1922 Turned Upside Down: AAL Conference

Australasian Association for Literature (AAL) 2022 Conference

2-3 June 2022 | Western Sydney University, Parramatta City Campus

The Australasian Association for Literature warmly welcomes proposals for its 2022 conference on the theme ‘1922 Turned Upside Down’.

The year 1922 has long been celebrated as an annus mirabilis of literary and, more broadly, of cultural production, the high-water mark of “high modernism”. One hundred years on, this conference seeks to reconsider this established view. Beyond the literary works usually cited as defining 1922 – James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room – what other significant works appeared that year in literature, film, music, architecture, and the visual arts? What did 1922 mean for the arts in places, cultures, and languages beyond those of the Anglophone North Atlantic? And how does expanding our scope in these ways challenge our understanding of that famous year?

At the same time, this conference aims to assess the value of choosing a single calendar year as a historical and critical category. How, for instance, might attention to marginalised forms of cultural production across the globe change how we think about time and history with regards to modernism?

In this way, we seek papers which think again about the inherited historical narratives which have celebrated 1922 as modernism’s defining year. In particular we invite proposals for papers (20 minutes) and organised panels of three or four presenters. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • papers which move beyond established canons to address Australasian, Pacific and any other form of ‘Global’ modernism;
  • papers which consider instances of popular culture, from genre fiction through fashion to magazines;
  • papers which critique the theoretical assumptions that underwrite critical attention to a single calendar year or, by extension, to modernism itself as a period category;
  • papers which reflect on the legacies of modernism, regarding formal experimentation, concepts of innovation, and the models of creativity conventionally aligned with modernism;
  • papers which consider the perhaps belated and oblique influence of modernist works across different times and places;
  • papers which return to canonical works to consider the effects they continue to have in 2022 and how they might be re-read now;
  • papers which compare particular aspects of the cultural contexts of 1922 to cultural contexts of the globalised world(s) of 2022.

Please send 250-word proposals along with presenter contact details and a brief biographical note to [email protected] by 18 March 2022.

Conference Organising Committee: Dr Jumana Bayeh (Macquarie University), Associate Professor Mark Byron (University of Sydney), Dr Lorraine Sim (Western Sydney University), Professor Anthony Uhlmann (University of Western Sydney).

Poetry, Translation, and the Circulation of Global Modernism: A Roundtable and Reading

Thursday, 12 November, 2020 (US): 6:00-8:00pm EST / 3:00-5:00pm PST / 11:00pm-1:00am GMT
Friday, 13 November, 2020 (Australia/Asia): 10:00am-12:00pm AEDT / 8:00-10:00am JST

Speakers: Emily Drumsta, Klara Du Plessis, Ariel Resnikoff, and Sho Sugita

Moderators: by Alys Moody and Stephen Ross

Global modernism exists only in translation. Its condition of possibility is the circulation of texts through time and space, across languages and in languages that are not the texts’ own. Historically speaking, the texts we think of as modernist are, almost without exception, the products of lively eras of translation in an expanded sense that reaches beyond the strict remit of textual translation between languages. In order to have global modernism, then, there must be translation and, necessarily, its distortions. Global modernism, by foregrounding this established problematic of translation in the context of an awareness of the unevenness of global exchange, highlights the centrality of language politics to modernist literary creation.

The study of global modernism, too, relies on active and continuous translation efforts. Contemporary translators, many of them themselves practicing poets or writers, are increasingly making available modernisms from around the world. In doing so, they underscore the extent to which modernists so often regarded translation as a primary creative act rather than secondary or derivative one.

This roundtable and reading features the work of four scholars and translators of modernist poetry who contributed original translations to the anthology Global Modernists on Modernism (Bloomsbury, 2020) and whose efforts shine illuminating cross-lights on the modernist labour of translation. As several of our participants are also practicing multilingual poets, the event will offer an occasion to listen to and reflect on the contemporary legacies of modernist poetics.

This conversation, held under the shared auspices of the Literature Program at Bard College and Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics, is the second of a three-part series exploring global modernism, in celebration of the anthology. It was preceded by a roundtable on “Editing Global Modernism” held on October 23rd and will be followed by a workshop on pedagogy and global modernism on Friday, 4 December, 1:30-4:30pm EST.

**To receive the Zoom invitation for this event, please email [email protected]. Invitations will be sent out on the morning of the event.**

Graduate Conference: New Work in Modernist Studies

11 December 2020 | Zoom

The tenth one-day graduate conference on New Work in Modernist Studies will take place online on Friday 11 December 2020, in conjunction with the Modernist Network Cymru (MONC), the London Modernism Seminar, the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies, the Northern Modernism Seminar, the Midlands Modernist Network and the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS).

BAMS is dedicated to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion. As in previous years, this conference will take the form of an interdisciplinary programme reflecting the full diversity of current graduate work in modernist studies; it encourages contributions both from those already involved in the existing networks and from students new to modernist studies who are eager to share their work. We particularly encourage proposals from BAME students, who we recognise are underrepresented in the field.

Usually the event is open only to students at British and Irish institutions as we offer each student a travel bursary. However, as the event will be held virtually this year we encourage PhD students from around the world to apply. The conference will be held during the working day in the UK (approx. 9.30am – 5pm, with regular breaks); please let us know if you are attending from elsewhere in the world and need that to be taken into account.

The day will include a plenary session with Dr Sarah Bernstein and Dr Patricia Malone (both University of Edinburgh) on the principle of difficulty as a theoretical concept and as an experience in constructing an academic career.


Proposals are invited from registered PhD students, for short (10 minutes maximum) research position papers. Your proposal should be no more than 250 words. Please also include a short biography of no more than 50 words. If you are outside the UK and Ireland, please give your location and time difference to the UK.

Proposals for and questions about the event should be sent to [email protected].

Deadline for proposals: 9am UK time, Tuesday 20 October 2020.

Acceptance decisions will be communicated within seven days.

Applicants and delegates are encouraged to let us know about any access needs they might have, and if we are able to make adjustments to the application or presentation process, we will endeavour to do so.


We’ll host the conference by Zoom, and there won’t be any charge to attend.

Full details: BAMS

Affirmations: of the modern is now the official journal of the AMSN

We’re making it official!

Affirmations: of the modern is now the official journal of the AMSN!

An open-access journal, Affirmations: of the modern aims to stir up modernist studies by drawing attention to that which has been, and remains, peripheral, overlooked, or unseen. Embracing our Antipodean vantage point, the journal seeks to build upon recent developments in the field that have troubled modernism’s too-settled histories and its centre-periphery relations. Whether through focusing on previously overlooked works or forms of modernist literature, art, and culture; examining the less-discussed sites, iterations, and experiences of modernity; or taking innovative approaches to modernism’s more well-known figures, texts, and themes, Affirmations seeks scholarship that challenges us to look at the field from new theoretical, critical, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary perspectives. While international in scope and contribution, Affirmations has a particular commitment to fostering modernist scholarship related to the Asia-Pacific region, and to promoting work by both established and emerging scholars in the region.

For more on the focus and scope of the journal, as well as how to submit your work, see Affirmations: of the modern.

CFP for special issue of the Modernist Review: Black Lives Matter and Modernist Studies

Content warning: police brutality

Modernist studies has been slow to respond to urgent calls for reform within white-dominated higher education: to decolonise, to diversify, to include. 2020 has witnessed the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, the shooting of Jacob Blake and so many more, which have sparked a global sense of urgency in the fight against racial injustice. Modernist studies must acknowledge and examine white modernism’s difficult history of racism, and align itself with the Black Lives Matter movement and active anti-racism work within higher education. These imperatives are not new: students, educators and activists have been calling for decolonisation, diversification and inclusion in the academy for decades. 

We at BAMS recognise that more needs to be done to counter the whiteness of academia and of modernism studies. With this in mind, we at the Modernist Review would like to share this Call for Papers for a special issue on Black modernist studies. The concerns of this CfP are not confined to one month of TMR; this issue is part of a larger movement within modernist studies and higher education. We at TMR recognise the institutional racism embedded within academia that we, the editors, have benefitted from. As set out in BAMS’ recent statement on Black Lives Matter, we are committed to doing more: compiling resources lists, addressing how TMR operates, listening to and acting on ways to ensure that we have structural inclusivity. We stand with our American friends striking on the 8th and 9th of September as part of #Scholarstrike. We hear the #BlackintheIvory stories of institutional racism in the academy. We recognise that we need to do more.

White modernism has a history of colonial exploitation, racism and cultural appropriation. The 2015-2019 AHRC funded project Black Artists and Modernism highlighted the number of Black voices, artworks and ‘hidden histories’ that exist in archives, but have been excluded from modernism’s narratives. This special issue on Black modernist studies aims to further explore and highlight the work of Black writers, artists, thinkers and scholars in the making of modernism, and examine the state of modernist studies and the way modernism is read and taught today. We welcome articles, reviews, creative responses, personal reflections and more on topics including but not limited to: 

  • Black modernist writers and artists
  • Black Lives Matter, modernism and research practices
  • Black Lives Matter in the (modernist) classroom
  • Postcolonial theory in/and modernist studies
  • Global modernisms
  • Black modernist critics and scholars
  • Diversity and inclusivity in modernist studies and higher education
  • Modernist canons and structures of oppression
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • Modernisms in/and the Global South
  • Intersections of race with class, gender, and nationality
  • Complaint and protest in modernist studies
  • Black Lives Matter and the imperative to decolonise modernist studies

Articles should be around 1,000 words in length, though we are happy to negotiate and discuss word counts, particularly in relation to creative responses. Our full submission guidelines can be found here. Please send an abstract of no more than 200 words to [email protected], along with a short bio, by 23 September 2020. On acceptance of an abstract, the deadline for submissions will be 21 October 2020

We particularly extend this CfP to Black and BAME members of our community, and encourage educators and supervisors to pass this to their Black and BAME students.

For full information: Modernist Review CFP

Update from AMSN Executive

Dear Friends of the AMSN,

We hope that this message finds you all safe and well in these challenging times, and express our sympathies and solidarity to all of you who are being adversely affected by the impacts that COVID is having on our daily lives and our sector.

As we all know, many wonderful research events have been cancelled or postponed this year. We wanted to touch base with you all to update you on future AMSN events.

For some time the AMSN had been in the process of planning a symposium on the topic of Modernism and Stillness to be held at the Writing and Society Research Centre (Western Sydney University) in December 2020. Unfortunately, the convenors, Lorraine Sim (Western Sydney University) and Alix Beeston (Cardiff University), have had to postpone this event due to Covid. At this stage, we are hoping to reschedule for mid-2021, and will keep you posted of developments.

We are very excited to confirm that the next major AMSN conference will be hosted by the University of Auckland in late 2022! Our deep thanks to Erin Carlston (University of Auckland) and her colleagues in New Zealand for agreeing to host this event. We are thrilled to have our first conference in New Zealand and hope to see many of you there. Further details about the conference theme and a CFP will be forthcoming in 2021.

In the meantime, please do let us know if you plan to host any modernist studies events (virtual or face-to-face), or if you have any exciting news that you would like to share with the wider community (recent book publications, grant opportunities, and the like). You can stay up-to-date with current and future events and happenings via our Facebook and Twitter feeds, the AMSN website, and the AMSN Email List (to sign up for this, click here or see the instructions in the post below).

Fingers crossed we will see some of you at events in the not-too-distant future. Until then, stay safe.

Best wishes, from the AMSN Executive.

Pandemic, Crisis, and Modern Studies: The Intersection of Your Research with the Pandemic/Crisis – A Twitter Conference

Countervoices, Centre for Modern Studies, University of York

12 June 2020 | Twitter

Over the past few months, the spread of Covid-19 has profoundly impacted the lives of people around the globe. Whether politically, through the ever-shifting government policies, culturally, by virtual access to cultural artefacts, or socially, through individual isolation, the rapid spread of the pandemic has changed how one lives in the world. Undoubtedly severe as the consequences of the virus are, it boosts new insights into human relation(ship)s, communities, and environment, with imaginative responses such as singing on balconies, and considerable drops in air pollution. For individuals, communication has become confined to the virtual space, forcing us to find original forms of expression.

This conference attempts to initiate a robust and meaningful discussion on how the pandemic or crisis shapes our past, present, and future. We invite discussions about the pandemic as a global crisis from passionate and creative intellectuals in different disciplines of modern studies (from 1830 to present). Featuring an opportune interdisciplinary response to the contemporary changes and new experiences brought about by the crisis, this conference will spark new debates over ontological issues, shed new light upon research in humanities and sciences, and engage and inspire a broad range of audiences in and beyond this country.

The conference welcomes submissions of abstracts for twitter-papers consisting of 10-15 tweets (with pictures/slides) about the way your studies intersect with the pandemic or crisis. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical and mental health: vulnerability, fragility, illness, health, care, death, and resilience, therapy, and recovery.
  • Cognition and memory: trauma, recollection, history, erasure, monument, and memorials.
  • Space: architecture, geography, regions, nations, transnation, and globe.
  • Identities, groups and agents: identities in relation to crisis (victim, survivor, volunteer, helper, expert, hero, scapegoat, whistleblower, etc.), groups and authorities in operation, effects on particular groups in the population (gender, race, class and human rights), creation of new groups and new identities.
  • Changes and reactions: changes to habits (shopping, behaviour, social norms), cognition, human relationships, cities, businesses, economies, and policies that initiate (or do not initiate) such changes.
  • Communication and language: rumours, fake news, instructions, slogans, hashtags, and new words.
  • Apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic, utopian/dystopian visions.
  • Material objects and metaphors: necessities (food, toilet roll), tools of self-preservation (masks, hand-sanitizer, vaccines, ventilators, and weapons).
  • Animals and the environment: non-human, ecology, environment, and post-human.
  • Representation in literature, music, art, cinema, documents, archive, or records.

Please send your abstract (200 words), a short bio (50 words), and your twitter account (@XXXX) to [email protected] by 15 May 2020. Participants will be invited to present their papers (thread of tweets) on 12 June using the hashtag #Cmodspan2020 and tagging the Countervoices (@cmodspgforum1) and CModS (@cmods1) twitter accounts according to the conference programme and handbook, which will be updated at the end of May. We will host the conference and retweet your tweet-papers in a single thread, under the title of the conference. For those who don’t have a twitter account, we can help you tweet your discussion. The best papers presented in this conference will receive Amazon vouchers worth up to £50. We are grateful to the Centre for Modern Studies for making it possible for us to offer these awards.

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Fay Bound Alberti (York) & Dr. Beryl Pong (Sheffield)

Find us on Twitter , Facebook or our website.