CFP: Modernist Taste (4/21/06; MSA, 10/19/06-10/22/06)

full name / name of organization: 
McWhirter, David B
contact email: 

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

"Modernist Taste"

Modernist taste might at first glance seem an easy target for the kind of
"Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste" offered by Bourdieu in
_Distinction_. What could better exemplify the "denial of the social," the
self-distinguishing "refusal of the facile," or the "demand for the
distance that allows it to keep its distance" of Bourdieu's "pure taste" than
the elitist, putatively "impersonal," self-consciously difficult modernist
work of art? But recent re-mappings of modernism and of aesthetic discourse
suggest the need for a reconsideration of the nature, function(s), and
implications of the concept of taste in modernist art and modern society.

For this interdisciplinary panel I am seeking papers that would reconsider
taste as a key modality for understanding, negotiating, and/or critiquing
modernity: its flows and forms of power, production, and consumption; its
shifting categories and constructions of class, gender, and sexual identity;
the taste-shaping force of its residual and emerging media, from Art to
advertising; its technologies of communication and cultural institutions; its
rapidly changing situation of the artist and the work of art. Papers from all
relevant disciplines are welcome, as are papers focused on works from any
artistic medium, and from all cultural strata (i.e. high, low or middlebrow
taste). How are questions and conflicts of taste theorized, embodied, and/or
represented in the modernist period? In light of the conference theme, how
does taste work to create, delimit, and/or change the "archive" that may be
said to constitute culture?

Please send a maximum 500-word abstract by April 21 to David McWhirter at or at 166 Sand Hill Cove Road, Narragansett, RI 02882.

For information about the MSA conference, see

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Received on Tue Apr 04 2006 - 11:02:32 EDT