Call for Papers

Updated Information and Renewed Call for Papers


Transnational Modernisms

The 2nd Australian Modernist Studies Network Conference

Hosted by the University of Sydney

Date: 15-17 December 2014

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Jahan Ramazani (University of Virginia)

Professor Ira Nadel (University of British Columbia)

Professor Sue Thomas (La Trobe University)

Professor Paul Giles (University of Sydney)


The ‘Transnational turn’ in literary studies has been the focus of intense debate and sustained reflection in recent years, as have critical re-evaluations of Modernism’s transnational scope. Scholarly interventions by Paul Giles (Transnationalism in Practice), Wai Chee Dimock (Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time), Jahan Ramazani (A Transnational Poetics), and Paul Jay (Global Matters: The Transnational Turn in Literary Studies), among many others, establish the viability of transnationality as a disciplinary focus. Transnationalism Modernisms aims to provoke fresh thinking about the particular resonances between Transnationalism and Modernism, including the ongoing critical review of Modernism’s traditional Transatlantic focus.

This broader awareness of the sites where Modernism was practiced and the transnational connections were initiated (or resisted) prompts a range of compelling questions, including:

  • How might uneven flows of cultural capital between centres of Modernist practice and erstwhile peripheries be understood, accounting for varieties of geographic and temporal displacement?
  • Must a global Modernism be co-synchronous, or did it evolve in different phases in different locales and under different socio-economic conditions?
  • What is to be made of the increasingly intensive scholarly attention given to East Asian Modernism(s) in Western scholarship, and how might this inflect more long-standing work in Asian literary, filmic, art historical and musicological studies?
  • How might an Asian-Pacific Modernism be conceived, and how might this intersect with regional scholarship in literature, visual arts, music, film, dance, and other creative genres?
  • How might, for example, Caribbean, South Asian, Brazilian, Latin American, Nigerian or Arab Modernisms be comprised, and reckoned with respect to hegemonic literary and cultural history?

This conference will seek to address these and other notions of Transnational Modernisms. Proposals are invited for 20 minute papers or panels of three papers examining any relevant aspect of the conference theme across literature, the visual and plastic arts, music, theatre, film, and related genres. Proposals from postgraduate students are especially encouraged.

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief biographical note to [email protected] by 30 September. Notification will be forthcoming by early October; proposals received by 31 August will receive notification by early September.