For the Modernist Studies Association’s annual meeting, I am seeking papers that explore impersonality as theory, technique and political stance. Long associated with T.S. Eliot’s “Tradition and the Individual Talent,” the term has been recently adopted by Sharon Cameron, Tim Dean, Denise Riley and others to describe the autonomy of language, the limits of agency, and ecstatic experiences. These and other theoretical ventures raise new questions for modernist studies. Is impersonality “psychological”? Were immigrant, regional, African American, and women modernists excluded from the Eliotic ideal by their time-bound commitments? Conversely, can we now identify counter-traditions in which even the impersonal is estranged from itself? Is it appropriate to label the abdication of self inherently conservative, transgressive, ethical, or modern?
The conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Buffalo, NY, Oct. 6-9, 2011. Please submit abstracts of 200-300 words and brief biographies to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb. 15, 2011. This panel is subject to official approval by the MSA.
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