CFP: [20th] NeMLA (2/26-3/1/-09) Women and the City in Early Twentieth Century Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Elizabeth Foley O'Connor
contact email: 

In the Politics of Modernism Raymond Williams argues that modernism cannot
be fully comprehended without taking into consideration the metropolis as a
place “beyond both city and nation in their older senses,” which developed
out of the “magnetic concentration of wealth and power in imperial capitals
and the simultaneous cosmopolitan access to a wide variety of subordinate
cultures” (44). It was in these vibrant, culturally diverse cities where
people from a variety of backgrounds could freely interact that new
attitudes were most eagerly adopted and social mores and class hierarchies
were most easily broken down. Moreover, the metropolis can be seen as a key
contact zone between the colonial periphery and the imperial center.

This panel aims to explore this site with a specific focus on female
characters’ relationship with and experiences in the city. While the city
as an important site of modernism has been the subject of several recent
studies by Jessica Berman, Peter Brooker, Andrew Thacker, and Anna Snaith
among others, there has been significantly less attention devoted both to
women’s interactions with commodity culture in these urban areas and the
idea of flâneuse, or female urban wanderer who wields an active critical
gaze. Working from the standpoint that female flânerie and commodity
culture are inherently intertwined, this panel will hopefully shed new
light on a neglected area of women’s urban experiences in early twentieth
century literature.

Papers focused on British, Irish, and Anglophone texts are preferred but
consideration will also be given to those on American novels/short stories.
Please send a brief abstract to by August 18.

Please include with your abstract:

Name and affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements, if any ($10 handling fee)

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA panel;
however, panelists can present only one paper. Convention participants may
present a paper at a panel or seminar and also present at a creative
session or participate in a roundtable.

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Received on Mon Jul 07 2008 - 09:40:33 EDT