*Criticism* Special Issue: "The Avant-Garde at War"
Call for Papers Date:
Criticism Special Issue (forthcoming 2015): “The Avant-Garde at War”
Guest editor: Jonathan P. Eburne, the Pennsylvania State University
The Avant-Garde at War
The term “avant-garde” bears explicit militaristic overtones. Yet the question of how literary or artistic vanguards bear out the martial strategies implied in their name is a fraught one, saddled not only by anxieties about political consequence, but also by broader concerns about cause and effect— that is, of consequence in general. The aesthetic and political radicalism of 19th and 20th century literary movements tends to invoke either past or future moments of historical rupture: the traumatic aftermath of a recent war, for instance, or the utopian promise of a revolution to come. What happens to the radical gestures of experimental groups when the conditions of warfare instead take center stage? How do avant-garde groups function in times of war?
Marking the centenary of the First World War, this special issue of Criticism addresses how experimental literary and artistic movements of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries responded to the experience of warfare—whether world wars, revolutions, civil wars, colonial invasions, Cold Wars, Dirty Wars, or anti-colonial uprisings. Rather than rehearsing well-known tales about the génération de 1915 or recalling the tragic fate of avant-garde groups and artists after the rise of fascism, the issue aims to explore new ways of thinking about the intellectual and artistic consequences of warfare and its concomitant experiences of historical rupture and ideological unrest.
“The Avant-Garde at War” challenges the tendency to historicize aesthetic radicalism as taking place between, rather than during, periods of active military combat and occupation Contributions should focus instead on moments of historical emergency that might otherwise seem to dwarf the concerns of literary and artistic production. Intellectual activity hardly ceases during wartime, however; this issue examines the changing priorities and conditions of experimental movements and figures during such moments.
We seek to bring together scholars in a variety of literary and artistic fields to discuss ideas about ideology, aesthetic form, and political change formulated by avant-garde movements during times of war. The aim is twofold. First, as a collection of essays that study the conceptual work of avant-garde movements, the issue contributes to the renewed scholarly interest in avant-gardism as a persistent tendency in intellectual history, surpassing its canonical limitation to the Belle Epoque and interwar Europe. The fact that radical aesthetic and political groups continue to develop throughout the world suggests not only the need for new histories of avant-gardism, but also for new approaches to its thought. Second, by examining the fate of aesthetic and political radicalism in the midst of wartime, the issue will offer new insights into the ideological confrontations, intellectual currents, and micro-political strategies at work during times of war.
Please send proposals for essays to the guest editor of this issue, Jonathan P. Eburne, by February 1, 2014. Once selected for potential inclusion, each essay will be reviewed by the guest editor before going through the regular double-blind peer-review process that Criticism maintains.
Due date for completed essays: July 1, 2014. Submissions of 8,000-10,000 words in Chicago format, along with an abstract should, be uploaded through the Criticism Digital Commons website for anonymous peer review (i.e., without any reference to the author's identity). Authors are responsible for providing digital images or glossy prints of any illustrations to be included, securing permission to reproduce illustrations, and paying any required fees. http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/criticism/manuscripts.html
Please direct inquiries and proposals to Jonathan Eburne, email@example.com.
About the editor:
Jonathan P. Eburne is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and English at the Pennsylvania State University, where he is Director of Graduate Studies in Comparative Literature. He is the author of Surrealism and the Art of Crime (Cornell UP, 2008), and is co-editor of “What Is an Avant-Garde?” (special issue of New Literary History, 2011, with Rita Felski); Paris, Modern Fiction, and the Black Atlantic (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013; with Jeremy Braddock); and “Poetry Games” (special issue of Comparative Literature Studies, forthcoming 2013; with Andrew Epstein). His essays have appeared in PMLA, Yale French Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, Journal of Modern Literature, African-American Review, Symploke, and elsewhere. He is currently completing a book entitled “Outsider Theory.”
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