UPDATE: [American] MSAX: Modernism, Border Crossing and Border Dwellers

full name / name of organization: 
Daniel R. Bell
contact email: 

This panel seeks to address Modernisms attention on and intention with
borders. Borders here are problematically being thought of in broad
terms ranging from spacial, geographical, and national borders, but also
in various identitarian contexts like race, sex, gender, and class. Of
particular interest to this panel is how the 1990s moment, with the rise
of academic cultural studies and publications such as Judith Butler’s
Gender Trouble, David Hollinger’s Post Ethnic America, and Michael
Awkwards, Negotiation Difference, places attention on borders in a
variety of context and exemplifies through discursive practice the
usefulness and subversiveness of “border crossing”.

If “border crossing” has been a major motivation for academic work for
the last fifteen years, this panel will seek to understand not only the
movement across borders, but also the populations that come to occupy the
space of the border area. Using a Borders Studies discourse that
arguably originates with Gloria Anzaldua’s book Borderlands/La Frontera
and continued by theorist and writers such as Norma Alarcon, Julia
Alvares, Paola Bacchetta, Ana Castillo, Sandra Cisneros, and AnaLouise
Keating, is it possible to examine a new population of border dwellers
that serve the process of border crossing, yet also exists ambivalently
with antiessentializing and post-structural motivations to do away with
borders all together? Given the current attention to U.S. illegal
immigration, multicultural flag bearers like golfer Tiger Woods, and the
current U.S. presidential contest that seek to break the white/male
border, how have academics been influenced by the novelty of border
crossers presented through the lenses of popular media?

Papers dealing with border crossing and border dwelling in any narrative
form are welcome, and the panel welcomes projects working with any
national literature or theoretical orientation.
Please send abstracts of 350 words and a brief (2-3 sentence) scholarly
biography to Daniel R. Bell at drbell_at_english.ufl.edu by May 9th. The
conference of the Modernist Studies Association takes place in Nashville,
TN from 13-18 November 2008. The conference website is

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Received on Thu May 01 2008 - 14:10:35 EDT