CFPs Events Postgraduate

CFP: A Public Modernism/Modernism’s Public

A Public Modernism/Modernism’s Public
Friday 9 May 2014
Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth


In recent decades modernist studies has seen an explosion of scholarship undermining the myth of modernist isolation from commercialised literary production, with critical attention focused largely on the engagement of modernists with mass markets and popular cultural forms. Less attention has been given to how mass culture itself responded to and approached modernism. This one-day symposium seeks to explore the two-way relationship between artists and popular audiences; how modernists found a public and how the public also took ownership of modernism. While modernist writers and artists played with or actively assimilated mass market tactics, the mass markets themselves played with or actively assimilated high modernist techniques. As mass audiences became increasingly aware of the modernist revolution, modernism not only found its public face, but also met a public increasingly active in refiguring modernism’s profile. This symposium aims to bring together scholars interested in debating alternative methods of approaching and interpreting interactions between mass markets, popular culture and modernism.

We invite 250-word proposals for 20-minute papers, which might address, but are by no means limited to, the following topics:
– Approaches to modernism in mass market periodicals
– Individual modernist writers and the commercial press
– Mass market publishing and modernist outputs
– Advertising and modernist design
– Modernism and celebrity
– Modernism and fashion
– Middlebrow culture
– Methodological issues arising from the study of modernism in mass culture

Please send abstracts with a brief biographical note and full contact details to the symposium organisers, Dr Rod Rosenquist ( and Dr Alice Wood (, by 21 February 2014. Participants will be notified by 1 March 2014. Any queries may be directed to either of the email addresses above.