Modernism in American Literature: A (Re)consideration

deadline for submissions: 
August 31, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Jeff Birkenstein / Saint Martin's University

CFP: Modernism in American Literature:

A (Re)consideration

Proposals due August 31, 2023

Note on Updated Proposal:

We currently have most of the selections made, and essays in process, for a volume on re-considering Modernism with regard to American literature. We are, however, still looking for a small handful of high-quality proposals to fill out a few remaining chapters in the project.


Modernism influences us still. For whatever problems Ezra Pound’s life and writings might present to us now—and they are myriad—his 1934 collection of essays exhorted his generation’s artists to, as the collection’s title indicated, Make It New. An artistic and cultural movement between the world wars—but, really, going back both to the late 19th century and beyond WWII—modernism broke from the old even as it rebuilt what was, refashioned it, repackaged it, reconsidered it, and re-produced it for a new and “modern” world. For our proposed edited collection, we are interested here in a make-it-new (re)consideration of American modernism. Now, a century after James Joyce’s Ulysses and deep into the 21st-century, we find ourselves again at a precipice. Change is needed, change is coming, and our task is to better understand making it new, anew. We are—dare we say it?—on the brink of a kind of WWIII or a Cold WAR II, and thus intend to put together a collection of superior essays that (re)examine Modernist American literature both unto itself and its influence on the world that followed.  

For this CFP, then, rather than producing a long but ultimately limited list of possible topics, we’re casting a wide literary net. After all, Modernism is a movement that, through literature, touched, and touched on, virtually every aspect of a rapidly changing society. In short, you may consider literary modernism within a single work, an author’s complete oeuvre, a genre, a national literature, or in relation to art, in relation to politics, in relation to its impact on lifestyle, and on and on...

The goal of this edited collection, then, is to encourage an in-depth, multivalent, relevant, and current conversation regarding Modernism and American literature, and we would like to hear from you. Submission details below.


We are experienced academic writers and editors. We have six co-edited volumes and a number of other books published as monographs separately, or co-authored or co-edited with others. Together, our co-edited literary volumes include:

American Writers in Exile,;

Social Justice and American Literature,;

European Writers in Exile,;

Connections and Influence in the Russian and American Short Story,;

Significant Food: Critical Readings to Nourish American Literature (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming 2024);

 and, Food and the American Dream in American Literature (University of Tennessee Press, forthcoming 2024).

 To be considered for this volume, please submit a 350-500 word abstract and a CV (abbreviated is fine) by August 31, 2023. Please email MS Word documents to both of us (Jeff Birkenstein & Robert Hauhart Also, of course, don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have. In advance, thank you for your interesting ideas; we look forward to learning from you.

You will receive prompt confirmation of receipt and a relatively quick decision regarding your proposal upon the closing date of our CFP since we have only a few chapter assignments left to fill.

Jeff Birkenstein & Robert Hauhart
Saint Martin's University
5000 Abbey Way, SE
Lacey, Washington, USA  98503