Popular Modernisms: Then and Now- Edited Collection- Abstract Deadline 7/26/15

full name / name of organization: 
Scott Ortolano/ Florida SouthWestern State College
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Popular Modernisms: Then and Now

Proposed Edited Collection
Abstract Deadline July 26, 2015

This is a call for essays for a proposed edited collection that explores what might be called "popular modernisms," or works that take up modernist ideals and conventions but are themselves products of mass culture. The extent to which these works embody aspects of the modernist project will vary significantly. Some might adopt a single convention typical of modernist works and repackage it in a text that is otherwise unremarkable and possesses only a superficial aesthetic covering. Other projects may fully embrace the aesthetics and/or ethos of a particular strand of modernism—though the text itself may challenge traditional conceptions about how such techniques and ideas can or should be employed. This project has no dedicated geographic region or time period and welcomes essays on texts from the late 19th century to the present. Of particular interest are essays that discover modernist resonances in unexpected places, especially in non-literary and contemporary works. The goal of this project is to broaden the understanding of modernism as a movement by discovering its presence in a venue that has long been viewed as antithetical to the overarching ideals of modernism's many movements.

In theoretical terms, this project draws from Peter Nicholls' argument that modernism should not be conceived of as a large single movement but a multiplicity of smaller undertakings that at once reinforced, contradicted, drove, and inhibited one another. These diverse submovements were united only by their shared inspiration—the emerging technologies, ideas, and events that were rapidly remaking the world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In exploring popular reimaginings of modernist works and ideas, this collection aims to extend Nicholls' theory. This book also hopes to answer Rita Felski's call to move the locus of modernity beyond experimental aesthetics or the finely wrought artifacts of high modernism. Instead, it looks to works that speak to the longings of everyday individuals—then and now—and seeks to draw attention to underappreciated texts and authors. In this way, the project builds upon the work of scholars like Juan A. Suárez, who contends that the "noisy" reverberations of popular culture helped American modernists explore the quotidian realities of a changing world and give voice to those on the cultural margins. Finally, the project hopes to expand Marjorie Perloff's contention that "the modernist project . . . remains open" by rediscovering connections between the early movements of modernism and the contemporary world. To this end, I am particularly interested in essays that do the following:

• Engage non-traditional mediums, such as comics, radio, podcasts, video games, television shows, etc.
• Recontextualize popular authors or movements not generally associated with modernism
• Analyze popular adaptations of well-known modernist works
• Discuss commercial works by modernist authors and artists generally known for producing avant-garde work or work that did not have commercial success
• Explore 21st century texts that continue the modernist project

Interested contributors should send 300 word abstracts, contact information, and abbreviated CVs (position, publications, conference presentations) to Dr. Scott Ortolano at SOrtolano@fsw.edu. All inquiries should also be sent to this e-mail address. Completed papers will be approximately 5,000-6,000 words. Contributors will be expected to make reasonable revisions as the project evolves.

Project Schedule:

Abstract Deadline: July 26, 2015
Notification of Acceptance: July 29, 2015
Proposal Sent to Publishers: August 3, 2015
Full Essays Due: February 8, 2016
Revision Requests: March 18, 2016
Revised Essays Due: Summer 2016

*Note this is a tentative timeline and subject to change.