrepresentable violence or events.

This panel will consider how modernist artists attempted to define and
understand the violence of war by complicating notions of who commits
violence, who suffers as a result of violence, and where violence takes
place. Of particular interest are modernist works that represent and
thus, in a sense, "archive" war by radically revising the individuals,
events, and ideas that are important to an understanding of the war.
These works make explicit the tensions between attention and distraction
that are central to determining which experiences are marginalized, who
is an "actor" in history, and who has the authority to record history.
As such, modernist depictions of violence contribute to the
destabilization of fixed identity categories, emerging out of challenges
to myths such as "The Good War," the identifiable enemy, and even the
category of "the witness," as well as exposing the shifting and porous
boundaries between home and the battlefield, the domestic and foreign.
By considering the production of war art as an engagement with
history-making, the panel seeks to discuss the ways in which modernist
artists redefine, re-present, and record notions of history, nation,
self, and other through the artistic imagining of war and its violence.

Please send a maximum 250-word abstract by April 30 to Taryn L. Okuma

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Received on Fri Mar 31 2006 - 07:08:32 EST