[UPDATE] Alternative Modernisms CFP Deadline Extended until 31 December 2012

full name / name of organization: 
Emma West, Cardiff University
contact email: 

Alternative Modernisms: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference

Cardiff University
16-18 May 2013

** Extended CFP deadline: 31 December 2012 **

** While the below CFP remains the same, we are would particularly welcome more submissions on music, the visual arts and material culture, and from our colleagues in Eastern Europe. **

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Jean-Michel Rabaté (University of Pennsylvania)
Professor Griselda Pollock (Leeds University)
Professor Ástráður Eysteinsson (University of Iceland)


In recent years an increasing number of attempts have been made to widen the traditional modernist canon beyond Wyndham Lewis's white, Anglo-American, 'Men of 1914'. Work on women, LGBT and black modernists, as well as marketplace, magazine and middlebrow studies, have expanded the canon, and yet such 'alternative' modernisms are often studied and discussed in isolation, leading to a splintering of the field. This fragmented approach to modernist studies is in danger of not reflecting – or taking into account – the wider cultural and public sphere which modernisms existed in and engaged with. Furthermore, many modernisms, in particular national and regional forms and movements in Europe, still remain largely uncharted.

This conference attempts to provide a common forum for the exchange of ideas and examples across fields, disciplines and nationalities. It will give scholars an opportunity to explore both underexplored modern(ist) forms, mediums, texts, writers and artists, and the relationships between them, working towards a more holistic conception of how 'alternative' modernisms operated.

Indeed, the conference will consider the extent to which all modernisms can be viewed as part of a network of alternatives – to tradition, realism, representation, mass culture or even to each other. As such, the conference hopes to reassess – and problematize – modernisms's approaches to the past, to modernity (or 'modernities'), to other modernisms, and their position within modern culture, exploring new theories and approaches for studying modernisms.

Considering that Welsh modernism in particular still resides on the margins of British modernism – geographically and intellectually – Cardiff is the perfect place for such a reassessment. The conference will also host the inaugural meeting of the Welsh Network of Modernist Studies, a new umbrella organisation which will organise and promote interdisciplinary events that foster links between modernist scholars in Wales.

Submissions are invited that engage with all aspects of the title. Papers might include (but are not limited to):
• Modernisms as alternatives to realism, representation, religion, tradition, linearity, mass culture, 'grand narratives' etc.
• Modernism/modern(ist) thought as an alternative way of seeing/theorising the world
• 'Alternative' modernisms – modernisms outside the modernist canon or mainstream, whether for reasons of race, ethnicity, nationality, language, gender, sexuality, class, geography, aesthetics, ideology, chronology etc.
• Middlebrow or popular forms as an alternative to High Modernism
• Alternative ideologies and aesthetics within the (retrospectively applied) field of modernism and the historical avant-garde – differences and contradictions in beliefs and approaches
• Alternative ways of living/lifestyles by modernist figures
• Alternative chronologies, definitions, canons or readings of modernism
• Movement of modernism from an alternative to its contemporary position in the academic, artistic and literary mainstream canon.

Submissions are encouraged on all modern(ist) forms and disciplines, including art, design, fashion, film, literature, drama, music, performance and architecture, as well as modern theory and philosophy. We especially welcome interdisciplinary approaches, ranging across literary studies, history, cultural history, art history, philosophy and critical theory as well as other disciplines in the humanities.

Proposals for papers (20 minutes) should include the paper title; the delegate's name, address and email; a summary of the proposed paper (300 words); and a short bio (100 words).

Proposals should be sent to modernisms@cardiff.ac.uk by 31 December 2012.

For more information and enquiries, please visit www.cardiff.ac.uk/encap/modernisms.