CFPs Current Events

CfP: Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art, Leuven, 23-24 May 2022 (deadline 15 Jan 2022)

Call for Papers: Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art

University of Leuven, 23-24 May 2022

This interdisciplinary conference, open to contributions on all art forms, aims to re-examine the theory and practice of the historical avant-gardes’ Gesamtkunstwerk. What, if anything, was specific to the historical avant-gardes’ Total Work of Art?   

Confirmed invited speakers include Matthew Wilson Smith (Stanford University) and Alexandra Vinzenz (University of Heidelberg).


The notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, inextricably tied to Richard Wagner, plays a central role in our understanding of the historical or classical avant-gardes. While it has regularly been observed that Wagner’s notion must be traced at least as far back as Jena Romanticism and that Wagner’s ambitions further meandered into the 19th-century, most notably in Symbolism, the Gesamtkunstwerk is often said to have come into its own only with the advent of the historical avant-gardes. In the hands of classical avant-gardists, the idea, or ideal, of a unison of sensory languages brought by a fusion of art forms and media indeed led to a watershed of experiments. Der Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk, as Harald Szeemann memorialised it in his eponymous exhibition of 1983, may well have been one of the most salient features of the historical avant-gardes, be it in Cubism, Expressionism or Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism or Constructivism.

The aesthetic and (totalitarian) political implications of the avant-garde Total Work of Art have been a topic of critical debate at least since the early 20th century. Scholars of a more recent date (among others, Roger Fornoff, Boris Groys, Anke Finger, Matthew Wilson Smith, David Roberts and Marcella Lista) have also begun to chart complicated genealogies of the avant-gardes’ Total Work of Art, further paying attention to the clear social and religious aspects involved. Classical avant-gardists, so it has been observed, desired to reaffirm the social role of art and to recover a higher sense of spiritual unity through a synthesis of different art forms.

Now that we are beginning to have a clearer understanding of the variegated and multifarious pre-history of the avant-gardes’ totalising interartistic project, it may also be time to address the key question of this conference: what, if anything, was specific to the historical avant-garde Total Work of Art?

Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art welcomes all contributions that can help shed light on this question, be it by dealing with individual artworks, artists and movements, or by presenting broader historical and comparative approaches to the avant-gardes’ artistic practices and aesthetic theories during, roughly, the first half of the 20th century. Possible issues to consider include:  

(1)  H i s t o r y : To what extent can (and must) we still revise the history of the Gesamtkunstwerk before the arrival of the historical avant-gardes? Are alternative genealogies of the avant-garde Total Work of Art still conceivable? What historical sources or precursors, drawn on by avant-gardists themselves, demand more scrutiny?

(2)  G e n r e  &  M e d i a : The Total Work of Art is above all a work of art, but it remains one that eludes clear generic definition. The Gesamtkunstwerk is tied perhaps first and foremost to the symbol of theatre (and the “temporal” arts of poetry, music, dance) and that of the cathedral (and the “spatial” arts of architecture, sculpture and painting). What other art forms did the avant-gardes promote as symbols or potential grounds for Total Works of Art? To what extent did “new” media, such as film, photography or the phonograph, as well as “old” media, such as the panorama or diorama, play a role in their reconsideration of the Gesamtkunstwerk and the recalibration of art forms involved? What aspects of the avant-gardes’ theorisation of the Total Work of Art have been neglected? And which perhaps so far ignored examples of Total Works of Art, leaving behind the limited stock of works we usually address, can still shed a different light on the avant-gardes’ aesthetic of the  Gesamtkuntwerk more generally?   

(3)  U t o p i a : Total Works of Art are commonly viewed as projections of both a future art and a different, utopian community or society. Could part of the specificity of the avant-garde Gesamtkunstwerk reside in the types of possible worlds they trigger hermeneutically, and, if so, how? Are the possible worlds of the avant-garde Total Work of Art necessarily futural? And, how, methodologically, do we extract or salvage such possible worlds from individual art works, when, for instance, artists’ comments fail us?  

(4)  S c i e n c e : The Total Work of Art has been approached so far mainly for its aesthetic, political, social and religious implications. To what extent did science as well play a role in the avant-gardes’ conceptualisation of the Gesamtkunstwerk? How, for example, did the sciences of chemistry, biology, sociology or engineering figure into the avant-garde Total Work of Art?

(5)  A f t e r m a t h : Which more recent works, artistic practices or theories that align themselves with, or reflect on, the historical avant-gardes may still help us to reconsider the historical avant-gardes’ Gesamtkunstwerk, to highlight perhaps hitherto neglected facets of it?   


Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art will take place in the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) on 23 and 24 May 2022. Given the current health and travel situation, we are open to alternative arrangements in light of contingencies.

The conference language is English.

Proposals for 25-minute papers – including an abstract (max 500 words) as well as a short biography (max 200 words) mentioning institutional affiliation and up to five previous publications – can be sent to by 15 January 2022. Proposals should be in Word format.

Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in a book publication after the event.

This conference is organised by Sascha Bru and Abigael van Alst. It is hosted by the MDRN research lab of the University of Leuven.

Essay Prize News Past Events Postgraduate

BAMS Essay Prize 2021 winners: Imola Nagy-Seres and Doug Battersby

Two essays have jointly been awarded this year’s BAMS Essay Prize of £250 and the publication of the essay in Modernist Cultures. We would like to congratulate both:

Imola Nagy-Seres, ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Poetics of Breathing’

The committee found this a fabulous rereading of Katherine Mansfield’s work though breath and physical culture.

Doug Battersby, ‘Ford Madox Ford and the New Cardiology’

The committee found this a wonderfully convincing article on cardiology, the heart, and Ford Madox Ford.

The standard of essays submitted this year was truly astounding and the prize committee would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their work. The field of modernism is in excellent hands if this is the standard of scholarship from our new and emerging colleagues.

CFPs Current Events

CfP: Inside and Outside Modernism: An Anatomy of 1922 and its Cultures, Reading, 28 Mar 2022 (deadline 1 Dec 2021)

“James Joyce is quite wrong headed. Anyhow, with his wilfulness, he has made novel reading into a fair imitation of penal servitude…”


Keynote Speakers: Professor Patrick Collier (Ball State University), Dr Beci Carver (University of Exeter)


This one-day conference intends to examine 1922 looking at the cultures and writers associated with this significant year, in all their forms and geographical spread. It will consider the year holistically, considering the cultural and personal interactions and how they relate to the intellectual work of modernism. The conference is designed to bring the year into clearer focus with interdisciplinary contributions from politics, history, science, economics, music, literature, book history and visual culture and areas that have fallen outside the purview of traditional modernism. Some questions the conference would like to approach include: how has modernism impacted on the study of artistic cultures? How far did recent history shape social attitudes? How did the political and economic uncertainties in 1922 permeate different cultures? Was 1922 important for anything more than modernism itself?

Key Areas that we suggest will be covered include:

The music of 1922

Publishing and editing

Popular fiction

The texts of modernism

The political and economic context

The Great War and 1922

Theatre and culture

The trouble with modernism

Visual cultures

Modernism in retrospect

Outside the modernist canon

Scientific exploration

It will be held at the University of Reading Special Collections which holds a number of important documents relating to publishing and literature in 1922 and there will be an exhibition showcasing some of the more prominent holdings which we hope will inform our discussions on the day. 

Proposals for papers should be e-mailed to and copy in no later than Wednesday December 1st 2021. All proposals should be about 250 words in length and all papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in duration. We hope to contact you about your proposal by 22nd December 2021. Please include an e-mail address and a two-to-three line biography with your proposal. We are currently looking to deliver this conference in-person at the University of Reading, subject to guidelines. However, papers may be delivered online. Speakers and attendees will be notified closer to the date of confirmed arrangements.

This conference has been supported by the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing and the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading.

Events Seminars

Symposium: The Paris Commune at 150, London, 2 Nov 2021

Tuesday, 2 November 2021, 9.30-19:00 GMT, at The Royal Foundation of St Katharine (London)
We celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune with an in-person symposium. The event brings together scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the literary, political, and artistic legacies of the Paris Commune. The symposium will consist of four panels and a concluding roundtable. For the full programme, see:

Confirmed participants include Mark Allison (Ohio Wesleyan), David A. Shafer (California State), Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck), Mark Steven (Exeter), Constance Bantman (Surrey), Matthew Beaumont (UCL), Antony Taylor (Sheffield Hallam), Owen Holland (UCL), Kristin Grogan (Rutgers), Clare Pettitt (KCL), Scott McCracken (QMUL), Julia Nicholls (KCL), Terence Renaud (Yale), Patrick Bray (UCL), Ruth Kinna (Loughborough), Esther Leslie (Birkbeck), Adrian Rifkin (Dutch Art Institute), and Kristin Ross (NYU).

Organizers: Charlotte Jones (QMUL) and Benjamin Kohlmann (Regensburg). Please note that there is no registration fee but that due to Covid restrictions attendance is limited to registered participants. Please use the Eventbrite link to register for the event:


In Memoriam: Professor Laura Marcus

Image credit: Professor Laura Marcus FBA | The British Academy

We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Laura Marcus on Wednesday 22 September, after a short illness. During the course of her distinguished career, Laura was a friend, teacher, and colleague to many of us. Her work on autobiography, Virginia Woolf, psychoanalysis, and cinema profoundly informed the modernist studies we practise now, and her books, characterised by historical depth, theoretical acumen, and vivid prose, were justly lauded: The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (2007) was awarded the MLA’s James Lowell Prize.

Laura was a sparkling orator. Many modernists, all over the world, have been enthralled by her brilliant papers at the conferences and seminars she so much enjoyed attending. We were grateful to have Laura as our introductory speaker at the 2010 Inaugural BAMS conference in snow-laden Glasgow. She truly recognised the importance of our organisation in fostering the modernist community in the UK. Collaboration was at the heart of Laura’s work; this is reflected not only in her strong presence at academic events, but in her many co-authored publications, including Close Up 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism (1999) and The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature (2004), and her work on Women: A Cultural Review

Laura was a caring, considerate listener. BAMS members, past and present, have benefited from her interested and astute questions about our own work, her candid career advice, and her amazing ability to untangle and clarify knotty thinking. She was incredibly generous with her time, despite the numerous scholarly projects, committees, and other academic labours that took up considerable space in her diary. She was notably supportive of early career scholars, and was deeply committed to the graduate students she taught and supervised at Kent, Southampton, Birkbeck, Sussex, Edinburgh, and Oxford, and the remarkable number of doctoral candidates she examined.

Laura was also a wonderful, witty friend. Alongside the deeply intellectual conversations, we will cherish the moments of lightness and merriment we shared with her: chats about the sumptuous costumes in Mad Men; her inexplicable – yet strongly felt – dislike of red sauce; and the many giggly taxi rides back from conference dinners. For many of us, Laura was the model for the scholars, teachers, and colleagues we aspire to be.

CFPs NWIMS Past Events

New Work in Modernist Studies 11, online, 10 Dec 2021 (deadline 20 Oct)

About the conference

The eleventh one-day graduate conference on New Work in Modernist Studies will take place online on Friday 10 December 2021, in conjunction with the Modernist Network Cymru (MONC), the London Modernism Seminar, the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies, the Northern Modernism Seminar, the Midlands Modernist Network and the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS).

BAMS is dedicated to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion (please see our Code of Conduct).   As in previous years, this conference will take the form of an interdisciplinary programme reflecting the full diversity of current graduate work in modernist studies; it encourages contributions both from those already involved in the existing networks and from students new to modernist studies who are eager to share their work.  We particularly encourage proposals from BAME students, who we recognise are underrepresented in the field.

Usually the event is open only to students at British and Irish institutions as we offer each student a travel bursary.  However, as the event will be held virtually again this year, we encourage PhD students from around the world to apply.  The conference will be held during the working day in the UK (approx. 9.30am – 5pm, with regular breaks); please let us know if you are attending from elsewhere in the world and need this to be taken into account.

The day will include a plenary session, with details to be confirmed.

Unfortunately, the coffee breaks and drinks reception will still have to be in your own home this year.  We are keen to enable the making of connections that usually happens in those spaces between academic papers and panels, and are working on ways of doing so.

Proposals are invited from registered PhD students for short (10 minutes maximum) research position papers.  Your proposal should be no more than 250 words. Please also include a short biography of no more than 50 words.  If you are outside the UK and Ireland, please give your location and time difference to the UK.

Proposals for and questions about the event should be sent to

Deadline for proposals: 9am UK time, Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Acceptance decisions will be communicated within two weeks.

Applicants and delegates are encouraged to let us know about any access needs they might have, and if we are able to adjust the application or presentation process, we will endeavour to do so.

We’ll host the conference by Zoom, and there won’t be any charge to attend.


Symposium: Avant-Gardes/Contagion/Hygiene (Glasgow, 26 Nov 2021)

Avant-Gardes / Contagion / Hygiene is an interdisciplinary symposium hosted online by the University of Glasgow on 26 November 2021.

The event brings together scholars in the fields of art history, theatre, visual culture, and literature to explore intersections and interactions, dating from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century, between the artistic avant-garde and themes of health and hygiene, such as illness, contagion, cleanliness, and contamination.

Whilst the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has brought these themes – as well as the complex and highly charged discursive field they inhabit – to the fore of popular and political discourse, they have always been central to debates around processes of modernisation.

Examining the artistic oeuvres of some of the great names of modern art – Edgar Degas, Edvard Munch, Pablo Picasso, George Orwell, Marcel Duchamp, Antonin Artaud, et al. – the symposium investigates instances where the heightened political, social, and cultural currencies embedded within such hygienic issues have been mobilised, and subversively exploited, to fuel the critical strategy at play.

As such, the symposium promotes an interdisciplinary and socio-historically contextualised understanding of the criticality of the avant-garde gesture and seeks to cultivate scholarship that moves beyond and transgresses the limits of traditional academic subjects to produce innovative and thought-provoking connections and interrelations across various fields.

Full Program with Abstracts

David Hopkins (Professor of Art History, University of Glasgow)
Anthea Callen (Professor of Art, Australian National University)
Fae Brauer (Professor of Art and Visual Culture, University of East London)
Carl Lavery (Professor of Theatre and Performance, University of Glasgow)
Abigail Susik (Associate Professor of Art History, Willamette University)
Allison Morehead (Associate Professor of Art History, Queen’s University)
Alison Syme (Associate Professor of Modern Art History, University of Toronto)
Peter Fifield (Lecturer in Modern Literature, Birkbeck, University of London)
Disa Persson (Doctoral Researcher in Art History, University of Glasgow)

Please register for your free ticket now to receive updates and a link to the online event.

Questions: Disa Persson /

Call for submissions CFPs

CfP: Hope Mirrlees’s Paris: A Poem at 100 (Online cluster; abstract deadline 1 Oct 2021; article deadline 1 Mar 2022)

Modernism/modernity Print Plus Cluster Proposal

2020 marked the 100th anniversary of “modernism’s lost masterpiece,” Hope Mirrlees’s Paris: A Poem. Published by Hogarth Press in the spring of 1920, and typeset by Virginia Woolf, this ground-breaking long poem maps the range of continental avant-garde aesthetics of the 1910s even as it both engages and anticipates the mythical methods and epic conventions of James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot.

This proposed Modernism/modernity Print Plus cluster hopes to present new work that reassesses the singularity of Mirrlees’s poem as well as its place within the broader network of literary modernism and early twentieth-century poetics. While scholars such as Julia Briggs, who produced the first annotated edition of the poem in Gender in Modernism: New Geographies, Complex Intersections (2007), and Sandeep Parmar, who edited the first critical edition of Mirrlees’s Collected Poems (2011), have done the important archival and recovery work that restored Paris to critical attention, Peter Howarth solidified Paris’s position within the modernist “canon” with his chapter, “Why Write Like This?,” in The Cambridge Introduction to Modernist Poetry (2011), which introduces readers to the disorienting pleasures of modernism’s most famous poems through an extended analysis of Mirrlees’s “difficult” work (16). Building on these approaches, this cluster aims to initiate a new wave of Paris scholarship that complicates and extends the poem’s aesthetic, cultural, and socio-political import on the occasion of its centenary.

This Print+ cluster will demonstrate how engagement with Paris speaks not only to Mirrlees’s text but also to broader interests within modernist studies. We therefore seek a selection of articles that both pay tribute to the exceptionality of the poem and insist on the “complex intersections” that resist canonical trends of exceptionalizing marginalized writers like Mirrlees. While some interventions may consider detailed aspects of the poem, its influences, and its legacies, others may focus on Mirrlees’s work more generally and in relation to her contemporaries. Additionally, given M/m’s long history of engagement with Eliot and the The Waste Land, especially their recent Print+ cluster on “Reading ‘The Waste Land’ with the #MeToo Generation,” we seek contributions that help us to respond to the urgent questions: why Paris and why now? As an alternative to revisiting TWL’s position within the High-Modernist canon, can we, to quote the editor of the Eliot cluster, examine the ways in which Paris “acts as a kind of test case of how the #MeToo generation can change the way we read”? How might this poem spark new conversations about the relation among gender, sexuality, and power in modernist studies?

Our hope is that a Print+ cluster, which will be widely accessible and allow for an unprecedented engagement with the poem through the platform’s ability to include digital material (archives, visual culture), together with the recent publication of a new, smaller, and more affordable edition of the poem (Faber & Faber 2020), will facilitate the inclusion of Paris on more syllabi, igniting future waves of scholarship centered on this long under-appreciated poem and its networks.

Topics may include:

Teaching Paris

Hogarth Press

The history of the circulation of Mirrlees’s poem

The poem in relation to its (anti)colonial and Imperial interventions

Paris in dialogue with non-Western Modernisms

Mirrlees and translation

Mirrlees’s materialism

Cinema and visual culture

The city poem

Psychoanalysis and poetic form

Politics of poetics/aesthetics

Gender and sexuality in Paris

Queer(ing) Paris

*Abstracts (~250 words) due: October 1 2021. Please send to editors Nell Wasserstrom and Rio Matchett at and with the subject line “Hope Mirrlees Print+ Submission.” The editors also welcome queries.

*Selected abstracts will be followed by short articles (~3000 words) due March 1 2022. The cluster will then be submitted in its entirety to M/m for peer review.

BAMS Conference Past Events

Aesthetics of Global Modernism conference programme (Mon 12 July)

The Aesthetics of Global Modernism

12th July 2021

A one-day online event by the Modernist Studies in Asia network (MSIA) and the British Association of Modernist Studies (BAMS).


Udith Dematagoda, Assistant Professor, Waseda University, Tokyo (BAMS)

Nan Zhang, Associate Professor, Fudan University, Shanghai (MSIA)

Kevin Riordan, Assistant Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (MSIA)

Opening Remarks – 18:20 Tokyo / 10:20 London / 5:20 New York


Panel 1 – 18:40 Tokyo / 10:40 London / 5:40 New York (Chair: Udith Dematagoda)

Mohit Abrol (PhD Candidate, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi) —

 “Eliot’s Anti-Fascist Agenda, Anglo-Catholicism, and the Bergsonian Impulse” 

Asa Chen Zhang (PhD Candidate, University of Michigan) —

“Possession and (In)Visibility: Articulating Michio Itō’s Performing Body in W. B. Yeats’s At the Hawk’s Well and Beyond” 

Geraldine Suter (Lecturer, Bridgewater College) —

 “Marxist Aesthetics in Alfred Döblin’s Dramas” 

Panel 2 – 18:40 Tokyo / 10:40 London / 5:40 New York (Chair: Adam Guy)

Simona Amăriuței (PhD candidate, University of Manchester) —

“Andrei Bely and Cubism” 

Gaultier Roux (Lecturer, Fudan University) —

“Baudelaire Misinterpreted: Thwarted Modernity: A Theoretical Rereading” 

 Yuxin Zhang (PhD Candidate, University of Sydney) —

“Beyond Ideographic Poetics: Sound, Writing, and the Chinese Texts in Ezra Pounds Later Cantos”


Panel 3 – 20:20 Tokyo / 12:20 London / 7:20 New York (Chair: Kevin Riordan)

Desmond Harding (Professor, Central Michigan University) —

 “Yokomitsu Riichi’s Urban Aesthetics” 

Andrew Houwen (Associate Professor, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University) —

 “‘Tokio Takes Over, Where Paris Stopped’: Kitasono Katué’s VOU and Global Modernism”  

Sophia Sherry (PhD Candidate, University of Chicago) —

“Self, Genre, Ukigumo: Hayashi Fumiko’s Japanese Modernism in Global Space and Time” 

Panel 4 – 20:20 Tokyo / 12:20 London / 7:20 New York (Chair:Nan Zhang)

Gavin Herbertson (PhD Candidate, Oxford University) —

“Derek Walcott, T. S. Eliot, and the Role of Allusion in Epitaph for the Young

Usha Kishore (PhD Candidate, Edinburgh Napier University) —

“Alter-nation of Modernism: The Metropolitan Sensibility of Kamala Das”

Serena Wong (PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow) —

“Ornamental Modernism: The Decorative Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf and Ling Shuhua” 


Panel 5 – 22:00 Tokyo / 14:00 London / 9:00 New York (Chair: Udith Dematagoda)

Maurizia Boscagli (Professor, UC Santa Barbara) — 

“Alter Modernism: Eileen Gray’s Queer Orientalism” 

Arka Chattopadhyay (Assistant Professor, IIT Gandhinagar) —

“Bengali Modernisms: Political Aesthetics of Avant-Garde World Form” 

Adam Guy (Lecturer, Oxford University), —

“C. L. R. James as Theorist of Modernism: Existentialist Doctrines” 

Closing Remarks – 23:20 Tokyo / 15:20 London / 10:20 New York 

Call for submissions CFPs News

Call for nominations in D.H. Lawrence Studies (deadline 6 Sep 2021)

The D.H. Lawrence Society of North America is pleased to invite nominations for the following awards in Lawrence studies:

The Harry T. Moore Award for Lifetime Achievement in and Encouragement of Lawrence Studies.

The Mark Spilka Lectureship.  Lecture by a distinguished Lawrence scholar to be delivered at the International Conference. Awarded no less than once per decade.

The Extraordinary Service Award.  For service to the DHLSNA and/or Lawrence studies in general.

The Biennial Award for a book by a Newly Published Scholar in Lawrence Studies.  For a book substantially, though not necessarily exclusively, devoted to Lawrence.  Only books published from August 2018 to July 2021 will be considered. 

The Biennial Award for an article by a Newly Published Scholar in Lawrence Studies.  Only articles or book chapters published from August 2018 to July 2021 will be considered.  Chapters published in multi-author collections such as D.H. Lawrence in Context or the Edinburgh Companion to D.H. Lawrence and the Arts are eligible for this award, as are individual chapters in single-author volumes.

All nominations and self-nominations should be sent to DHLSNA President Elect Ronald Granofsky at and must be received no later than Labor Day, 6th September 2021.  Winners will be announced in the Spring 2022 Newsletter.

Adam Parkes (President, DHLSNA)