NeMLA 2021 Panel: Modernism and/in the Anglophone Novel

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Shun Yin Kiang / University of Central Oklahoma
contact email: 

In A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism (2016), Eric Hayot and Rebecca L. Walkowitz call for thinking about modernism from a global perspective, in order to recover and examine “local instances of modernism...[with] the traces of world thinking and world imagining that both respond pressures...and anticipate into being the structures of feeling that...shape the world we live in” (8-9). Taking a cue from Hayot and Walkowtiz, this panel turns to the Anglophone novel as a transnational genre long committed to addressing the differences between—and the interconnectedness of—the local, the global, and the in-between, with particular interest in the genre’s engagement with and retooling of modernism, as evident in the works of Jean Rhys, Sam Selvon, Salman Rushdie, and others.

Enduring features of the Anglophone novel such as exile, flow, exchange, and multiplicity amount to what Stuart Hall has called “the diasporic,” a mode of register and representation that “both responds to, and goes beyond, the reductive boundaries...[to challenge] the idea of whole, integral, traditionally unchanging cultural identities” (Familiar Strangers 144). The Anglophone novel, this panel seeks to affirm, is one viable site in which to 1) consider and contest by turns established understandings of modernism and its supposed Anglo-American roots, and 2) to move with the global turn of modernist studies to better understand modernism as a culturally robust phenomenon whose expressions and exchanges of ideas have always already been worldly, with the term being apprehended (necessarily) differently. 

Among other things, this panel seeks papers that examine worldliness—and world-making qualities—as “local instances of modernism” (Hayot and Walkowitz)—in the Anglophone novel, as well as papers that reimagine and/or relocate modernism beyond its customary Anglo-American traditions and techniques. Please submit a 250-word abstract and brief bio to Shun Y. Kiang (Assistant Professor of English, University of Central Oklahoma), panel organizer, using the NeMLA website. See link for more instructions: