Call for Papers: American Comparative Literature Association Annual Convention, Brown University, March 29-April 1, 2012
Seminar Title: Crises of Mind, Collapsing of Forms: Exploring Audiovisual Art and the Literature of the Avant-Garde, 1920
During that period of creative euphoria that we label as the avant- garde, throughout Europe and the Americas poets reacted differently to the radical changes that were happening in their societies. Traditional literary forms collapsed under the weight of drastic technological revolutions, while new artistic forms of expression in cinema and photography caused writers to rethink the role of poetry in the modern world and to renew their own poetic traditions. While some writers embraced the new media and experimented with poetic and narrative form, structure, and genre, this reaction to the new was not uniform. Many intellectuals had diverse reactions to these artistic changes, some choosing to embrace them fully in a rejection of the past, and others clinging to more traditional forms.
During the inter-war period, the audiovisual revolution stood between two ages, as a watershed that separated tradition from innovation. However the approach to the audiovisual technologies bursting onto the artistic scene, it is certain that the blurring of aesthetic boundaries between written, visual, and aural media became a distinct creative element of avant-garde literature of the 1920s and 1930s. This seminar will examine the radical experimentation in visual art, film, and music that characterized the literature of the avant-garde movement. We will explore the ways in which artistic innovation in literature and audiovisual media responded to and revolutionized a rapidly changing modern world. We welcome papers that discuss the interdisciplinarity of avant-garde literature and audiovisual media across linguistic, ideological, and geographical boundaries.
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