The Politics of Intermedial Modernism(s)

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
York University

UPDATE: Deadline extensions.

  • Proposal--January 15, 2024
  • Chapter manuscript--August 15, 2024

We seek essays for a collection on The Politics of Intermedial Modernism(s) that take as their primary focus the integration of socio-historical cultural critique and intermedial materials, forms, and structures from roughly 1890 to 1950. How does intermediality inform or delimit intersectionality in the period’s artists and their artefacts? How do relations amongst and between various media constellations shape our understanding of modernism? What are the political stakes of engaging with materials in this way? All contributions should consider the political, social, and cultural ramifications of intermedial modernism, attempting to develop methods and provide examples of the in-between work that can disclose avenues of resistance sometimes unseen or unheard when working within one discipline or medium. The collection will feature not just artists who worked across media, but also specific intermedial networks and cultural moments that reached across medial forms—from broader, multi-medial socio-cultural movements (the Harlem Renaissance, for example) to specific networks, institutions, or practitioners (such as the Harlem Community Art Center and/or the work of artists associated with it, like Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Bennett). Such avenues of inquiry also include community-engaged practices, whether those communities are formed within a neighbourhood, among a group, and/or transnationally. 

Although there have been numerous recent publications relating to intermediality and contemporary fields—particularly cinema—there isn’t yet a sustained focus on the ways that intermediality and politics intersect, specifically in the modernist period. The aim of the collection is to challenge what constitutes modernism, who and what counts as innovative, experimental, or “new,” as well as testing the limits of the common categorizations of the field, rather than reasserting it in terms of periodization, location, or canonical representation. To that end, we invite contributors from a wide range of disciplinary and/or field contexts (visual art and history, performance studies, sound studies, film studies, literature, musicology, etc., in addition to intermedial studies specialists), as well as practitioners and independent scholars to propose essays that fall within one of the following three main areas of inquiry:

  1. Working Across Media--Consider one or more artists or a specific work by one artist
  2. Working in Intermedial Artistic Networks--Consider the social and medial networks that enable collaborative intermedial work
  3. Working In-between and Across Borders--Consider transnational movements alongside transmedial and intermedial concepts   

Please send a 250-300 word abstract and a CV by January 15, 2024 to Sarah Jensen and Elicia Clements at Full manuscripts for selected submissions will be due August 15, 2024. Full chapter length: 6000–8000 words (including notes). Routledge Taylor and Francis Group has expressed interest in publishing this collection. We look forward to receiving your proposal.