Precursors to Modernism's Revolutions

full name / name of organization: 
Jeremy Carnes, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
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The Call for Papers for MSA 17 states that the MSA 17 title, "Modernism and Revolution…invokes characterizations of modernism as a revolutionary movement across the arts, as a revolt against tradition, and as a renovation of literature, performance, visual arts, and culture more generally." But every revolution has its precursors. The revolution of modernism is itself a movement of multiple revolutions, all of which have these precursors. From the Harlem Renaissance to vorticism, the revolutions of modernism have grown out of complex and specific historical, literary and artistic circumstances. This panel seeks papers that discuss these precursors to modernism's revolutions.

Papers for this panel might address the development of any one or more of modernism's revolutions, including but not limited to, the Harlem Renaissance, vorticism, cubism, futurism, etc. Papers might address theoretical arguments of the development of modernism as revolution; technological advancements in and around the modernist period and their effect on modernism's revolutions; or racial, gender, or sexual relations in the modernist period and the development of related revolutions. The driving questions of this panel will be: what can we learn about the revolutions of modernism by looking at their precursors? What values (historical, cultural, aesthetic) are at stake in highlighting or obscuring the prehistory of modernist revolutions? Finally, how do the precursors to modernist revolutions help us to continue to excavate important histories of race, gender, and sexuality in the modern period?

Abstracts of 200-300 words can be sent to Jeremy Carnes at by Monday, April 13.

Conference Dates: November 19-22, 2015
Conference Location: Boston, MA