Call for Papers 5th Bi-annual EAM Congress (European Network for Avant-Garde and Modernism Studies)

University of Rennes, France, June 1-2-3, 2016

The fifth EAM congress invites scholars to consider the coupling of the notions of quest and investigation in works of art or movements of the avant-garde or neo-avant-garde, or of the various forms of modernism, even though modernism and the avant-garde seem often to have been constructed in opposition to the spiritual or scientific heritage suggested by these two terms. The notion of quest suggests a metaphysical beyond informed by mysticism, implying the absence of an end or of a conclusion, whereas the notion of investigation implies a totally rational conception of reality and a process likely to bring a definite result and reach a conclusion. Coupling the two notions, quest/investigation, is therefore an invitation to overcome an initial paradox: the endlessness of the quest as opposed to the fixed scope of the investigation. The co-articulation of the two notions may shed some light on marginal or neglected works. It may also question the dialectical relationship between modern and anti-modern, between avant-garde and rear-guard, between insistent innovations and archaisms, acknowledged or disguised.

Whether dialectical or dynamic, the approach we suggest applies to all the fields or domains of research in the Arts, literature, aesthetics, cinema, photography, drama, T.V. or digital media, architecture, music, design…
As a guide to researchers, we suggest four possible approaches:

1 A genetic approach: this would deal with the process of creation itself as quest or investigation (artistic protocols, the work as investigation, models or projects designed as research, studies, excavations, exploration, etc.)

2 A formal approach: to identify the motifs, terms, or forms of the quest or investigation in works of art, fiction and/or documentary (e.g: works of mystical inspiration, the reintroduction of the sacred; or the schematic models for a project, the presence of user manuals, guidelines, etc.)

3 An approach in terms of reception: the place or the role of the spectator or reader confronted by an open/closed work, the state of completion or incompletion of the work (is the finitude or completeness of the work put into question by new technologies? do these technologies enable a new appropriation of the work?)

4 An epistemological or meta-discursive approach: dealing with historiography and historicity, new modes of research, new technologies (restoration of paintings, collaborative creations, databases, etc.). This approach considers the way in which the quest/investigation of the researcher and the artistic quest or investigation itself mutually inform or act on each other.

The submissions should explicitly mention which of the four approaches is primarily involved.

The scientific committee invites proposals for panels of three or four speakers, or for double panels of up to eight speakers. Individual proposals are also accepted. Panels may not consist only of graduate students. All submissions must contain a title (for each paper and for the panel), a 300-word abstract (of the individual paper or of all the papers of the proposed panel), the name and qualifications of the author(s), the language in which the paper(s) will be read (English, French, German, Spanish). Proposals must be submitted in a Word, Times New Roman 12 format (no PDF) before September 1, 2015 to the following address:

Answers will be sent by October 15th 2015.