CFP: “The Imagist Revolution” MSA 17  

In critical appraisals of Imagism, the early 20th century movement has often been portrayed as revolutionary,” especially in terms of form and technique. In 1963, William Pratt described the emergence of Imagism in England and America as a “battle for a new poetic style” and Helen Carr’s 2009 history of the movement takes its title from the often invoked epithet of the Imagists: The Verse Revolutionaries; however, this panel seeks to interrogate just how revolutionary Imagist practice was in relation to contemporaneous poetry and poetic practice.

Possible topics include:

  • The novelty and/or originality of Imagist poetry/poetic practice.
  • The variety and diversityof Imagist practices.
  • Rereading Imagism.
  • The difficulty in delimiting and defining Imagist practice.
  • The influences and/or legacies of Imagism.
  • Imagist practice beyond the 1910s.
  • The possible relationship between Imagist austerity or “hygiene”, as Hugh Kenner terms it, and revolutionary violence and war, what Marinetti refers to as “the world’s only hygiene”.
  • Translating cultures through Imagist practice. (E.g. Greek in H.D., Japanese in Lowell and Pound, etc.)
  • Imagism and potential appropriative violence.
  • Imagism as an avant-garde.
  • The “verse revolution” as expressed through Imagism.

Please send proposals (up to 300 words), along with a brief biography or curriculum vitae, to John Allaster (john.allaster@mail.mcgill.ca). We welcome proposals on any topic that relates to the revolutionary nature of Imagism. Submissions must be received no later than April 10th, 2015.

Conference Location: Boston, MA, USA
Conference Starts: November 19, 2015
Conference Ends: November 22, 2015