The Function of Modernist Criticism (in Its Time and Ours) - MSA 2014, Pittsburgh, PA Nov 6-9, 2014
In Criticism in the Wilderness (1980), Geoffrey Hartman argued that criticism exists within literature. Working under this assumption – that criticism functions as a part of literary history – this panel asks how the study of critics writing during the first half of the 20th century help us understand both the poetry and fiction of that period (or art in general) and/or help us come to terms with our tasks as scholars in the 21st century. In what ways, in other words, does the criticism of Richards, Wilson, Blackmur, Burke, Trilling, Leavis, Auerbach, the New Critics, or even an Americanist like Matthiessen, borrow, revise, draw upon, or subvert modernist "literary" techniques? Conversely, how did the criticism of that period shape the direction of contemporary "literature" as well as art that would come later? Finally, how can the study of critics, scholars, academics, and literary journalists from the modernist period help us think through the function of criticism or scholarship, and its relation to artistic production, in the 21st century? Simply put: how (and why) should we continue to read and engage the critics of this period? This panel invites papers discussing any aspect of criticism or critical culture from the modernist period. Papers that seek to challenge the "confluence" of modernist literature and modernist criticism and argue for the centrality of its "division" are also welcome.
Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 23rd.
*This CFP is for a proposed panel for the Modernist Studies Association Conference to be held in Pittsburgh on November 6-9.