Hotel Modernisms, 1890-1950 (Edited Volume)

deadline for submissions: 
December 10, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Anna Despotopoulou, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
contact email: 

Hotel Modernisms, 1890-1950

Editors: Anna Despotopoulou, Vassiliki Kolocotroni, Efterpi Mitsi

The collection seeks to explore the hotel as a site of modernity, a space of mobility and transience that shaped the transnational and transcultural modernist activity of the first half of the twentieth century. From James to Mann, Roth to Rhys, Benjamin to Burroughs, the hotel becomes more than a setting for contemporary modes of living dictated by tourism and leisure, and new technologies of transport. As a trope for social and cultural mobility, transitory and precarious modes of living and experiences of personal and political transformation, the hotel space in modernist writing and art complicates binaries such as privacy and publicity, risk and rootedness, convention and experimentation. As a site of socio-cultural, psychic, and sexual negotiation and conflict, the hotel may be seen in this sense as a prime location for modernist production and the cross-fertilization of heterogeneous, inter- and trans- literary, cultural, national and affective modes. This volume invites us to think of ‘hotel modernisms’ as situated in or enabled by this dynamic space. To that end, we invite essays that engage with the hotel as a transcultural space of modernity of the period 1890-1950 in contexts and approaches which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • modernist form; literary and artistic

  • cosmopolitanism; transnationalism; internationalism; avant-garde mobilities 

  • global modernisms; travel and tourism; Empire; utopia

  • community; hospitality; borders; networks

  • displacement; statelessness; home and homelessness; exile; refuge

  • contagion; illness; asylum

  • war; revolution; migration

  • urban experience; leisure; pleasure; luxury; the everyday

  • race, class; gender and sexuality; queer theory

  • psychoanalysis; affect; intermediality; human geography; new materialisms

The volume is associated with a research project titled “Hotels and the Modern Subject: 1890-1940,” funded by the Hellenic Foundation for Research & Innovation.

Please send a brief abstract (500 words max.) and biographical note (150 words max.) to the editors by 10 December 2020. Complete essays of approx. 6000 words will be required by September 2021.

Anna Despotopoulou:

Vassiliki Kolocotroni:

Efterpi Mitsi: