Consciousness and Corporeality in Modernism (Modernist Studies Association / MSA 13, October 6-9, Buffalo, NY)

full name / name of organization: 
Joshua Lam / University at Buffalo
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Consciousness and Corporeality in Modernism

Modernist Studies Association 13: Structures of Innovation, Buffalo NY

Modernism and early psychology are both characterized by an obsession with issues of perception: the sensorial apprehension of objects, and the relations between objects and the subjects perceiving them. From Henry James's "central consciousness," Proust's mémoire involontaire, and W.E.B. Du Bois's "double consciousness" to Gertrude Stein's experiments on motor automatism and T.E. Hulme's translations of Henri Bergson, modernist writers often draw upon and renovate theories of consciousness and perception in their aesthetic projects. How has modernist literary production taken up, developed, or questioned competing conceptions of consciousness and perception? How do literary representations of consciousness implicate, represent, or repress the body? How does prose seek to represent consciousness in general? What roles do technologies like the railway, the automobile, photography, and cinematography play in modernist accounts of consciousness or perception? This panel seeks papers that explore, trace, or scrutinize the relations between modernist aesthetics and any number of psychological discourses, from psychophysics, reflex studies, psychoanalysis, and time-motion studies to the work of authors like William James, Bergson, John Dewey, Hermann von Helmholtz, and others.

Please send 300-word abstracts to Joshua Lam at by April 13, 2011. This is a proposed panel, pending acceptance by the MSA. Please visit the MSA website for more details about the 2011 conference: