Call for Abstracts: MSA 2021 Panel on: "Transporting Modernism, Modernist Bibliomigrancy"
Call for Abstracts: Modernist Studies Association (MSA) Annual Conference 2021, Chicago: Panel on “Transporting Modernism, Modernist bibliomigrancy,” Due April 5, 2021
Transporting Modernism, Modernist bibliomigrancy:
Modernism’s itinerant qualities have been asserted repeatedly. The “spatial and vertical expansions” of the field (Mao and Walkowitz, 2008) have put into focus its latitudinal qualities. As Emily Ridge has recently argued (2017), portability remains a central feature of modernity, perhaps as a nod towards, in Zygmunt Bauman’s phrase, its “liquid” turn. While modernists traveled, sometimes towards literary capitals they also sent, received, distributed textual fragments, excerpts, reviews, corrections, proofs from across the globe. Gertrude Stein collected American press reviews of her work at her residence in Paris, between and during World Wars. Fellow Parisian James Joyce had newspapers, magazines, books and ephemera sent by his patrons, friends and acquaintances in Europe. In parallel, beyond Anglophone contexts, as Isabel Hofmeyer and others have shown (2013), potentially seditious new items bypassed national boundaries and colonial authority as abridged compilations and summaries with “scissors-and-paste” journalism. This despite, as Eric Bulson (2016) has noted, transatlantic communication came under repeated interruptions with “everything from postal import regulations during World War I to the general unreliability of international mail delivery to the carelessness of booksellers slow to pay up […] to the dearth of overseas subscribers” in this era. Thus perhaps, mapping the contours of a global print network, B. Venkat Mani (2018) alerts us to a “diversity of circuits of communication” so that a study of “bibliomigrancy” that is sensitive to cultural, historical, and political aspects in the life cycle of books is in order.
This panel invites papers highlighting migrations of textual ephemera that contributed to the production and dissemination of modernism. Papers might address in specific terms how modernism was transported from centers to peripheries and beyond under (but not restricted to) the following heads:
- How did textual fragments travel around the globe bypassing censorship, challenges of transportation?
- How do concepts like “bibliomigrancy” and “communications circuit” help us track the trajectories of textual ephemera in the modernist era?
- How do the modalities of transportation help understand the transnational nature of modernism?
- How did summaries, excerpts, digests of news, fictional narratives help transport modernist texts?
- Archival studies of modernist textual ephemera
- Modernist correspondence
Please submit a 250-word abstract and a bio-note (not more than 150 words) to Dipanjan Maitra (PhD Candidate, SUNY at Buffalo), at email@example.com by April 5, 2021. Accepted abstracts will be sent for evaluation by the MSA program committee.