Symposium: Post-War Modernisms: Publication, Translation, Transmission

SCR, Park House, University of Reading, Wednesday 9th September 2015

“If civilisation is to recover, if Europe is ever again a world centre of humane art and thought, we must shake ourselves free from the passions and prejudices and even the just resentments of war.” (Gilbert Murray, The Gate: International Review of Literature and Art in English and German, 1947).

In recent years scholarship on literary modernism has increasingly focused on the “making” of modernism through the agents involved in writing, editing, illustrating, publishing, translating and reviewing modernist texts. The focus has ostensibly been on a period running from the opening years of the twentieth century to the Second World War. Yet modernist texts were eagerly seized by editors and publishers in the years immediately following the cessation of hostilities as a means by which to revive literary production, to span the breach in international intellectual exchange represented by the war years and, in the words of Gilbert Murray, to use the world of letters as “the right meeting place for men of thought and good will, irrespective of nationality”. This one-day symposium, which focuses on the publication of modernist writing in the period from 1945-1955, will give scholars the opportunity to explore the complications and tensions, but also the possibilities, that the end of the war brought to those involved in literary production itself or more generally working in the wider publishing landscape of the period. Papers are invited from scholars and groups of scholars working on modernist writing in the immediate post-war years. These papers might explore themes and concepts related to:

– the role of writers, editors, illustrators and publishers in the authorship, (re)publishing and (inter)national transmission of modernist writing;

– the role of translation and international language policies and practices in restoring literary and intellectual exchange;

– the national and international politics of literary publication in the immediate post-war period;

– new fora: the emergence of “little magazines” and small presses;

– new approaches: the potential for revision, reinterpretation and innovation;

– new visions: the forging of new networks of intellectual exchange.

Please submit abstracts for papers (250-300 words) to:

Dr Alison E. Martin – Friday 26th June 2015.

Dr. Alison E. Martin, FHEA


Lecturer, Department of Modern Languages and European Studies

University of Reading

Whiteknights PO Box 218