Nation, Narration, and Revolution - MSA 17 "Modernism and Revolution", Boston, Nov. 19-22, 2015
The modernist period is characterized by national upheavals, from the Mexican Revolution, to the Russian Revolutions, to the controversial peace settlements of 1919, and the crises leading up to the Second World War. Modernist artists, writers and filmakers engaged with, and responded to these upheavals, adapting their media to narrate new kinds of national belonging and new versions of the national story. Exploring the connections between nation, narration, and revolution in its broadest sense, this panel seeks to bring together a variety of examples of modernist reactions to geopolitical upheaval. Its aim is not so much to achieve an overview or single interpretation of the way modernism's forms arose codependently with new forms of the nation, but to demonstrate the plurality and variety of modernist strategies of responding to changes in the structure of the nation. In this way the panel hopes to touch on and question contemporary theories of transnational modernism—emphasizing the irreducible referential frame of a specific nation in many modernist works, prior to, or in addition to, global and subnational dimensions. Possible topics of discussion might include, for instance, Mariano Azuela's Los de Abajo, Max Beckman's tryptich Departure, montage in Battleship Potemkin; James Joyce's Ulysses in the contexts of the Irish Revolution and Triestine irredentism; or France in Gertrude Stein's 1945 memoir Wars I have Seen. Please send a 250-word abstract and brief professional bio (2-3 sentences) to Václav Paris (email@example.com) by April 10.