Part of the “Women in Literature I” panel at PAMLA’s 117th annual conference taking place at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside beginning on Thursday, November 14 and ending on Sunday, November 17.
Since Shari Benstock’s field-opening work in the 1980s around the “Women of the Left Bank,” we have understood the importance to modernism of the non-cis-male cohorts of the lost generation and why they were downplayed in favor of the men of modernism. Now, forty years later, although the women of Paris and Bloomsbury are better known, there remain important archives not fully analyzed. My paper compares the correspondence, activities, and interests of two modernist women (Marta Feuchtwanger and Maria Nys Huxley) separated from home by the rise of fascism and Nazism, and poses important questions such as how did women of the avant-garde evolve politically and artistically through the decades between and after the world wars? What did they correspond with each other about across these frontiers? How did they write and produce other expressive creative work about the ideologies of the time and their identities as exilic public intellectuals? The larger project this comes from carries on my existing interests in how modern displaced and mobile collectivities cohere, flourish and coexist. This paper asks how modernist women in exile are separated from dominant notions of home, acculturation, cosmopolitanism, and emplacement.
Our book is now a roundtable at MSA Toronto 2019! Come discuss our work with a fascinating group of contributors to this new edited collection, published in March 2019 by the University Press of Florida. See you in Toronto!
Please consider submitting to this fun but meaningful panel! 🙂
Owning, Despising, Joking: The Art of the Political Insult
Abstract: The insult is essentially political. Trump supporters today profess to love what they call Trump’s “jokes” to own the libs, but the art of the insult has a long history as a technology of domination and social discipline, as well as sometimes functioning to undermine those in power. This panel explores the range of types who work by insult in fictional and/or nonfictional political contexts, gauges their success, and analyzes the cognitive and affective states which insults produce in their targets and audiences, in order to come to some conclusions about how the insult as a technology of power generates a set of relations between individuals and local or national communities.
Description: Some political actors (both in fiction and in the actual world) have embraced the insult, and others express concern over its degrading effects on the quality of political conversation in democracies. This panel is interested in a range of case studies in the art of the insult and in its peculiar efficacy whether in arenas of domination or of critical resistance. The contemporary US political moment on Twitter is an obvious contemporary archive, but the insult functions as a technology of domination and rebelliousness across many genres and libraries. For example, Leopold Bloom’s day in Ulysses largely consists of enduring a long series of insults and provocations, some deliberate, and some unthinking. The insulting historical descriptions of colonized and Indigenous populations are a crucial matter of concern for many postcolonial and world literary works. Why insults are such a staple of political life in so many contexts deserves sustained attention and careful theorization.
The deets from PAMLA:
The web address for your CFP is: https://pamla.ballastacademic.com/Home/S/17896
Abstract Proposal Deadline: Monday, June 10
Conference Early Bird Payment/PAMLA Membership Deadline: Monday, July 15
Late Conference Payment Fees: After Tuesday, October 1
Watch our PAMLA conference website for forthcoming information about the hotel, schedule, special events, etc.: https://pamla.org/2019
Now that your proposal is officially approved, it will appear on PAMLA’s website as of April 10 as an approved special session; interested parties will be able to submit abstract proposals using our online submission form (they will have to go to pamla.ballastacademic.com to create an account first).
A pleasure to be included in
REORIENTING THE BODY IN MODERNIST LITERATURE
EDITED BY KARA WATTS, MOLLY VOLANTH HALL, AND ROBIN HACKETT
Contributors: Kara Watts | Anna Christine | Stuart Christie | Karen Guendel | Robin Hackett | Molly Volanth Hall | Cheryl Hindrichs | William Kupinse | Judith Paltin | Kim Sigouin | Kathryn Van Wert | Mary Wood
8-01 – Aesthetic Modernism
Sunday, November 11, 2018 – 10:00am to 11:30am (Miller Hall 156)
Chair: Judith Paltin, University of British Columbia
- “Dollarton? That’s what we thought but it’s Grasmere”: Malcolm Lowry and Literary Ecology. Margaret Linley, Simon Fraser University (Canada)., Miguel Mota, The University of British Columbia (Canada).
The environmentally conscious spatial imaginary that developed over hundreds of years in England’s Lake District influenced modern perceptions of place, especially the post-colonial landscapes of British Columbia. This paper considers how the complex relationship between a well-known tourist destination with a history of poetic associations and environmental awareness and a former settler colony characterized by past imperial sympathies and present “green” consciousness are represented in Malcolm Lowry’s writing and in the legacy that he left behind.
- (Trans)Nationalism and the Question of New Nihilism in Paul, La Rochelle, and Lewis. Anders Johnson, University of California at Irvine.
This paper focuses on different figurations the modernist motif of European nihilism as they are manifest in three competing works by Elliot Paul, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle, and Wyndham Lewis to show that the meaning and extent of nihilism as a problem was by no means settled in modernist thought and, further, that these contests over the meaning of the problem of nihilism should be understood as deeply imbricated in notions of the nation and its relation to history.
- An Aesthetic Response to Trauma: On Édouard Levé’s Suicide. Kimberly Olivar, California State University Fullerton.
Many use suicide to escape trauma. Édouard Levé’s epistolary novel, Suicide, approaches the narrator’s trauma from his peer’s suicide through the aesthetic response of a new text. Suicide, as the author presents it, becomes an aesthetic organism rather than a moral dilemma.
This paper examines the inhospitality of the “Cyclops” episode of Joyce’s Ulysses to understand how an imagined collectivity might undermine the originary violence of (majoritarian) law through an appeal to the virtue of hospitality.
Excited (with a blush) to be interviewed by the James Joyce Quarterly under the title “Clever, Very” — their occasional blog feature for interviews with “all sections and cross sections” (FW 42), but in this case, pertaining to my current article in Issue 53.3-4: “Music, Intermediality, and Shock in Ulysses.” https://jjq.utulsa.edu/interesting-judith-paltin/
I am delighted that my article “Music, Intermediality, and Shock in Ulysses” has found a congenial home in the next issue of the James Joyce Quarterly, 53.3-4, 115-32. I’m in good company! https://jjq.utulsa.edu/current-issue/ Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.
I am very pleased that Affective Materialities: Reorienting the Body in Modernist Literature, edited by Robin Hackett, Molly Volanth Hall, and Kara Watts (Gainesville, FL: UP of Florida), has been given a tentative release date in 2019 by the press’s editorial board. My contribution to the volume is titled “Frustrated Energies in Modernism’s Female Arrangements.”
Abstract: “Assemblages of Place: Vanguards, Europeans, and a Fractured Globe”
In his Page-Barbour lecture at the U of Virginia in 1933, T.S. Eliot denied (and thereby psychoanalytically affirmed) his desire while reading Indian philosophy to forget “how to think and feel as an American or a European.” Brecht begins to write about the alienation effect (Verfremdungseffekt) after seeing Mei Lanfang, the male performer of female roles, demonstrate traditional Chinese acting technique in Moscow in the spring of 1935. These kinds of encounters enrich the commercial status of modernism’s minority avant-garde writer, and make a claim to validity for modernism’s already canonical polylinguality. However, this paper thinks about how one grouping of conceptual affinities in particular, under the rubric of modernism, leads not only to an expansion of, but also to a change in, the ideation of place; scalar and definitional implications of the field’s new geographies are refreshed as European and non-European modernists inscribe the quandaries of location. I read a set of 20th c. writers interested in modernist technique (Rhys, Borges, Selvon, et al.) whose texts generate a fractured globe, not a smoothly continuous one, a world whose places do not sit well together. As against the “seamless whole” of an organismic metaphor, in Manuel DeLanda’s phrase, the modernist globe is a fluid assemblage of precarious places, emergent, vibrant, fragmentary, contingent, having relations of exteriority, destabilized by processes of decoding and deterritorialization. Their origins are less important than the mechanisms and activities which maintain them. Deleuze and Guattari posit that “Writing has a double function: to translate everything into assemblages and to dismantle the assemblages.” The global provides a rich archive of experiential assemblages of desire, but it is the modernist that specializes in operations of dismantling. Perhaps a vanguard technic appeals to artists and thinkers in Latin America, Turkey, the Caribbean, in diasporic communities and other places in the early to mid- 20th century, not because of temporal coincidence, as in accounts of polycentric modernities, but because it provides technical tools to develop the idiolect they desire, with its complicated work of de- and recoding. I suggest we may consider then whether there is a particular congruence between the aggregated practices of European and other modernisms and the chosen affinities of the global literary text.
 Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, “Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature.” Trans. Dana Polan. Theory and History of Literature 30. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 1986, p. 47.