Characterized by collectives, avant-garde alliances, salons, magazines, manifestos, mergers and ruptures, the modernisms of the first half of the 20th century were an associative affair. The exemplary “moderns,” however eclectic a group, joined in revolt against the forms and pieties of the 19th century, spurring aesthetic innovation and energizing modernity’s political, cultural, and technological revolutions.

But what about those who – whether by choice, ignorance, or circumstance – disassociate? What does it mean to be a dropout, dissenter, or dilettante estranged from (or a stranger to) modernism? In order to broach these and other questions, this panel seeks papers on writers, artists, and musicians whose work, intentionally or not, snubs groupthink, possibly turning against the progressive, political, technological and revolutionary attitudes we tend to associate with modernism.

Papers might address:

-Notions of anti-modernism, noncommitment, being apolitical
-Acts of disavowal or demission vis-a-vis a larger goal or project
-Figures of dilettantism, unproductivity, inaction, or backwardness
-Technophobia or anti-materialism (in all senses of the term)
-Failure, inadequacy, loneliness, and impotence
-Lack of context and alternative methodologies for reading modernism

Please submit a 300 word proposal to Andrew Dubrov at before April 15th, 2015.