CFP: Modernism Now! (UK 6/14)

Modernism Now!
BAMS International Conference
26–28 June 2014
Institute of English Studies
Senate House

Keynote Speakers:

Tyrus Miller (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Jacqueline Rose (Queen Mary, London)

Modernism Now! is a three-day international, interdisciplinary conference organised by the
British Association for Modernist Studies, designed to explore ‘modernism’ today. The
conference thus aims to discuss not only the past achievements of modernism but also to
consider its possible futures. In Modernism and Theory, Neil Levi has recently suggested that in
thinking about modernism we consider ‘the idea of a contemporary perpetuation of artistic
modernism’ and that we see ‘modernist works as events whose implications demand
continued investigation.’

Modernism Now! will explore these issues in two distinct ways:

* The conference aims to represent and reflect on the diversity of modernist studies today, and calls for papers assessing modernist writers, artists, texts and performances from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, methodological standpoints, and theoretical perspectives.
* Modernism Now! also wishes to explore the ongoing use of ‘modernism’ as a cultural, philosophical, and artistic category, analysing how and where modernism functions as a continuing aesthetic in the twenty-first century, across multiple disciplines, geographies, and traditions.

Topics might include (but are not restricted to):

* The idea of a contemporary modernism
* Modernist futures and legacies
* Past and previous modernisms
* Modernism as a continuing event
* Current debates in world literature and global modernist studies that stretch the historical/geographical framework of modernism
* The ‘nowness’ (Jetztzeit) of modernism; the new and the now
* Assessments of individual writers, artists, performers, texts, works of art that explore their status and relevance today
* Historical assessments of the term ‘modernism’
* New trends in modernist studies e.g. periodical studies
* Anachronism
* Disciplinary borders and boundaries around modernism today
* ‘Early’ and ‘late’ modernisms; periodising modernism
* Current theorisations of modernism as a social/cultural/philosophical/political category
* How modernism informs the practice of contemporary artists/writers/performers
* Modernism and the tradition of the avant-garde
*  Singular and plural modernism(s)

Proposals are welcomed for 20min papers, panels of 3-4 speakers, and focused round-tables
on particular topics. Proposals should be no longer than 250 words per individual paper and
should include a short biography for each speaker, including contact details.

Delegates must be members of BAMS in order to register. To become a member, go to

Proposals should be emailed to by January 31st 2014.

Conference Organising Committee

Dr Suzanne Hobson (Queen Mary, University of London)
Chris Mourant (King’s College London)
Dr Cathryn Setz (University of Oxford)
Professor Andrew Thacker (Nottingham Trent University)

Download pirated versions of Ulysses little late with the announcement that the Modernist Versions Project has released the first installment of the “pirated” version of Ulysses published in Two Worlds Monthly. Discovered in the archives of the University of Victoria library by J. Matthew Hucalak, the magazine published installments of Joyce’s novel in the US while its publication was still banned.  This digitization makes a significant contribution to Joyce studies and to periodical studies.

CFP: African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture (9/14 Madison, WI)

Center for the History of Print and Digital Culture: 2014 Conference
Call For Papers
African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture
September 19-21, 2014
Madison, WI

Recent scholarship has brought attention to the possibilities of disciplinary intersections of print and digital culture with African American studies. For example, Leon Jackson has suggested numerous “advantages to be gained from an alliance between book historians and scholars of African American cultures of print” (Book History 13, 2010). Recent edited collections like Cohen & Stein’s 2012 Early African American Print Culture and Hutchinson & Young’s 2013 Publishing Blackness are strong evidence in support of Jackson’s claim and the richness of the work to be done in this field. Continue reading

Modernist Magazines Research Seminar (10/10, London)

The Institute of English Studies in London begins an exciting new seminar series this month. The first session of the Modernist Magazines Research Seminar will be held Thursday 10 October at 6pm at Senate House, Room 234.

The meeting features Andrew Thacker (Nottingham Trent University) who will be leading the session on ‘Rhythm’. Attendees are encouraged to read the third issue of ‘Rhythm’, available online at the Modernist Journals Project website.

For more information about the seminar series, and to sign-up for its mailing list, please email: modernist.magazines.ies at

For full program details, please visit the seminar site.

Program for Remeditating the Avant-Garde

Here is the program for what looks to be a great conference at Princeton next month.

Remediating the Avant-Garde: Magazines and Digital Archives
Princeton University
October 25-26, 2013

This interdisciplinary conference will explore the conceptual and practical ground where traditional area studies, art history, periodical studies, digital humanities, computer science, and library and information science converge. We are interested in how these fields inform each other and challenge us to think in new ways, both as builders of digital resources and as scholars and teachers of avant-garde periodicals. Continue reading

Great digital collection of US ads on WWII, hygiene, & more

screenshot_01Duke University Libraries haa a great site for anyone interested in advertising in American magazines.  The image above is from the site.  Here’s their description:

The Ad*Access Project, funded by the Duke Endowment “Library 2000” Fund, presents images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a coherent view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University. The advertisements are from the J. Walter Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Nothing’s Shocking: The Importance of Digitized Newspapers and the Stupidity of Jonah Lehrer

Mag Mods tends to spend a lot of time on magazines, but it’s important to remember just how valuable a resource newspapers are for historical research into modernism (and, I guess, other stuff).  A couple of years ago, I was teaching a freshman seminar on taste.  We read a chapter out of Jonah Lehrer’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist one week, in which Lehrer basically argues that the reason there was a riot at the premiere of Le Sacre du printemps on May 29, 1913, was that the neurons of the brains of audience members could not process the music and, as a result, released large amounts of dopamine to quell their–the neurons’–anxiety, which ended up creating a kind of schizophrenic state in the audience.  In a nutshell, Lehrer’s argument was that Stravinsky’s modernist masterpiece literally drove the Paris audience mad.  For an audio version of this tale, complete with plenty of bullshit and errors, listen to it on Radiolab.

Lehrer, of course, was revealed this past year to be a bullshit journalist.  This seems to have been a big shock in some quarters, but anyone who read his past work, with its simplistic use of science to explain culture, with a modicum of skepticism would  have been ready for the revelations.  My freshman quickly picked up on the implausibility of his claims in the Stravinsky essay, and less than an hour of research in the digital archive of the London Times confirmed their skepticism.  Lehrer attributes the riot at the premier of the Rite to the formal qualities of the music.  If he’s right, then the music should have the same effect on any audience unprepared to listen to it.  However, as I discuss in a recent piece, the London premiere of Le Sacre went off with virtually no disturbance.  This was an audience who could not have been prepared for the performance by recordings, and yet, their neurons dwelt with the piece just fine.

So, what’s this have to do with newspapers?  If Lehrer and the many other critics who have celebrated the 100th anniversary of The Rite of Spring by nostalgically lamenting the glory days of modernism, when art could still shock, if they had just done a quick search of newspapers, they would have realized that the riot was basically a manufactured event, driven more by cultural and social tensions as well as marketing than by the so-called difficulty of Le Sacre.


New Geman Modernist Magazine Site

screenshot_01Really exciting news here.  There’s a new site specializing in digitized versions of German magazines from the 1st half of the 20th century.  Here’s the description Illustrierte Presse provides on its site.

Illustrated magazines from the era of Classic Modernism are a rich and esthetically top-rate source for the history of the period between the wars with regard to everyday life, culture, communication, design and photography. Our website offers the complete inventories of “Querschnitt”, “UHU”, “Kriminal-Magazin”, “Jüdische Magazin” and “Auto-Magazin”, soon to be joined by five more titles.  Ten of the most important German-language magazines of the period with roughly 650 issues, with 75,000 printed pages and more than 50,000 illustrations have for the first time been compiled virtually and made available to both researchers as well as to readers interested in cultural history.

It’s like a German MJP.  Awesome.

Burlington Magazine News: When More Ads Are a Good Thing

In the world of digitized magazines, ads are a good thing.  Scholes and Wulfman make a persuasive argument in Modernism in the Magazines that advertisements represent an important part of our  heritage.  That’s why it’s such good news to hear from Barbara Pezzini, Project Manager at the Burlington Magazine Online Index, that they’ve just received a grant to catalog their ads.  The announcement is below.

The Monument Trust has just granted The Burlington Magazine their generous financial support to catalogue digitally all past and present advertisements 1903-2013, which will be freely available through the Burlington Index Website.

As you know, the advertisements placed by art dealers in The Burlington Magazine since 1903 (a data bank of circa 90,000 images) are an unexplored source for the  study of the art market and its contribution to art history. They  supplement directories to reveal the locations of galleries and are an essential tool for mapping the expansion of the commercial art world during the twentieth century. They also include photographs, providing visual evidence of stock held by dealers. Finally, and most importantly, these images provide important evidence of untraced works of art and their whereabouts at a given moment: the  digitisation of these resources will greatly aid provenance research.

The cataloguing of the dealers’ advertisements and their images is a significant scholarly project that will contribute much to our knowledge of the twentieth-century art market and will make accessible much information which currently is unavailable.

cfp: Gender, Race, and Representation in Magazines and New Media (Cornell, 10/13)

Gender, Race, and Representation in Magazines and New Media

An interdisciplinary conference to be held October 25th-27th, 2013 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, co-sponsored by Cornell University (Africana Studies) and Syracuse University (Women’s and Gender Studies)

Conference website:

In June of 2012, scholars and magazine professionals from all over the world, and from a wide array of disciplines met at the “Women in Magazine’s” conference at Kingston University in London. “Gender, Race, and Representation in Magazines and New Media” seeks to continue the discussions of the “Women in Magazines” conference and extend them to a closer consideration of race in magazines, as well as the impact of new media and technology on magazines and raced and gendered representations. This conference hopes to broaden the scope of what is traditionally considered a magazine from the bound paper journal, to virtual magazines published digitally.

Magazines have long played a key role in the everyday lives of people of all classes, races, and genders and are a fertile space for the expression of social and political philosophies. The forms such publications have taken are staggeringly diverse—mass market publications, Xeroxed fanzines, cheap weeklies for the working class, so-called “smart set,” guides for the home economist, specialized trade publications, political mouthpieces and popular tabloids—magazines have served an astonishing array of audiences and purposes. In short, magazines are a particularly rich and potent sight for research as they so often serve as important outlets for identity formation, defining what it means to be a part of a certain community, class, or even generation through both image and text.

Now, with the increased availability of magazines to scholars through digitization initiatives, as well as the explosion of blogs, tumbler sites, and online magazines that at times enhance print versions of magazines, and at other times replace them entirely, the time is ripe for examining the role, meaning and place of magazines as sites to be mined for representations of gender and race.

Keynote Speakers include:

Kimberly Foster, founder and editor of “For Harriet”

Ellen Garvey, professor in English and Women and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University.

We seek papers covering any geographical region or time period and any kind of magazine/new media platform (blog, Tumblr, Pinterest, digital magazines) on topics including, but not limited to:

·         Methods and Methodology—Various approaches to using magazines as source material

·         Design and magazines, magazines and visual culture

·         Themes and conversations within magazines and new media (e.g. class, aspirations,   celebrity culture, relationships, entertainment and gossip, politics and citizenship, beauty and fashion, the home, work and career)

·         Representations of disease, health and wellness:

·         The magazine industry (e.g. editors, journalists, designers, photographers, illustrators)

·         Historical perspectives on changing technology

·         The ways that new media is changing magazine studies

·         The ways that different business models affect the politics and representation in magazines and new media?

Submission Guidelines:

At this time we are requesting abstracts that are no longer than 400 words; due by May 1, 2013 and should be submitted electronically as an attachment to

Individual and panel proposals will be accepted. Presenters will be notified by June 1, 2013 whether their submissions have been accepted.

Abstracts will be selected based on best fit with the themes of the conference outlined in the CFP.