Mobility/Stasis/Modernity in the Space Between, 1914-1945
Submissions are invited for the eighth annual conference of The Space Between: Literature and Culture, 1914-1945, at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, June 8-11, 2006.
Acceleration, terminal velocity, downward-spiral, displacement, paralysis, collision, modernity. The years 1914-1945 were marked by wars colliding with peace movements, by the formation of new nations, the dissolution of old empires, and the voluntary and forced movement of people from ancient homelands to modern and nascent nation-states. Mobility, exile, migration, diaspora, and expulsion produced expatriates and immigrants, the return of the soldier, the lost generation, the exile of surplus women, and the liberation of others. Speed and slow-motion, fragmentation and revolution transformed people, technology, and art.
From army “mobilization” in August 1914 to the liberation of death camps and nuclear annihilation in 1945, the interwar and war years witnessed political, economic, and cultural upheavals that in concert with technological revolutions in transport and warfare revolutionized the movement of masses and the creation of art, literature, film, and other media. Planes, underground shelters, tanks, and skyscraper elevators altered social relations and destabilized class, cultural, and racial barriers—as did, in far more dire ways, trench warfare, air raids, and transport to concentration and death camps. New media such as the cinema, the newsreel, and the wireless enlarged viewers’ perceptions and eradicated distances, confronting audiences with the excitement and terror of far-away places. Such physical, political, and cultural eruptions, confinements and displacements produced new forms of literature and art.
This interdisciplinary conference will explore the contexts, manifestations, effects, and representations of motion and stasis during the years 1914-1945. What did it mean to live, work, create, and be killed at the center of these turbulent times? We are eager to explore the multiple ways in which the mobility and immobilities of the period found their way into cultural production.
Please send 300-word abstracts by February 1 to Roger Rothman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Roberto Dainotto is Associate Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. His publications include “Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities” (Cornell UP, 2000) and “Europe (in Theory)” (Duke UP, forthcoming). He has edited “Racconti Americani del '900” (Einaudi, 1999), and “Mediterranean Studies” (with Eric Zakim, MLA Books, forthcoming). His new book-project, “"Nouveau Riches with Fords and Chevrolets": Italian-Americans and the Contemptuous Motherland” looks at representations of Italian-Americans in Italian culture, where they consistently appear as allegories both of an uprooting modernity, and of the unresolved "southern question" of Italy's failed modernization.
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