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Mike Cole

AFROMODERNISMS

CALL FOR PAPERS:

Afromodernisms 2

What’s really new? Blackness and Atlantic Modernism, 1907–61

Symposium: University of Liverpool, UK

Confirmed Keynote: Professor Tyler Stovall, University of California, Berkeley

30 June–2 July 2011

Afromodernisms 2 focuses on the relationship between the Afro-Atlantic and the modernist canon.  Specifically, the symposium seeks to address the ways in which current configurations of modernism—the art and literature of the new—may be inflected, expanded, or even called into question by either localized or transnational Africanist interventions into the politics and culture of the first half of the twentieth century.

Call for Papers:

* What constitutes a ‘modernist’ response to the experience of the modern? What categories underpin the aesthetic category ‘modernism’? 

* How might emphasis on black diapora subject positions, representations, and artistic and political interventions, inflect current canonical configurations of modernism?

* To what extent might black feminist positions revise or even reject the totalizing tendencies of the male voice in canonical works of black modernism, for example, Négritude?

The aims of the conference are the following:

* To debate the tenets of modernism (its newness, breaks with tradition, interest in the exotic and the primitive, its sense of fragmentation and displacement, and the way it conceives of the individual subject) in two contexts: first in terms of the work produced by African diaspora artists and writers; second, in relation to the symbolic presence of representations of blackness in the work of Anglo-American, Caribbean and European modernists.

* To consider the degree to which a variety of actors operating from what might be termed ‘alternative’ or ‘displaced’ metropoles interacted to produce, in Jameson’s terms, an ‘active sense’ of the history of modernity, one in which a black presence was of key aesthetic, political and cultural importance.

* To expand Perry Anderson’s claim, directed primarily at European modernist movements, that one of the indispensible co-ordinates for locating modernism is its ‘proximity to social revolution,’ to include a range of Afro-Atlantic revolutionary positions. We therefore welcome papers that consider the range of anti-colonial and/or feminist responses to the experience of modernity operating across the Atlantic in the inter- and post-war years.

*To reconsider the emergence of literary and artistic avant-gardes in the context of black anti-colonial, feminist, and (pan)nationalist movements, the two world wars, and, in the interwar period, against the backdrop of fascism and communism.

Individual papers and proposals for panels, in English, are invited, addressing, but not limited to the following circumatlantic themes:

* Gender
* Black performance/performance of blackness
* blackness and/in visual art
* modernism and primitivism
* modernist landscapes and/or the city
* science, technology and the machine
* narrative, subjectivity, psychoanalysis
* the politics of history
* blackness and genre
* island modernisms (e.g. Antillean, Irish, Cape Verdian)
* tradition and experimentation
* modernism, politics and the metropole (Paris, London, Mexico, Dublin, Marseille, Berlin, Hamburg, Moscow, DC, New York)
* modernist soundscapes
* black writers/artists in/and Europe
* modernism and ideology
* modernism and the canon, including the Harlem Renaissance, Négritude, and Paris Noir
* formal innovation/ the language of modernism
* informal networks
* the work of ‘high’ and not-so-high modernists, for example, Eliot, Faulkner, McKay, Beckett, Pound, Stevens, Williams, Hughes, Joyce, Hurston
* responses to revolution: Easter 1916, November 1918, Spain 1936

For individual papers, please send a working title, abstract of 250–350 words, and a biographical note to: Fionnghuala Sweeney: fsweeney@liv.ac.uk  or Kate Marsh: clmarsh@liv.ac.uk

Proposal for panels should contain a panel title, working titles for individual papers, with individual abstracts of 250 words each, and brief biographical notes on the chair and/or speakers to: Fionnghuala Sweeney: fsweeney@liv.ac.uk or Kate Marsh: clmarsh@liv.ac.uk.

Proposals on teaching and curating are also welcomed, as are offers to act as chair or respondent.

Closing date for call: 11 April, 2011.

Kate Marsh
Fionnghuala Sweeney

Afromodernisms2: http://www.liv.ac.uk/soclas/conferences/Afromodernism

Dr Kate Marsh
Senior Lecturer in French
School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies
University of Liverpool
L69 7ZR

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Books

THIRD WORLD PROTEST – BOOK LAUNCH WITH RAHUL RAO

Book Launch – Third World Protest: Between Home and the World, by Rahul Rao

Date of event: 1st November 2010

Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental & African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Speaker: Dr Rahul Rao

Chair: Dr Stephen Hopgood

Rahul Rao, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, discusses his new book /Third World Protest: Between Home and the World/.

If boundaries protect us from threats, how should we think about the boundaries of states in a world where threats to human rights emanate from both outside the state and the state itself? Arguing that attitudes towards boundaries are premised on assumptions about the locus of threats to vital interests, Rahul Rao probes beneath two major normative orientations towards boundaries – cosmopolitanism and nationalism – which structure thinking on questions of public policy and identity. Insofar as the Third World is concerned, hegemonic versions of both orientations are underpinned by simplistic imageries of threat. In the cosmopolitan gaze, political and economic crises in the Third World are attributed mainly to factors internal to the Third World state with the international playing the role of heroic saviour. In Third World nationalist imagery, the international is portrayed as a realm of neo-imperialist predation from which the domestic has to be secured. Both images capture widely held intuitions about the sources of threats to human rights, but each by itself provides a resolutely partial inventory of these threats. By juxtaposing critical accounts of both discourses, Rao argues that protest sensibilities in the current conjuncture must be critical of hegemonic variants of both cosmopolitanism and nationalism. The second half of the book illustrates what such a critique might look like. Journeying through the writings of James Joyce, Rabindranath Tagore, Edward Said, and Frantz Fanon, the activism of ‘anti-globalization’ protesters, and the dilemmas of queer activists, Rao demonstrates that important currents of Third World protest have long battled against both the international and the domestic, in a manner that combines nationalist and cosmopolitan sensibilities.

*Please note that the book will be available at the event at a 20% discount

— 
Lecturer in International Relations
Centre for Inter national Studies & Diplomacy
School of Oriental & African Studies
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG
Tel: +44(0)20 7898 4534
http://goog_1113873052

Third World Protest:  Between Home and The World: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199560370.do

Available now through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press

END

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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