CFP: America in the Modernist Imaginary (4/22/07; MSA, 11/1/07-11/4/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Annalisa Zox-Weaver
contact email: 

America in the Modernist Imaginary

Freud visited in 1909, enjoying the cinema, but complaining about the richness of the food; Henry Miller dubbed it the
“Air-Conditioned Nightmare”; in America Day By Day, Simone de Beauvoir admires drugstore food but condemns class
inequality and racial strife; in Lolita Vladimir Nabokov documents his own affections for American kitsch culture; Gertrude
Stein struggled to win over the American reading public, but wrote afterward that “In America everybody is [a celebrity]
but some are more than others. I was more than others.”

This panel will explore the idea of America in modernist imagination, with a focus on non-American artists or American
expatriates who returned to or visited America after living abroad. We will consider configurations of America as an “other
space,” a source of inspiration, denunciation, or 

allure to modernists. We will look at America as an implicit construct, a place that exceeded national boundaries and
provided a lens through which artists could explore 

their own creative visions. Papers considering America as a geography of creative or professional identityâ€"a place of
change, self-creation and self-promotion, of mobility and transformation are especially welcome.

Some questions we will consider: How did America exist as a psychological space 

--transnational, hemispheric, transatlanticâ€"enabling particular exchanges, interactions, and 

negotiations? How was America a geography of identity formation-- a site for the exercise of power, a 

place for the interaction of myriad discourses, a political and institutional space, a place to explore certain genres, media,
and discourses, or a laboratory for self-transformation?

Please send proposals of 250 words (include a title) and brief (no more than one page) cv to Annalisa Zox-Weaver
( by 22 April 2007.

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Received on Mon Mar 19 2007 - 14:50:21 EST